This is the thirteenth installment in a series of Tottenham Hotspur player profiles that I am creating. The articles are aimed at fans who are either new to Spurs or new to the game. You can find my other work in the fanposts section of the Cartilage Free Captain blog. Read, comment, compliment, ridicule, enjoy.
Player: Danny Rose
Position: Left Back
Strengths: A former left winger, Danny Rose has developed into a fine left back for Tottenham Hotspur. Rose's most remarkable quality is that he is an incredibly balanced footballer. When examining players who reach the heights of the professional game, they tend to excel at certain aspects of their game, while being pedestrian in others. Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben are two generational talents, but their strength and left foot respectively are what people will remember.
Danny Rose is a bit more difficult to define because he does a lot of things well. The man has pace, and while not the fastest fullback in the Premiership (or even his own team), Rose creates headaches down the left touchline with his speed. Rose is also sneakily strong. When strapping center forwards drift into pockets where he resides, Rose has the brawn to match-up and not give an inch. This marriage of speed and strength makes him capable of nearly every individual battle that the Premier League offers.
Yet it is his intelligence and adaptability which make him a exceptional defender. Attackers can throw the kitchen sink at him in terms of raw ability, but it is his deftly timed tackles which usually win the day. His positioning, a trait that some might have called atrocious during the 2013-14 season, is vastly improved under Pochettino and has become an asset to his game. Further, he is a dynamic offensive threat. Tidy on the ball, he can beat players down the flank with pace and skill that harks back to his days as a left sided midfielder.
It is his service though which makes him a viable threat going forward. Unlike many quick outside backs, Rose is able to whip balls into menacing pockets of the defense with pinpoint accuracy. To put it simply, Spurs score goals and find success when Danny Rose is played through the left flank. Finally, Rose is a competitor; a characteristic that is evident in everything he does. He is confident but scrappy, runs all day long, and is player who never quits or takes a moment off when he is on the pitch.
Weaknesses: The greatest weakness of Danny Rose is that he hasn't put it together for more than one season. He impressed at the end of the 2011-12 season and then disappeared in the next. He had a wonderful loan to Sunderland and then was somewhat unreliable in Spurs 2013-14 campaign. His intrepid and refined performances from last term give supporters hope, but he needs to replicate them to gain complete and unrelenting trust.
Rose is tough to nit pick, but the one department where he could improve upon is the manner in which he enters hard tackles. He is a stout one on one defender, and there are highlight reels from last season of his last second heroic challenges, but he can also go to ground more than most would like. Further, there is nothing dainty about these tackles thus he has the potential to be a liability in dangerous situations. Lastly, he isn't the tallest of lads. While he can defend bigger players in the run of play, he can struggle sticking with them during set pieces.
History at Spurs: A Spurs academy graduate, Danny Rose is a Tottenham boy through and through. Rose's career started off with a bang of epic proportions in his full debut with Spurs. Playing against the scum (Arsenal), the nineteen year old struck a scintillating, match-winning, thirty-five yard volley that ripped Woolwich's net and sent White Hart Lane into a frenzy.
Rose started the last four games of that Champions League qualifying season but failed to solidify his place in the first team the next year. Rose was handed just three Premier League starts in the 2011-12 season which led to a season long loan at Sunderland for the 2012-13 campaign. After an impressive loan stint at the Stadium of Light, where he won the Black Cat's young player of the year award, Rose returned to Spurs and solidified a starting spot at Tottenham's left back position.
Appearing for the side thirty times in all competitions, his performances had mixed reviews. He held down his first eleven place, even through a fair share of injuries, but didn't overly convince. The signing of Ben Davies in the summer of 2014 led to direct competition for Rose, but Davies' signing was ultimately the kick-starter to an incredible run of form for the incumbent left-back. Rose started in twenty-eight premier league matches and was a revelation for Spurs on the left side of the field. If not for the earth shattering, folklore inducing, triumphs of Harry Kane; Rose would have had top billing in the storylines of the 2014-15 season.
Role on Team: Danny Rose is the undisputed starting left back for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. He will be a first eleven selection when he is healthy and should be considered among the primary leaders in the locker room. Ben Davies is a capable backup, but does not truly endanger Rose's spot. Look to see Danny Rose suit up for Spurs in all Premier League fixtures and the advanced stages of cup competitions.
Prediction: Danny Rose looks to continue to perform at the high levels that supporters have become accustomed to. His emergence was a great, if less heralded, plot-line in the story that was the 2014-15 season. The Harry Kane highs, the porous central defense, the makeshift midfield, our dilapidated right back position, Christian Eriksen's first half; all of these were intrigues that seemed to garner more attention that the steady, consistent play of Danny Rose.
It can be argued that Danny Rose, for his position, should be considered in the same class as Christian Eriksen. In fact, outside of Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen - Danny Rose might be Spurs best player. There are few left backs in the Premier League who can match Rose's two-way abilities, and none who can compete with his combination of speed and strength. Danny Rose seems like he has been a Spurs player forever, yet this is only his third season as a consistent first team player. At twenty-five years old, he is entering his prime. If he can keep the consistency of last season, he will maintain his status in the upper echelons of the Tottenham Hotspur roster