Footballers are often chastised for not being honest and up front in the media. Instead, they hide behind their PR training to ensure they don’t get themselves, or the club into trouble.
And so, it seems bizarre and even unheard of for Danny Rose to be so honest and forthcoming in an interview he himself requested.
Whilst it’s refreshing to hear of a footballer being so genuine, the English international has taken it too far.
“Time is running out and I do want to win trophies. I don’t want to play football for 15 years and not have one trophy or one medal. “
And the bizarre thing is, it isn’t necessarily the words that have come out of his mouth that are the problem. He is simply saying what most footballers will feel. He wants trophies, and to be paid what he is worth.
“One thing is for sure – I know my worth and I will make sure I get what I am worth. I am not playing as well as I have done not to get paid what I think I am worth.”
It’s actually quite refreshing to finally hear a footballer admit that wages do play a big part in their decision-making, not that we needed to be told.
No, it isn’t exactly what he said, except for the quotes about the fans, which we’ll come on to later. It’s the context and timing that’s the issue here. Spurs, the club he has now been a part of since 2007, start their Premier League campaign in three days time.
No respect whatsoever
There is already an uncomfortable atmosphere engulfing the club at their lack of signings this transfer window, especially since they are so close to something special. Rumours circulate every day of richer clubs swooping in to prise away some of the most talented players in Europe. Promising more money, and in all honesty, a quicker route to trophies.
This is the last thing the club, and the fans needed.
Of course, that won’t be Rose’s first concern. And in fairness, nor should it be. He is a professional footballer who must look after his own interests first and foremost, as does every other person in work.
However, there must be a basic level of respect for your employers who have allowed you to play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe and given you a platform to appear for your country. There must be a basic level of respect for the fans who have treated you as a hero and sung your name.
Not only that, but it’s a massive slap in the face to Mauricio Pochettino, practically the only man that believed him during this time. When the Argentine arrived, Rose was one of the most criticised players in the squad, such were the terrible level of his performances.
“I don’t usually blow my own trumpet, but I was a good player before the manager came… Don’t ever speak about me as if I had two left feet before he arrived.”
I think Rose is suffering from a bout of short-term memory loss. Pochettino made him what he is today, England’s best left back. Without him, he’d still be playing up in Sunderland. Such disloyalty to the man that helped ignite his career.
Creating a living nightmare
Instead, Rose has made an already uncomfortable situation currently at Tottenham into a nightmare. Days before the season, fans should be excited at the return of football and dreaming of possible achievements for their club for the upcoming season.
Coaches and players should be solely focussed on the games that lay ahead. This interview, though, will dominate all of the pre-match build up. It will no doubt be the talk of the training ground amongst the players today.
Rose has abused the respect and trust of those who respect him. The former Leeds youth product may be dissatisfied with current affairs, however he has not been disrespected personally.
There was no need to go public in this way, just before the season starts, and to a publication which has a history of twisting words and publishing false information.
No appreciation of timing
His concerns are understandable, but it should remain in-house. It is not Rose’s place to publicly ask the club to sign more players. He is paid to focus on his job, which is on the football pitch. And handsomely too. It may not be what he wants, but it is rather bizarre to complain about his wages when he signed a new contract less than a year ago.
Kyle Walker was in the same situation, but he handled his with professionalism and maturity, without going to the press and he got his move as per his request.
“Kyle leaving has been a big blow to me… He was, and is, the best right back in the league and seeing him sold to a title favourite and rival was hard.”
Even more bizarrely, Rose has been injured for seven months. Spurs work on a basis of rewarding players with improved contracts based on performances. How much football has Rose played since his last renewal to warrant an improved deal?
He may have been exceptional in his appearances the last two seasons, but he was more than happy to sign that contract before. And had he stayed fit, and continued to play at his extremely high level, there’s no doubt a new contract would be on the table waiting for him to sign.
An air of hypocrisy
There is also an air of hypocrisy to what Rose is saying. Upon signing that new contract, he claimed how he believed in the project at Tottenham. He even went as far to say he wants to stay at Spurs until he’s an old man, possibly even seeing out his career at the club.
They came so close to the title last season, and trophies are surely just around the corner. Has someone been getting in his ear?
Did the sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City, one half of their exciting partnership for club and country give Rose a different outlook? Perhaps.
Or maybe Rose has just had a chance of heart. Even still, there are ways to handle your affairs and the left back has made a shocking error of judgment.
Betrayal of the fans’ trust
Not only that, he has gone as far as to criticise the fans for what they have said about him and to him in the past. Of course, fans can be harsh at the best of times. Even wildly inappropriate and downright disgusting.
However, unfortunately every club has those sort of fans and there are very few players in the world of football who wouldn’t have felt the wrath of their supporters if they felt he wasn’t good enough.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo has had issues with supporters at Real Madrid. It doesn’t make it right, and footballers aren’t robots who don’t feel emotion. It is understandable if abuse affects them or bothers them, but that is the nature of the world they live in.
“I’ll never forget how some fans treated me when I signed a contract… I got a lot of stick before Mauricio came to the club. I’ll never forget some of things they were saying about me.”
To criticise the fanbase for what was always a minority is unfair, perhaps even petulant. The White Hart Lane faithful have adored Rose for the past three years, and will always remember and love him for that goal against Arsenal on his Premier League debut.
Those same fans, who did always respect and give Rose support, even when performances weren't great, are now going into the season feeling betrayed and let down by one of their star players.
Where next for Rose and Tottenham?
Perhaps all of this will work out better for Tottenham in the long run. Rose did make a point to say he doesn't necessarily want to leave. If he knuckles down, recaptures his form on his return from injury and Spurs sign some players that will help them win silverware, this will be forgotten about very quickly.
However, that isn't to say what Rose has done is acceptable. He has put the club, his teammates and staff, in particular his manager Pochettino, who always believed him and helped him become the player he is today, in an extremely awkward situation. It is a massive error of judgement.
Whilst I don't necessarily disagree with a lot of what Rose was saying, in terms of the need to sign some world-class players and to not have players come through the door that you need to "Google and say 'who's that?'", it's the timing that has been most upsetting.
He's displayed a serious lack of loyalty, respect and appreciation of the delicate situation. There's also an air of arrogance fuelling his interview, which nobody likes.
Where he and the club go from here is anyone's guess.
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