…..would probably still be a treacherous, little c**t! Only kidding….sort of. But regardless of how you may feel about the content of Danny Rose’s “explosive” interview with The Sun last week, I think we can all agree that it exhibited the same remarkably poor judgment and timing that was previously synonymous with his defending, prior to Poch taking him under his wing! After 10 years of loyal service, Rose certainty didn’t pull any punches, stating that he is not being paid what he is worth, that he is homesick and wants to move back up north to be closer to his mum…who has probably just moved to Chelsea, if rumours are to be believed. He also complained that he was sick of Googling our latest signings, to find out who they were....a quite outrageous claim when you consider that we are regularly acquiring such household names as Filip Lesniak and Tomislav Gomelt. Now, I know what you are thinking. This is quite a dramatic turnaround from a player who, upon signing a new 5 year contract last year, gushed that “I wouldn’t wish for anything more than to play for Spurs for the rest of my career” before confirming that he is “slowly turning into a Southerner”. Even more so when you consider he hasn’t even kicked a ball in 6 months. Anyway, after the predictable and unnecessary carnage that this interview caused, his management team were swift to release an apology that was no doubt drafted prior to the interview even taking place, and Pochettino followed suit by publicly forgiving him in a press conference. A perfectly scripted piece of footballing theatre, that. However, if history has taught us anything, it’s that very few players cross both Mauricio Pochettino AND Daniel Levy, without consequence. But I also think, certainly with the benefit of hindsight, that our esteemed leaders should heed the wise old words of Gardeners World stalwart and part-time philosopher, Alan Titchmarsh, when he says “if you spend your whole life picking Roses, you’re going to suffer a few pricks along the way”.
As such, it has been a difficult summer for Spurs, as we have failed to add any new players to our talented yet threadbare squad, whilst also running the risk of losing our two longest serving players. Honestly, the most annoying thing about the Rose situation is that is has come totally out of left field. We spent the whole summer worrying about the inevitable loss of Kyle Walker to Man City, that we never even saw this one coming! When we did finally allow Walker to fulfil his childhood ambition of playing football for an oil company, I remember consoling myself with the words “I'm just glad it’s not Danny Rose”. But it would appear that I spoke too soon. At least when we sold Kyle Walker, we had both a literal and metaphorical replacement already lined up….in the aptly named Kyle Walker-Peters (honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up). Again, prior to Pochettino taking over, Walker had the reputation for having the attention span of a goldfish and the crossing ability of….well, a goldfish. Yet now, just 3 seasons on, he is the most expensive full-back in the world and Man City appear to have a larger defence budget than most first world nations!
Anyway, enough of our depressing transfer window activity, or lack thereof. Let’s focus on the actual football...the bit that we are good at! Our pre-season tour of the USA saw us come up against some of the best teams in Europe (and Man City) in the International Champions Cup. Having comfortably beaten a 10 man Paris Saint-Germain in Orlando, we were unlucky to lose 3-2 at the death to Roma before being humiliated by Kyle Walker et al in Nashville. However, we swiftly bounced back with a very convincing 2-0 victory over Italian champions Juventus at Wembley and before you knew it, the new season was well and truly upon us. And despite Danny Rose’s best Machiavellian efforts, we were more than ready for it. With a number of key players missing from the starting eleven, a makeshift Tottenham team managed to overcome newly promoted Newcastle 2-0 at St. James Park, which has traditionally been a tough place for us to visit in recent years. Amongst the standout players were Christian Eriksen, who provided both assists, Ben Davies and 20 year old debutant Kyle Walker-Peters, who deservedly got Man of the Match for his performance. Aside from his solid defensive work, Walker-Peters also looked very confident going forward and at times looked like an upgrade on his predecessor and namesake, purely due to the fact that he appears to possess a basic understanding of gravity and managed to get most of his crosses off the ground! There is obviously still a very long way to go for KWP but it was a positive start to his career and I am salivating at the prospect of what Poch can do with our latest academy graduate. But at the same time, let's spare a thought for poor old Kieran Trippier. It took him two years to patiently see off Kyle Walker and the moment he gets injured, another one bloody well comes along!!!
So, thankfully the Premier League is back, just in time to distract us from the Kardashian-esque drama and disappointment going on behind the scenes. On the opening day of the season, we managed to inflict an element of revenge on Newcastle for the debacle of 2016 and I am feeling quietly confident that we can extract yet further revenge at Wembley next weekend, against what is left of Antonio Conte’s suspension ravaged Chelsea. We seem to have more scores to settle than Arya Stark! The encouraging development of both Kieran Tripper and more importantly, Kyle Walker-Peters has softened the blow of losing a first team regular to one of our key rivals. Couple this with the fantastic form of Ben Davies, who has now scored in each of his last two Premier League outings and has contributed to Spurs winning 14 of their last 16 competitive matches and all of a sudden, our full-back situation doesn't appear to be anywhere near as dire as the media would have us believe. And on the off chance that we don’t have an 18 year old by the name of Danny Rose-Peters kicking about in the Reserves, I am confident that Davies will continue to deliver as our new, first choice left back. Because I can tell you this for nothing.....if Danny Rose didn't know who he was when Spurs first signed him, he certainly does now!