He’s technically only on loan at Schalke, but this week Nabil Bentaleb has been speaking negatively about his time in England with Tottenham.
In comments made to Bild, translated by ESPNFC here, the Spurs academy graduate said, among other things, that he had no regrets over going out on loan.
“Even if Tottenham were on top of the league, I would not regret my transfer.
They believe in me at Schalke. I made this decision, and a few defeats won't change anything. We worked hard enough, in every match, in every training session. But we've made mistakes, and we need to cut them out.
But we fight and I believe that's also the reason that the fans support us. I don't know that from England. If you lose there, nobody supports you in the stadium."
Bentaleb has appeared in every game for Schalke since he arrived on a season-long loan. The Gelsenkirchen club have made their worst start ever in the Bundesliga, languishing at the moment in 16th place.
Reviews of the 21-year-old’s play in Germany have not been good, and there were even reports that Schalke could terminate the loan and send Bentaleb home early due to attitude issues.
Attitude issues were often cited as the reason why Mauricio Pochettino soured on Bentaleb after he was given a new contract with Spurs in the summer of 2015. Now these comments may have burned the final bridges he had with Tottenham.
Despite only leaving on loan, it’s unlikely that Bentaleb will feature again for Tottenham’s first team. The loan gives Schalke an option at the end of the season to purchase the Algerian international, but Bentaleb likely won’t be in Pochettino’s plans even if Schalke don’t buy him.
Nabil may have a point about fan support in England, but I like to think the supporters at White Hart Lane are more reasonable than others in the Premier League. He doesn’t mention Spurs fans specifically, but it’s certainly being implied. Anxious atmospheres are normal when there are high expectations of a team, but these days our fans are behind the players win or lose.
Bentaleb’s words, if truly directed at us, may have been more accurate when the fans at The Lane had to watch a team, coached by Tim Sherwood, lose 5-1 to Manchester City or 2-0 to West Ham.
All-in-all, it’s a shame that things have deteriorated so much between Bentaleb and Tottenham, a club where he once showed so much promise.