The coming season is crucial for Danny Rose. He spent last season on loan at Sunderland where he had a successful season, playing regularly in the Premier League. Now back with Spurs, what will 2013-14 hold for the young left back?Danny Rose arrived at Tottenham in July,2007 from Leeds United who due to financial problems had to sell a number of their best youngsters to ensure their survival. Aged 17 years, Rose cost £1million and progressed through the Totenham Academy and reserve teams to the verge of the Tottenham first team. He was included among the substitutes for a match against Sunderland the following January. Early the next season he suffered a serious knee injury which kept him out for some time. Originally signed as a left sided midfield player, in 2009 he went on loan to Watford and then Peterborough where he had the opportunity of playing in the Football League.
Highs and Lows at Tottenham
For a player who will be 22 years of age at the start of next month he has experienced the highs and lows of professional football in his years with Spurs.
He made his debut for Spurs as a substitute against Doncaster Rovers in the Carling Cup in August, 2009. He then appeared as a substitute against Peterborough in the FA Cup 3rd Round tie at White Hart Lane in January, 2010 before starting his first match against his former club, Leeds United in the next round.
His Premier League debut came the following April in the home match against Arsenal. Within ten minutes he had written himself into the Tottenham history books with a memorable goal to put Spurs ahead. A Spurs corner was cleared towards him and thirty yards from goal, Rose met it first time to volley back towards goal with a stunning strike which left the goalkeeper helpless. Rose’s contribution lasted only forty five minutes but Spurs went on to win 2 – 1 and enjoy success in a north London derby for the first time since 1999. His goal was voted the ‘Goal of the Season’.
With Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon automatic choices for Tottenham on the left and right of midfield, opportunities were limited for Rose in his favoured position. The coaching staff, however, saw potential for Rose as a left back and gradually he was given the opportunity to develop his game in the defensive role. He had a period on loan with Bristol City and at the end of season 2010-11, with Bale and Benoit Assou-Ekotto injured, he played the last three games at left back.
In 2011-12, he remained with Spurs as part of the first team squad getting opportunities in the Cup competitions, the Europa League and covering for injuries or from the bench in the Premier League. For the final games of the season with Assou-Ekotto injured, he started at left back. In the crucial penultimate game which Spurs needed to win in their quest for the Champions League, with Spurs a goal down at half-time, they then went down to ten men when Rose was sent off for a rash challenge.
Rose was selected regularly for the Under-21 team playing on the left of midfield and at left back but was also selected for the GB Team for the Olympics last summer where he performed admirably in the makeshift team. He frequently provided the team’s greatest attacking threat getting forward from his left back position.
With Andre Villas-Boas appointed as the new manager last summer, Rose had little time to impress his new boss as he, like Steven Caulker, spent much of pre-season with the Olympic team. It was decided, however, to allow Rose to gain Premier League experience with Sunderland – Spurs having made successful use of the loan system to develop the careers of Caulker and Naughton in the previous season. Spurs didn’t recall him in the January transfer window so Rose spent the whole season at the Stadium of Light. It was a very difficult season for the north-east club with a relegation battle and a change of manager but Rose was one of the few brights lights to shine as he benefited from playing every week. His performances received high praise and he was regarded as being Sunderland’s best outfield player last season.
During the season he was sent off at the end of the Under-21 game in Serbia where he had suffered constant racial abuse from the home fans throughout the match. he was included in the squad for the European Under-21 championships but he had to serve his ban and missed the first game of the Finals in Israel. He returned to the team for the last two games of the U-21s unsuccessful competition.
Now after a year’s experience of Premier League football what does the future hold for Rose at Tottenham?
Last summer, Rose was probably regarded as third choice left back behind Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Naughton who had returned to the club after a successful loan spell at Norwich the previous season to provide cover for both full back positions. While he was away, Assou-Ekotto, Jan Vertonghen and Naughton filled the left back role. An injury to BAE early in the season gave Naughton his opportunity and when he was injured Vertonghen moved across from central defence to play in the position he plays for the Belgian international team. He had to play there more often than had been expected as BAE’s injury kept him out until January and Naughton wasn’t fully comfortable on the left side of the defence, being naturally right-footed.
Since the end of the season there has been newspaper reports of Assou-Ekotto being a target for the Turkish side, Fenerbache. The story in the Daily Mail suggested a fee of around £6million but the player had made it clear in an an earlier interview with The Guardian of his desire to remain at White Hart Lane.
“I would be quite happy to see out my playing career here, although I know that it’s not my call to make. I have every desire to see out my contractual obligations and, if possible, extend so that I can be here for long enough to play at the new stadium.”
Rose will not want to spend the season sitting on the bench or play the occasional Cup or European game after a season of appearing in every match. If he doesn’t get an opportunity at White Hart Lane there are reports of Sunderland looking to take him back while new Stoke City boss, Mark Hughes, is also interested signing him according to the Mirror.
The return of the players for pre-season training in early July will give Rose an opportunity to show Andre Villas-Boas the progress he has made in the year he has been away from the club although his return for training will probably be later than others as he and Caulker have been with the England Under-21 team.
Danny Rose deserves an opportunity to show what he can do and be given the chance to play for a place in the team and not just be regarded as a squad player who gets only the occasional game. This will be a big season for him as he, like Caulker, tries to prove his future lies at White Hart Lane.