Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino warns his players: "I'm the boss"
LONDON -- Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he did not have a problem with Danny Rose's reaction to being dropped against Arsenal but warned his players: "I'm the boss."
Rose said he was "fuming" to be left out of the squad for the north London derby defeat last weekend but he denied any sort of bust-up with Pochettino after returning to the team for Tuesday's 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Told of Rose's comment, a surprised Pochettino said the defender had not shown any anger in front of him.
"He never showed that feeling to me. It surprised me when you asked me, because the day before we had a conversation and he never showed me that he was angry," Pochettino told a news conference.
"Of course, [he was] disappointed, yes, because all the players always want to be involved in the game. I understand if after he was angry, like other players who do not play, and I like it when players feel that emotion because it looks like they're interested in helping the team and want to play."
"He confirmed the other day that he was never upset or angry in front of me and never showed this emotion. He was normal in his behaviour. You can ask me about him or GK Nkoudou, who wasn't involved, or Paulo Gazzaniga or Kieran Trippier or Ben Davies. Were they upset? Of course. They were disappointed? Of course. They were angry, fuming? Of course, because they want to play. Michel Vorm the same.
"But I am the boss! That is the problem for the players."
Rose's future at Tottenham has been in doubt since he gave an explosive newspaper interview on the eve of the season, criticising the club's wage structure and transfer policy, and welcoming offers from elsewhere.
No player who has crossed Pochettino has ever remained at Spurs long-term and asked if the left-back would still be at the club next season, the manager said: "It's not a moment to talk about that. All the players have contracts with us, they're all involved in our project. Now you cannot guess what's going to happen in the future."
Rose is not expected to keep his place for Saturday's visit of West Brom in the Premier League, with Victor Wanyama (knee) and Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) the only definite absentees.
Erik Lamela, who has not played for over a year due to hip problems, could make his long-awaited comeback after playing an hour for the under-23s against Chelsea on Saturday.
Asked if the Argentine could be in the squad, Pochettino said: "Yes, but we need to wait tomorrow and if it's not like this then we decide maybe for him to play in the U23s [on Saturday]. Tomorrow we need to wait, and he says: 'Gaffer if you want, I am ready again to be available if you believe I can help the team'."
Pochettino also sent his regards to Sevilla boss Eduardo Berizzo, his former teammate, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and the family of Luis Bonini, the former Argentina assistant manager who died on Thursday.
"I sent a text to his assistant, I tried to contact him but it was impossible by phone," he said. "I want to send all my love and hope that it is all going well. I know him very well because we played at Newell's Old Boys when young. He was my teammate, my friend. Of course, I'm with him at this difficult moment, of course I want to send best wishes for all that he is going to do.
"I [also] want to send condolences to family of Luis Bonini. He was the sports scientist and assistant manager of Marcelo Bielsa in Argentina, a very good friend of mine, I want to send all my love to family. It's very painful day for me [to hear] the bad news that he passed away."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.