Cartilage Free Captain is again reviewing the Tottenham Hotspur first team players after the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. Up next: left back, Danny Rose.
Appearances: 21 (18 EPL, 3 UCL)
Assists: 3 (2 EPL, 1 UCL)
Cards: 8Y, 0R
What went right?
In last year’s season review, I wondered openly if Danny Rose was the best left back in the Premier League. Southampton fans responded by saying it was Ryan Bertrand. Arsenal fans insisted it was actually Nacho Monreal. And Liverpool fans, bless their hearts, hilariously suggested that it was James Milner.
This year it’s not even a question. When he’s healthy, Danny Rose is the best left back in the Premier League.
Rose started this season right as he had ended 2015/16; completely owning the left side of the pitch from one end-line to another. Wing-backs are nothing new in European football, but Rose’s ability to be so defensively sound, while still posing a significant attacking threat, is rare in the current game. Other teams have fullbacks who contribute to attacks, but the way Danny violently throws himself up-and-down the pitch is amazing to watch.
Sometimes it’s tough for a left back to get noticed, but his two-way consistency this year meant that he was an early shout to be Tottenham’s Player of the Season.
His statistical returns this season were very impressive, especially considering he only played in 21 games. He was Spurs’ MOTM in a crucial early season draw with Liverpool, scoring the equalizer in the 72nd minute. He popped up with an assist in our final CL game against CSKA Moscow, and then did so again a week later on our first goal against Hull City.
On December 18th, he made a key contribution against Burnley.
This goal is notable because it features Moussa Sissoko actually doing something good, but also because it features Danny Rose looking more like a skillful forward than a defender. Rose’s intelligent dummy in the build-up is vital to the move as a whole. Then he simply finds space on the break, stays onside, and hits the ball as hard as he can.
Rose has had a knack for scoring big goals in his time at Spurs. Add this one to his goals against Chelsea, Swansea, and “OHHHH WHAT A GOAL!! IT’S DANNY ROSE ON HIS PREMIER LEAGUE DEBUT, WITH A MEMORABLE STRIKE!”
What went wrong?
Part of the reason Danny Rose is so good is because of his willingness to work hard and sacrifice himself for the team. But this means his body takes a pounding.
Here’s a clip of the injury against Sunderland in January that would keep him out for the rest of the season.
I love Danny’s effort on every play, but sometimes he’s better off preserving his body. He needed to make a tackle, but the way he kicked into this one was risky for fouling and injury purposes.
It’s nit-picky, but this play is the only reason why we didn’t get to see Rose for much of the second half of the season. A few less risky tackles/collisions per game could make a big difference to his durability.
Also he dives sometimes. But so does your favorite player!
It seems like ancient history, but Danny Rose was once a liability for Spurs. Many fans wanted him gone after the 2013-14 season. But the introductions of a competent manager and Ben Davies as positional competition have worked wonders for Rose’s development.
He’s now England’s clear first-choice left back. Again, the qualifier here is that he stays healthy. But if he does, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better left back in all of Europe.