Wales coach Chris Coleman has slammed Real Madrid's management of Gareth Bale in the early days of his Spain career. Coleman on Thursday risked the wrath of Madrid by suggesting the Spanish club had thrown Bale in at the deep end following his much-anticipated move from Tottenham.
The former Fulham boss suggested Wales' star man has not been handled as he should have been after missing nearly all of pre-season with abdominal and foot injuries.
"We have spoken to the doctor and we will be without him, but we said all along it is very tough for him to have had no pre-season and be thrown in at the deep end," said Coleman.
"I would never criticise another manager - Carlo Ancelotti is a brilliant manager - but La Liga football is a different tempo to the Premier League. The Premier League is the fastest so maybe Carlo is thinking Gareth can handle it, he's a super athlete.
"But in our last camp he was nowhere near fit. He had a reaction on the morning of the Macedonia game, that is why we only used him for 35 minutes against Serbia last month.
"You have to put things in perspective. What has happened to him with the move, he must feel under pressure.
"He is probably trying too hard to do things that come naturally to him. Physically he is not there, he is not ready and he might not be for some time.
"If you don't do a pre-season, no matter how good you are, you always play catch up for the season. This season might be a tough one for him, as good as he is.
"On top of that he has had the weight and stress of 'Will the move happen, won't it?' and then it happens.
"I think he has gone into it when he is not at his fittest physically or mentally. It has had an affect.
"I hope I am wrong but I don't think it will be the last injury he gets this season because of the stress of everything."
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