Assessing Danny Rose's comments on Tottenham: Honest or unprofessional?
Danny Rose's explosive interview with The Sun makes uncomfortable reading for everyone at Tottenham, including chairman Daniel Levy, manager Mauricio Pochettino, his teammates and the club's supporters.
Rose's brutal honesty is refreshing but his comments also appear poorly-timed, self-serving and unprofessional. On the eve of a new Premier League season, Rose -- who has not been fit for eight months -- has thrown everyone at Spurs under the bus.
While Rose may have difficulty facing some of his teammates on Thursday, the reality is that others in the squad will agree with him, and many of his opinions are shared by supporters, however uncomfortable they are to read.
ESPN FC assessed Rose's arguments individually:
"I know my worth and I will make sure I get what I am worth. I don't know how much longer I might have at this level."
Rose's belief that he is worth more than his £65,000-a-week salary is indisputable, and true for the majority of Spurs' squad -- although he insisted he was not speaking for his teammates. Harry Kane and Co. are also paid like mid-table players in today's market, despite being among Europe's best, and privately they will share Rose's view.
Like Kyle Walker, the 27-year-old Rose could treble his wages elsewhere and, given his age, playing style and injury problems, he is right in saying he may only be at this level for three or four more years. Levy runs Spurs sustainably but something has to give, and Rose's comments feel like an ultimatum to the chairman: "Pay us what we're worth. Or lose us."
That said, Rose signed a new five-year deal in September, declaring himself "over the moon," and he played for just four months before a serious knee injury. Spurs won 12 of 13 league games in last season's run-in without him, so there is a case that he is not currently in a strong position to complain about his contract.
"I'd love to see more signings. I've seen a couple of players previously saying, 'We don't need a top signing or signings'. But I am sorry, I am not singing off the same hymn-sheet."
Spurs are the only club in England's top four leagues yet to make a summer signing and, while their top-six rivals have all improved, their only business so far has been to sell Walker to Man City for £45 million.
Pochettino has also repeatedly called for quality signings and the club's lethargy in the transfer market is beginning to appear complacent, despite the difficult financial reality in which Spurs exist. At best, the club is not being clever enough; at worst, the failure to improve a squad that finished second last season feels like a betrayal of Pochettino and his players. Rose is only voicing what many fans and his teammates are thinking, and his comments will resonate with both parties.
"Under Harry Redknapp we signed Rafa van der Vaart -- signings like that are what we need. And not players you have to Google and say, 'Who's that?' I mean well-known players. Hearing Ross [Barkley] might be available... bringing him through the door, in itself, would be a huge boost."
While Rose is right in saying Spurs need signings, his suggested transfer strategy is contradictory and hypocritical, particularly given that Spurs signed him as an unknown teenager and gave him the chance to prove himself three years ago. Three weeks before deadline day, he points to Van der Vaart's deadline arrival and uses the inconsistent Barkley as an example of a quality addition.
His comments ignore the signings of relative-unknowns Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min -- not to mention his own experience as a teenager at Leeds. Targeting "names" is simply not the best approach for Spurs.
"I will play up north. I don't know exactly when, but I will get back up north and play some football somewhere. I moved away from home [from Leeds to Spurs] at 16."
Wanting to be closer to home is understandable but if Rose feels that way, he should not have signed a deal until 2021 and declared his willingness to stay at Spurs for the rest of his career.
"I'm not saying I want out, but if something came to me that was concrete, I'd have no qualms about voicing my opinions to anyone at the club."
Rose may believe that going public is the only way to get Levy to sell him but it is just as likely to result in the chairman stubbornly digging in his heels, and refusing to budge for any price.
"I think it is worrying how we performed at Wembley. We have to change that or it is going to be a long, miserable and difficult season."
Of course Spurs need to improve at Wembley, their temporary home for the season. They have lost seven of 10 competitive matches at the stadium, and won just once in four European "home" games last year. But most Champions League matches and domestic cup semifinals and finals are harder than the average league games, so there is every chance Spurs will improve there.
"I want people to understand that having one average season doesn't make you a bad player. I was a good player before the manager came. I am an even better one now and he has helped me become more consistent."
Rose was rated as a teenager and he showed some promise at left-back under Harry Redknapp. But there is no doubt that he owes so much of his recent success to Pochettino -- perhaps more than he cares to admit.
When Pochettino arrived at the club, Rose was coming off the back of a dreadful campaign and had Pochettino ditched him, he could have ended up at a much smaller club. Instead, the manager gave him a new five-year contract and Rose has improved every year under the Argentine's coaching.
"I got a lot of stick before Mauricio came to the club. I'll never forget some of the things they were saying about me."
The supporters have adored Rose since Pochettino's appointment so it is easy to forget that he was treated poorly beforehand, particularly as a young player when supporters were impatient with his inconsistency.
"Under Harry [Redknapp], there were two Premier League-class players for every position. We are finishing even higher under Mauricio but we don't have that depth now."
Rose's assessment that Spurs had a stronger squad under Redknapp is debatable, but probably fair. Pochettino has a better starting XI, but in 2010-11, Redknapp had Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, William Gallas, Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul at centre-back, and Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko up front.
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.