I love the photo of Lloris hugging Rose. In fact the whole photo … of Kane acknowledging our fans, Jan and Winksy arms around each other, Hugo giving Danny a french kiss. The whole image speaks of togetherness and it set me thinking.
A long time ago (1980s) I used to travel to work in the City of London. I always bought the Financial Times broadsheet for the office and The Sun tabloid to read standing up on my crowded tube journey. I read The Sun back to front (football first) and discarded it on the tube (or in the bin).
Times have changed a lot since then; for me, for football, and for The Sun. I would never buy it now, or read it, or click through to a Sun link. I can honestly say I have long despised everything it stands for as a publication and as a business.
So, I never read Danny Rose’s ‘explosive, exclusive’ interview last August. I kind of know what he said, because of the shrapnel that followed it. And I’m aware that the Sun itself was climbing on the bandwagon of “Spurs haven’t spent a penny this Summer”. Danny was a silly boy saying what he did, where he did, when he did.
A Dealing Room in the City is like a Dressing Room at a football club; big money, bigger egos, jostling for moves to be paid “what I’m worth”. You make hay while the sun shines. Who knows when the gig is going to end? Fired bankers. Redundancy. Injured players. Loss of Form. All versions of the same fate.
So, I understand where Danny was coming from. I believe it was partly pent up frustration caused by his January injury keeping him out for so long (and into the new season). And partly his pay (£65k p.w. until 2021) compared with Kyle’s new wedge at City and even in relation to “senior player” money at Spurs. Full backs have traditionally had a raw deal at all clubs. In the modern game – which relies on FBs – there’s no reason to underpay them. How Rose expressed his view was wrong. But his overall message wasn’t unreasonable.
Naturally, The Sun, Talksport and social media continued to fan the flames and succeeded in keeping the interview in the headlines for a week or so. Opinions were expressed. Levy’s ‘tight wallet’ and Spurs lack of ‘ambition’ were accusations thrown at us. Some fans pointed out it was Pochettino who had turned Rose into an England first choice, others that £3million+ a year is plenty anyway.
But inevitably the hubbub soon died down, leaving just two interesting questions; (i) how would Rose’s teammates react ? and (ii) how would Spurs fans react ?
We got our answer at The Bernabeu. By all accounts there was never much ill feeling towards Danny in the Spurs Dressing Room. We all have jobs. We all know you’re never really bosom buddies with all your colleagues. There are mates you get on with. And those you, … well, don’t so much. I’m sure ‘blunt Yorkshireman Danny’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But there’s also a spirit and closeness about this Spurs squad that is palpable. Poch simply won’t allow personal animosity to exist. Besides, many Spurs players might quietly agree with the gist of what Danny said, if not the stupidity of saying it to The Sun.
Undoubtedly some Spurs fans won’t easily forgive Rose for what he did. Some won’t ever. Strong opinions were voiced. If he’d been brought on at Wembley in the Carabao Cup he might have got a frosty reception. So it was a little bit of genius from Pochettino to send Danny into battle at the Bernabeu with ten minutes left against the mighty Madrid. Result? A rousing reception. 4,000 Spurs fans chanting the ‘Danny Rose’ song.
That has set the scene for his next appearance, and his first at Wembley, and the weeks that follow. The anti-Rose contingent will be less likely to swing the ‘floating voters’ towards booing him. And with a few good performances, Rose will be fully integrated within our ‘fan-player love in’ again. I love ’em all. Danny included.