When Danny Rose opens his mouth, you’d be wise to listen.
The longtime Spurs left back just finished up his loan at Newcastle United, but now his future is uncertain. He still has eleven months left on his contract with Tottenham, and the 30-year-old has now made it clear that his “dream” is to come back to Spurs and play again in front of the fans in North London.
Rose said as much in a wide-ranging interview he gave to the Second Captains podcast recently.
“I am very happy to stay at Tottenham and see my last 10 or 11 months out, I would love to. There is nothing I want more than to play one more time in front of the fans. My last game for Spurs was a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool and at the time I didn’t know that was going to be or could be my last game for Spurs. ... For me, I couldn’t stress it enough, I would love nothing more than to play one last time for Tottenham and just be able to say goodbye to them and thank them for everything they have done for me as a person as a player.”
Rose was loaned out to Newcastle at the end of January after he apparently fell out with Jose Mourinho. During his time on Tyneside, he made nine appearances in all competitions.
The Doncaster native had recently spoken about wanting to continue at Newcastle, so that seems like an option too, but it’s clear that his heart is still at Spurs.
Rose joined the club from Leeds United all the way back in 2007 for a transfer fee reportedly around £1 million. He was at his best when Spurs were at their best under former boss Mauricio Pochettino. The outspoken Rose scored a legendary volley against Arsenal on his league debut, then navigated a few years on loan, but ultimately he established himself as one of the premier fullbacks in the world.
His abilities have faltered a bit in recent years, just as Spurs have, but it’s touching to hear how important it is to him to have a chance to say goodbye to the club. Still, it’s tough to see where he would fit into the squad. In Rose’s absence, Spurs turned primarily to Ben Davies at left back, with Ryan Sessegnon also featuring occasionally.
Sessegnon in particular needs to play more next season, as he is still a young prospect with a ton of potential.
Rose also spoke in the interview about his experiences with racism and about the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been embraced in the United Kingdom since George Floyd was murdered by the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“It’s not just football. I got stopped by the police last week, which is a regular occurrence whenever I go back to Doncaster where I’m from. Each time it’s ‘Is this car stolen? Where did you get this car from? What are you doing here? Can you prove that you bought this car?’ You know, for me this has been happening since I was 18, since I was driving and each time it happens I just laugh, because I know what’s coming.”
“It’s just how it is. Whenever I go on the train. One of the last times I got on the train, I got on with my bags and the attendant said ‘Do you know this is first class?’. I say ‘yeah, so what?’ They ask to see my ticket and I show the lady it and this is no word of a lie, two people, white people, walk on the train after me and she says nothing. I asked ‘Are you not going to ask for their tickets?’ and she just said ‘ah no, I don’t need to’. ... These are the things i have to put up with, being stopped all the time and being asked if I know this is first class and to show my ticket. This is everyday life for me but I feel embarrassed to even complain in a way, or bring it up, when you see the incident in America where a man, a black man, lost his life at the hands of people who were supposed to protect and serve.”
Rose has had an impressive career on the pitch, but it’s stuff like this that really has an impact. Not every footballer is able to speak so genuinely and passionately about these issues that are so obviously still a problem in England and all over the world. Danny is truly a special guy.
Understandably, Rose isn’t too confident that things will ever change for the better, as these are things he has had to deal with for his entire life.
“There is so, so, so much more than needs to be done. I have played at Sunderland, Tottenham, Newcastle, Bristol City, Peterborough, Watford and Leeds United and I don’t remember a black person working upstairs at these clubs. That’s one of the things that needs to change. There has to be a change and going away from that you just need to look at the amount of black managers that are in football.”
This entire interview is worth a read/listen. Rose also spoke about that infamous interview with the Sun in 2017, and about not wanting to be the kind of footballer who only speaks in “cliches.”
Wherever he ends up, Rose will surely continue to give his all on the pitch, while also continuing to speak out about important issues like these.