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Danny Rose’s latest comments aren’t as controversial as people are making them out to be

Why are you booing him? He’s right.

Bayern Muenchen v Tottenham Hotspur: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Danny Rose is in the news again, and just like before he’s catching some mild flack for quotes that really aren’t that bad. The Tottenham Hotspur left back is quoted in the Guardian saying and implying controversial things like I plan to see out my contract at Spurs and Jose Mourinho’s a big-time manager who wins things and Daniel Levy is the chairman at Tottenham Hotspur.

*clutches pearls*

But first, let’s see what he actually said that’s causing the kerfluffle. The article in question is by David Hytner in the Guardian, and it’s a typical interview with the outspoken Rose — he’s got a reputation by now as a player who speaks his mind, even though what he says usually isn’t all that controversial. It’s certainly framed that way, though.

Here are the first two paragraphs of the article:

The discussion with Danny Rose had turned towards José Mourinho and how it felt to have a manager of his winning mentality in control at Tottenham. “Who said he’s in control of the club?” Rose shot back.

It was late on Wednesday night, in the aftermath of Spurs’s 3-1 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich and, although Rose did not specify, everybody knew who had the control. It is not Mourinho – rather the chairman, Daniel Levy, with whom it is fair to say Rose has had his differences.

I’m not sure how that’s controversial! It’s already been reported that Levy tried to sell Danny last summer and that there were no takers, something that apparently rankled Rose, currently the longest-tenured member of the first team. But all he’s saying here is that Daniel Levy is the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. He wouldn’t be the first player who has had a disagreement with a football club’s chairman, especially when that chairman is responsible for the signing and selling of players.

But let’s move on. Rose went on to talk a little about his relationship with Jose Mourinho, and obliquely, about his future.

“I’ve never had a conversation with him [about my future] and I don’t see why I need to. As I said before, I’m here for the next 18 months, so I don’t see why I need to have a conversation with the manager. I want to do as well as I possibly can, work as hard as I can to achieve what looked impossible a few weeks ago, and that is finishing in the top four.

“We’re all starting from the same starting point or, at least, I hope we are. It’s very good [under Mourinho]. I had the privilege of working under Mauricio [Pochettino] for five and a half years and now, I have to be honest, I never thought I would be managed by José Mourinho at Tottenham.

“That’s credit to the club, how well they’ve progressed, and to get someone like José has been brilliant. He’s one of the most decorated managers of my lifetime, so it’s been a good start for the team and I’ve enjoyed it so far. He is a serial winner, so I imagine we will be looking to win the FA Cup and finish in the top four of the league.”

Nothing really controversial here either. In fact, he’s saying nice things! About Tottenham! And Jose Mourinho! Sure doesn’t sound like someone who’s disgruntled and burning his bridges behind him.

I suppose if you cock your head and squint you can take his statement about being “here for the next 18 months” as a subtle dig at Levy and running down his contract. But that should be fine too — his contract is his contract. Like with Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, or Jan Vertonghen, it’s the club’s decision as to whether they want to offer him a new deal, and his decision on whether he wants to move or leave the club on a Bosman. Neither thing should be considered controversial. Danny has earned the right to do what he wants with his Tottenham future.

Look, Danny Rose is outspoken about a lot of things, and in the past few years he’s decided that he’s no longer going to hold back on what he says. The thing is, usually he’s right — he was correct in the broad swaths of what he said in his interview in the S-n a couple years back, he was right when he talked about his experiences with mental illness and called for more attention to the issue in football, and he was refreshingly honest when he spoke out about how he has been the target of racism in the past.

In nearly all of those situations, Danny caught flack from Spurs fans on social media because of the way his comments were framed by the media. With Rose, it’s often easy to frame the comments to look controversial, or at least sensational. It’s the same here. I’m not necessarily trying to say Hytner is being disingenuous here, but there is a distinct framing in the opening two paragraphs, and that appears to be where the majority of the ire is coming from.

But Danny’s not wrong here either, nor is he saying anything that’s especially controversial or damning. It’s just Danny being Danny. And once again, he’s right.