Spurs star Danny Rose reveals Pochettino’s humorous side after England call-up
PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 August 2014 | UPDATED: 13:00 29 August 2014
Tottenham left-back Danny Rose discusses his first England call-up, his immediate improvement under Mauricio Pochettino, his competition with Ben Davies and Sunday’s Premier League clash against Liverpool.
Danny Rose didn’t know what to expect when he was summoned to Mauricio Pochettino’s office on Wednesday morning.
As the left-back explains: “The manager texted me at 10 past nine and said ‘can you come to my office?’ I was thinking ‘what have I done?’
“I went to his office and he sat me down and said ‘I’ve got something to tell you – we’ve accepted a bid, we’re selling you’. I said ‘no you’re not’.
“He said ‘yes it’s true’ and one of the other coaches walked in and said ‘have you told him he’s got to go?’
“But then after that he told me he was at the Milton Keynes game the night before, against Man United, and he heard a rumour that I might have a chance of being selected [for England]. Later on that night the England manager called me and he verified it.
“He [Roy Hodgson] said that left-back is one of England’s strongest positions with Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw, Kieran Gibbs and Ryan Bertrand, so he said I’ve been a bit unlucky - but we’ve obviously got a couple of injuries there.
“Hopefully, if I can stay fit, I might get a chance within the next two games [for England] and I’ve got to try to take it if it comes.”
While Pochettino had a bit of fun when he broke the good news to Rose this week, the new head coach has spent the last two months telling the 24-year-old that he would get him an England call-up. The fulfilment of that prophecy has come straight away.
“I’m over the moon,” said Rose. “I’ve started the season well. During the off season I met the manager [Pochettino], in the middle of June when he’d just been appointed - and he told me if I trusted in him and had faith in him then he’d be able to get me into the England squad. Throughout pre-season he’s told me that three more times.
“I didn’t expect it to come this soon if I’m honest. My agent told me a couple of weeks ago that he believes that I could get a call-up, but I thought ‘don’t hold your breath’. I didn’t think it was possible.
“Even on Wednesday, when the manager called me into his office, I wasn’t reading too much into it, so I’m over the moon.”
Rewind just five weeks and many believed Rose had been replaced at Tottenham with the arrival of Ben Davies from Swansea.
However, Spurs quickly showed their faith in the Englishman by handing him a new five-year contract at the end of July – and Rose has started the first two Premier League games, while Davies has been used in the Europa League.
“I knew from last season that the club wanted to bring in another left-back., and I have to respect the manager for letting me and Ben fight it out equally,” said Rose. “I’m glad to see that I’ve managed to stay strong and I’ve not let it affect me.
“I’ve managed to keep my place for the start of the season and I hope I can keep it for a while. But there are going to be times when Ben does play and I’ll be supporting Ben and hoping he does well, and I hope he does vice versa.
“Ben coming here is bringing out a better side of me and I hope I can do the same to him.”
Pochettino’s arrival has also been key. The Argentinian helped to develop the talents of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez at Southampton, and Rose says the new head coach has already helped him to improve.
“He’s made me better defensively, tactically and he encourages the full-backs to get forward as much as possible,” said Rose. “Since we’ve been back, over the eight weeks or so, I reckon I’ve got a lot better defensively and tactically.
“Concentration’s one thing we’ve looked at. Sometimes I lapsed in concentration last season and I might have relied on my pace to get me out of trouble. But the manager’s made me a lot better tactically, and whenever we do lose the ball he wants it back as soon as possible, and it’s good.
“I thought I started last season well under AVB [Andre Villas-Boas] and then I got injured and I never really managed to get match-fit properly.
“Even this season, our nutritionist said that I’ve lost a bit of weight since last season and I didn’t really realise - but I can feel it when I’m out there playing. I feel strong going into 70 or 80 minutes, whereas last season I was tiring.”
Rose was rested for last night’s Europa League play-off tie against AEL Limassol – which Spurs won 3-0 to progress to the group stage – so he is expected to start in Sunday’s crunch home game against Liverpool.
“I think that’s when we’ll see how good we really are and how good we can be, because Liverpool are a top team,” said Rose. “We saw that last season, and they’re just on the back of a defeat at Man City so they’ll be hoping to get three points here.
“We want to win every single game and Liverpool are one of the top teams in the league, and we want to measure ourselves against the top teams.
“We’ve all done well as a team. It was a very hard graft at West Ham, going down to 10 men, and we managed to dig deep and Eric [Dier] scored a great goal - and then we came back here on Sunday and we played very well as a team [in the 4-0 home win over QPR].
“We pressed well and we managed to score four goals, so we’re all over the moon individually and as a team – and so is the manager.”
Rose could find himself up against Mario Balotelli this weekend if the Italian makes his debut for Liverpool.
Rose said: “I’m especially excited to watch him play this season, back in the Premier League. I’ll be making sure that I try to get his shirt at the end of the game.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs