Spurs boss urges patience as Rose continues to learn his role at left-back
12:01 06 May 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Tim Sherwood says he played a key role in Danny Rose’s switch from midfield to full-back, which was inspired by Ashley Cole’s positional change at Arsenal.
In the last four months, Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane have got their first Premier League starts while Milos Veljkovic has made his debut - and Alex Pritchard appeared on the bench for the first time against West Ham on Saturday.
With all of that in mind, it is easy to view Danny Rose as one of Tottenham’s more experienced players.
After all, it is more than four years since he announced himself at White Hart Lane with a memorable debut strike against Arsenal in April 2010.
However, the 23-year-old is only just completing his first season as Spurs’ first-choice left-back, after the Lilywhites cleared the way for him by loaning Benoit Assou-Ekotto to QPR last summer.
This was his big break – so how has it gone? Rose himself admitted last week that he has been “a bit inconsistent, compared to last season at Sunderland”.
A three-month absence due to a foot injury didn’t help, but the defender has still played 29 games this season and should make it a round 30 this weekend.
A number of Spurs fans have seen all they need to see, and feel that Tottenham must sign a new left-back this summer as a matter of priority.
Their case was strengthened when Rose made a crucial error at West Ham on Saturday, which led to Younes Kaboul’s red card and, moments later, the opening goal.
Strangely, the full-back still seemed to be moving forward as the ball looped in behind him, giving him no chance of catching his man, Stewart Downing, who was ultimately brought down from behind by Kaboul.
Rose’s critics will hope that he is replaced in the upcoming transfer window, but Sherwood is urging patience.
“The fans want to improve all the time but there’s no guarantee that someone’s going to come in from the outside and be any better than Danny Rose or any other player,” he said.
“Danny’s done well. He’s only young and he’s still learning. He went out on loan last season and proved himself in the Premier League against our opposition.
“He had to go out and do that at Sunderland and it was a good development phase for him. But he’s still got things to learn and he appreciates that, and he works hard to try to get better. He needs to improve all different factors of his game.”
For Sherwood, it is worth remembering that Rose’s debut strike against Arsenal came when he was playing on the left wing, and that he has since had to learn a whole new role.
“Don’t forget that Danny’s only been a left-back for a few seasons,” said Sherwood. “I had a chat with him probably three or four years ago and said that, in my opinion, if he was going to play at the top level in the Premier League, he needed to switch his position to play left-back. At first he was a little apprehensive but he’s bought into it.
“I just thought he should follow the same pathway that Ashley Cole did. When he was a young kid at Arsenal he was a winger and then he got pushed back to play at left-back and he’s been fantastic, and I think Danny’s going the same way.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs