Posts Tagged ‘Danny Rose’

Danny Rose

It’s been a phenomenal season for Tottenham Hotspur this year, punctuated by a vast number of high quality individual performances.

While the campaign looks likely to ultimately end in disappointment as they have found themselves eclipsed by the wonder story that is Leicester City, Spurs fans will be thrilled by a number of their squad, full of optimism for the years going forward under manager Mauricio Pochettino.

With the PFA award nominees coming out this week, nods have been given to Dele Alli as a Young Player of the Year, and Harry Kane straddling nominations in both awards.

Other notable players who have received a high amount of praise have been Eric Dier for his shift from utility defender to one of the best holding midfielders in the division, and Toby Alderweireld for almost single-handedly turning the Spurs defence around into the meanest in the league.

 

One player who has perhaps flown under the radar (as there are seemingly a finite amount of players who can be praised per team) is Danny Rose, who has been steadily improving since the arrival of the Argentine at White Hart Lane and is their true big-game player.

In a first summer that saw very little incoming transfer activity from Pochettino, one of the few signings he did make was to bring in Ben Davies from Swansea City, seemingly spelling the beginning of the end for an erratic Rose who had thus far done little to convince fans he was a long-term answer to what has always been a problem position.

It’s now six years since Rose burst onto the scene with that wonder goal against Arsenal – instantly putting himself into folklore in North London – and he is longer at an age (25) where ‘potential’ can still be discussed. Despite Theo Walcott offering evidence to the contrary.

Starting that game actually as a right winger, Rose was soon shifted to left-back by Harry Redknapp and despite some promising initial performances as a stand-in for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, the form of a rejuvenated Gareth Bale pushed him down the pecking order and out of the first-team picture until the Welshman moved further up the pitch.

It was a loan spell at Sunderland where Rose was really able to cut his teeth, managing to impress in a struggling side and convincing Andre Villas-Boas to give him his chance at White Hart Lane.

Rose Sunderland

It was his spell at Sunderland that earned Rose his chance to impress at Spurs

A season in which he was the only recognised left-back at the club did little to convince supporters he was the long-term option for Spurs going forward in a season of transition, with his performances in the thrashings by Chelsea and Liverpool raising serious questions about his suitability for the role.

The arrival of Davies suggested incoming manager Pochettino thought likewise despite a new five-year deal being signed, but this merely seemed to galvanise Rose and drive him to a new and unexpected level.

For Rose seems to blossom when challenged by absolutely anything. A loan spell in Sunderland saw him thrive as he looked to prove himself to his parent club. Competition from a fine player in Davies saw him take his game even further to cement his place in the squad. And it is no surprise to see that when Spurs take on the bigger sides in the division, the Englishman is frequently one of the better players on the pitch.

Davies Tottenham

The arrival of Ben Davies was supposed to push Rose towards the fringes of the first team once more

Pochettino’s system is potentially one of the biggest factors in his rise in importance, supporting his natural instincts to bomb n forward knowing that Eric Dier is deep enough in his holding role to cover should the gaps be left.

He does not slack on the defensive side of games either as he and Kyle Walker cover an enormous amount of ground per game. Without wanting to dip into superlatives here, I do not recall a pair of full-backs who get up and down the pitch so frequently since the likes of Cafu and Roberto Carlos in that Brazil side of the turn of the millennium.

It can perhaps be of no coincidence that Rose’s worst games over the past two years have come against the lesser clubs in the division, where perhaps complacency sinks in, or a defensive line-up on the part of the opposition stifles his desire to get forward, with less space available.

It can also be of no coincidence that of the four games in the Premier League this season that Spurs have lost in the Premier League this season, Rose missed three of them, with his sole experience of being on the losing side coming in the shock defeat at home Newcastle in December.

Rose Chelsea

Rose celebrates after scoring in Spurs’ 5-3 victry over Chelsea last season

In the victories over Chelsea and Arsenal last season, Rose was phenomenal, thundering into challenges in big London derbies and proving a constant menace going forward, while he was also instrumental in the comeback draw against West Ham as well.

In those games again this season he has also enjoyed superb games, with victory at Manchester City being another game in which he excelled. The weekend’s thrashing of Manchester United also saw him enjoy a fine game, combining his attacking prowess with defensive solidarity to put him alongside Erik Lamela in the running for man-of-the-match.

Rose is far from a polished gem of a player, but nobody has adapted to Pochettino’s philosophy as well, or embodies it as much as the newly-capped England full-back.

Full of endless running, a never-say-die attitude, tactical flexibility and a belief in himself to compete against anybody in the division, Rose is Tottenham’s forgotten general and embodies a Spurs side that has risen against the odds to find a place among the elite.