Jan Vertonghen has revealed Gareth Bale’s Tottenham team-mates only found out he wouldn’t be playing hours before their 4-2 defeat against Chelsea on Saturday.
Bale was included in Tottenham’s line up before the game at White Hart Lane, only for a revised team-sheet to be released without the former Southampton winger.
After the game - which Chelsea won thanks to a brace from Juan Mata and one each from Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge to ensure Roberto Di Matteo’s side maintained their winning start to the league – it was revealed that Bale had travelled to be with his girlfriend who had gone into labour in Cardiff.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas confirmed afterwards that he had allowed Bale to miss the crucial game because he feared he wouldn’t be able to give 100 percent.
‘It would have prevented him playing with the right frame of mind and we respect that,’ he said. ‘That is why he wasn’t involved today.’
Now Vertonghen has revealed the confusion in the Spurs team before the game surrounding Bale, and said the dressing room was unsure of events right up to 'two hours’ before kick-off.
I only knew two hours before kick-off that he wasn’t playing,’ said the Belgian international.
‘He would have made a huge difference, he is an amazing player but we respect his situation, of course.’
Spurs went behind early on against Chelsea, but fought back thanks to two second half strikes from William Gallas and Jermain Defoe.
However eventually Chelsea’s quality told to help them stay at the top of the table. Spurs’ cause was not helped by the absence of £15m summer signing Mousa Dembele, who was ruled out of the game after aggravating a hip injury picked up last season while on international duty.
Villas-Boas remains hopeful he won’t be sidelined for too long.
"Top players are missed," the Spurs boss said.
"He had a scan, but we haven't seen the results yet. He suffers discomfort and pain on his hip which is not something that shows on the scan so it's difficult to assess.
"Fulham took him off for a period of two weeks. He had a chance to play (yesterday) and had a late fitness test but the pain didn't go away.
"It's something that comes back to him. He fell awkwardly in the Scotland game against Belgium and felt the pain."