Cartilage Free Captain is reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur left back Danny Rose.
Minutes played: 2,786
What went right?
Quite a bit, actually. Danny Rose slowly but surely went from being a squad lightning rod to one of its most consistent performers, week in, week out. That is not to say he was immune to an occasional defensive error, but name a defender in the Premier League who is not made to look silly from time to time. Frankly, he was excellent.
Not only did he defend well in most matches, save a switching off against Eden Hazard New Years' Day, but his offensive contributions were significant, providing an outlet for quick attacks down the flank when Spurs won the ball back in midfield. Crucially, he provided the width that Mauricio Pochettino's 4-2-3-1 setup needs, allowing Nacer Chadli the freedom to find spaces away from the chalk line.
That is not to suggest that he was single minded in his attacks. Rose varied his runs and attacks nicely and even provided an array of chips and useful square balls along with his crosses, which were much improved. He was immense in his role. In his absence, the lack of pace in the squad was noticeable.
Add four goals and five assists to his tactical importance and we have all the elements of a great season for a fullback.
What went wrong?
He was responsible for goals. I will not fault him for most of his defensive errors, however. By the very nature of being a defender in a top league, he was bound to make mistakes. That is just the life of a defender.
What can be called into question is his sometimes borderline lack of self control on the pitch. Rose gets worked up and is known to get into a scrape or two. While admiring the passion, there were times when the fouls or yellow cards hurt the team, and there was at least one time when he was lucky to avoid a second yellow card. It would be nice to see him be more calculating with his dark arts and on field run ins, instead of purely emotional.
He also, through no fault of his own, had a couple injury bouts. While it is debatable that a fullback who is required to make the types of runs Rose does should play any more than this, he only made 34 appearances on the year. Spurs have the luxury of a top level back up, but it is nicer to rotate as needed rather than be forced.
Rose raised the level of his play this year. Next year is a study in doing it again. Pundits, players, and supporters get caught up in improving every year. While I am not opposed to him improving, I am more interested in him maintaining. He doesn't need to be a prolific goal scorer. He doesn't need to get better in tight spaces. He just needs to maintain. His performance this year was good enough to be on a top four side, and we should be pleased with the steps he made from a liability to a difference maker.
*Grading note: I think he probably deserves about a 4.25 Chirpys grade, but we do not have that capability so I am rounding up. He earns the little bump in grade because I would have been happy with a 3.5 level of play from him this year.
Grade: 4.5 Chirpys