By Tony Hughes
Nabil Bentaleb has had a dig at Mauricio Pochettino as he revealed how playing in a more attacking role has revitalised his career.
The Tottenham player has flourished at the start of his season-long loan at Schalke after being pushed forward into an attacking midfield position.
Bentaleb has scored four goals and supplied two assists in 10 league matches and, in all competitions, has netted five times from 14 games.
By contrast, he has scored just one goal in 66 matches for parent club Spurs, where he was used almost exclusively by manager Pochettino and his predecessor Tim Sherwood in a midfield anchorman role.
At Schalke, manager Markus Weinzierl changed to a 3-5-2 formation after a difficult start to the campaign, with Bentaleb now able to get closer to the opposition goal more regularly.
“I knew that I was capable of playing more offensively,” Bentaleb told the official Schalke website. “The coach trusts me to go forward more and I think I have done that very well. Thankfully, I have managed to score a few goals in the process, too.”
Bentaleb left Spurs for Schalke on season-long loan at the end of August after falling down the pecking order at White Hart Lane.
Bentaleb barely figured for Pochettino’s team last season and his status was reduced further following the summer capture of Victor Wanyama.
Since leaving, the 21-year-old has watched his parent club build on last season’s third-place finish while Schalke sit 12th out of 18 teams in the Bundesliga following a disappointing start to the campaign despite the big impact he has made.
The central midfielder, who has already accumulated 20 Algeria caps, still has nearly four years remaining on the Spurs contract he signed in the summer of 2015.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Sir Alex Ferguson urged Manchester United to sign this Spurs senior man this summer.