The Danny Rose rumors are, unfortunately, back. Tabloid newspaper the Sun, which earlier in the season published an explosive interview with Rose where he criticized Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer strategy and wage structure, is back with another story, once again suggesting that Rose is “fuming” with manager Mauricio Pochettino over being left out of the match day squad for the North London Derby on Saturday.
Rose was not in the match-day 18 for the trip down the road to the Emirates and didn’t even travel with the team, instead remaining at Spurs’ training ground to work on his fitness. The Sun implies that Rose is furious with the decision, and also re-links Rose with a January move to Manchester United when the window opens.
So, first things first. We at Carty-Free are always hesitant to draw any attention to the Sun and whatever it is they print in their sports section, and we have pretty good reason to feel that way.
However, there’s no overlooking the fact that Rose went to the Sun for his blockbuster interview this summer. The paper may have played up a lot of quotes, but that also means that, when it comes to Danny Rose rumors, we are going to have to reluctantly take a look at what’s actually in the report, rather than dismissing it out of hand. And, as we suspected, there’s not a lot there. As befits a typical transfer rumor story, there are no quotes, there’s no real evidence, nor any indication of sourcing.
Mauricio Pochettino, by contrast, did not shy away from directly addressing the Rose absence in the post-match press conference, tersely explaining his decision for leaving Rose out of the squad.
“We analysed [Rose] and we said to the player that we believed it was better to play another player, and he needs to wait. Like different players that are out, like [Georges-Kevin] N’Koudou who was out of the squad today.
“It’s not the same if you are trying to get fit. One thing is you can play. Another thing is to be fully fit to play and to cope with 90 minutes. And for us, rather than [Rose] being on the bench today, it was the decision to make him train at the training ground. Like [Erik] Lamela was playing with the U23s, to try to get fit. After 10 months it is so difficult to build up the fitness.
Pochettino also hit back on the perception that Rose’s omission is further evidence that he is not in the manager’s plans, and that there is a widening rift between the two.
“It’s not [for] another reason. It’s only that he needs to build, and then wait for his opportunity. We believe that he can play. It’s important that we played without him for 10 months, and without Lamela for more than one year. The competition is so tough. To get fit and be again ready to cope with the pressure to play 90 minutes is so difficult.
“You are trying to find an issue that is not an issue. When it’s an issue, I explain, it’s an issue. When it’s not an issue, it’s not an issue.”
As Tottenham fans, we certainly WANT to believe Pochettino here. Or at least as a Danny Rose fan, I certainly do. Even so, I wonder if there isn’t at least a kernel of truth in that stupid Sun story. First, I have no doubt that Rose, who is competitive down to his core, wanted to play in the NLD and is upset that he wasn’t in the squad.
That’s natural. Expected, almost. Rose may not be 100%, but he’s getting closer after going nearly the entire match against Crystal Palace and playing two international friendlies with England. It’s not at all unreasonable to suggest that Rose thinks he’s ready to play in the biggest of games and wrest the starting left back position back from Ben Davies.
Moreover, it’s weird that Pochettino would drop him from the match day squad entirely in one of the biggest matches of the season for the nebulous reason that he “needs more fitness,” especially when he’s coming off of a solid performance against Crystal Palace and two international games. That seems like a somewhat sketchy move from Pochettino, and it has eerie parallels to what kicked off the saga that eventually sent Kyle Walker to Manchester City.
On the other hand, Rose is on the record saying that he’s learned his lesson from the Sun interview this summer, and that his frustrations “would be voiced in a different way.” He also admitted to seeing a sports psychologist to help him deal with the mental and emotional impact of his injury and being out for so long. It really feels like he wouldn’t be so quick to shoot himself in the foot by complaining (either directly or indirectly) to the same tabloid paper that got him into so much trouble the last time.
I’m not in Danny’s head and I can’t speak to his feelings or his motivations. However, I suspect that while there’s probably a little bit of truth in the Sun report, it’s been blown way, WAY out of proportion. I’m sure he’s angry! I’m certain he wanted to play! Which, since it’s the Sun, is probably a more believable thing than anything they actually print in that paper.