Danny Rose – The Unsung Hero?

The fourth installation of our series of season reviews looks at the endeavours of a White Hart Lane cult hero, Danny Rose.

Danny Rose has evolved as a footballer over the last two years, as shown by his form over the season and a half just gone. In the summer of 2014, everyone was in meltdown after he signed a new contract – however, within the space of two years he has become a bona fide fan favourite, certainly mine.

Before I review Rose’s season, I’d like to touch on why Rose has developed into one of the Premier League’s best current left backs. I believe that Ben Davies has been paramount in Rose’s uprising.

Some fans feel that Davies has failed to live up to the £10M price we paid, but look at the bigger picture. This signing has pushed Danny Rose to the best of his ability and we’ve essentially paid for a backup left back that has made Danny Rose 10 times the player he was.

He is, for me, currently the best left back in the league. So in my opinion, the £10M we paid for Davies has proven more than value for money.

Rose’s season

Tottenham as a whole started this season as they finished it, rather stale.

The season got off to a disappointing start with one defeat and two draws, which were especially hard to swallow considering we were winning in both.

However, Danny didn’t play in the first three games of the season and made his first appearance in the home game against Everton, where coincidently we kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.

I remember watching that Everton game, extremely frustrated with only a few bright sparks throughout, Rose being one of them. In the first half he completed five of the six tackles he attempted. Rose is the sort of player that doesn’t show up in the highlight reel very often but when you watch him live, you see just how talent a fullback that he really is.

In the first three games, he didn’t appear and we were yet to win a game. In his first three league games, we were subversively undefeated as 0-0 draws to the two Merseyside clubs and an emphatic 5-1 victory at Bournemouth helped stop the rot.

Without Rose in the first three league games we conceded 4 goals; however in Rose’s first three we only conceded the one; testament to what he offers to this side defensively as well as going forward. After this small fragment in our season our defence grew stronger, as did he. He was appearing more often in the team as Pochettino began to realise his best XI.

Effect on the side

The impression I’ve got over this season from both Walker and Rose is that they are fundamentally important players; if they don’t show up our attacking threat has been somewhat nullified. Thankfully, that’s barely happened this season and both have risen to the occasion.

England call up

This season finally saw Rose break into the England set up which, let’s face it, has been a long time coming when considering the last 18 months he’s had for Spurs.

He put some good performances in with an impressive debut at Germany in a 3-2 win and despite losing to the Dutch he still played rather well and was one of England’s best players.

With Euro 2016 around the corner, his form in the warm-up fixtures appear to have firmly cemented his place in Roy Hodgson’s plans, a testament to how far he has risen under Pochettino’s guidance.

Key to his success

The inclusion of defensive stalwarts Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier has been inexorably links to the growth of Rose and Walker; a foundation that has allowed them to play with a new sense of freedom.

Whilst we play the standard 4-2-3-1 when we are without the ball, Dier often tends to drop back next to the two centre backs, forming a 3-5-2 formation when in possession.

The solidarity of the holding midfielder (Dier) and the two centre backs (Alderweirled and Wimmer/Jan) has allowed Rose and Walker to join in the attack, effectively giving us a greater chance of scoring due to the threat of overloads in and around the box.

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Rose to the occasion

In the 24 Premier League games Danny has played in this season Spurs have only lost 2 games. This means that in the games Rose has played for Tottenham – boasting a win/draw to loss ratio of 92%. This is absolutely phenomenal.

He has individually shone in a number of performances this season, personal favourites being the 2-1 victories against Swansea and Manchester City.

The game against Swansea was fantastic with the boys overcoming a dismal start with grit and determination to come back from a goal down to win 2-1 with Rose truly excelling. He was getting into some great attacking positions creating two excellent chances for Dier and Lamela. If it wasn’t for the heroics of Fabianski, we would’ve won this game by four or five goals.

Tottenham had almost 40 shots which shows how well we played after going a goal down. But cometh the hour cometh the man, the ball falls to Rose on the edge of the box and he smashes it into the corner which gave Tottenham three very valuable points at the time.

Some say the game against City was one our best performances this season and I fondly remember the heroic performances from Rose and Walker; I remember it as the game that I truly realised how important they both were.

The aggressiveness shown by the fullbacks in terms of them going forward was a joy to watch. This game has to be one of the best individual performances from a Spurs player all season. Rose defended valiantly all game especially when hurling his body in front of a Raheem Sterling volley. Rose’s whole performance reiterates my earlier point with Rose being the unsung hero. He just gets the job done to an exceptional standard and gets on with what he has to do.

A very underrated figure across the course of the season but that’s only due to phenomenal seasons from Dembele, Alderweireld, Kane and Alli to name but a few. He was the puppet master of the whole game until we took the lead (from the penalty he won) then everything calmed down.

Roy Hodgson must be sure to exploit all the traits Rose and Walker have shown for Spurs all season if England are to have any success in this year’s European Championship.


Verdict

If you had asked me two seasons ago what to expect from Rose, I would’ve told you that he is a pace merchant and that he offers little offensively and he needs to learn a lot defensively.

Now, he is one of the first names on the team sheet, a more than capable defender and is one of our biggest threats going forward. He also performs to a fantastic and consistent standard. which is something I NEVER thought I’d say about the player all fans used to have an agenda against.

Written by Ben Mathias

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