Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino likes Danny Rose’s character, but unsure where he’ll be next season
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Spurs boss reveals the latest on Erik Lamela and also reflects on two pieces of bad news regarding Eduardo Berizzo and Luis Bonini this week
Mauricio Pochettino says Danny Rose’s anger at being omitted from the squad against Arsenal showed a character that he likes to see in his players – but he is unsure whether the left-back will be at Tottenham Hotspur next season.
Rose admitted on Wednesday night that he was “fuming” after being told he was not even going to be included on the bench for last weekend’s north London derby.
That has come as a surprise to Pochettino, who felt the defender took the news with good grace.
But that merely confirms Rose’s insistence that there has been no falling-out between the pair, and Pochettino says it can only be a good thing if his players are desperate to play.
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“He never showed that feeling to me,” the Tottenham manager stated. “That’s why it surprised me when you asked me about it, because the day before we had a conversation and he never showed me that he was angry.
“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.
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“He confirmed to you the other day that he was never upset or angry in front of me and never showed this emotion. He was normal, his behaviour.
“You can ask me about him or GK Nkoudou, who wasn’t involved, or Paulo Gazzaniga, Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies. If you say they were upset? Of course. Disappointed? Of course. 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.”
While Pochettino and Rose appear to have a healthy relationship at the moment, the left-back’s future remains in doubt.
In his outspoken newspaper interview in August, the England man said: “I am reaching my peak and have probably only got one big contract left in me” and added “I know my worth and I will make sure I get what I am worth.”
While Rose has been reintegrated into Tottenham’s first team since then and has been improving with each game, the suspicion remains that he will aim to leave in the summer.
During his latest interview in Dortmund this week he talked about his goals for Spurs “this season” on three occasions, seeming reluctant to look beyond that.
Pochettino was similarly loath to offer any assurances at his press conference today. Asked whether he is confident that Rose will be at the club next term, he said: “I think it’s not a moment to talk about that. All the players have contracts with us, they’re all involved in our project.
“The most important thing now is everyone needs to be involved and feel part of the project, and what is going to happen in the future we cannot guess – in different situations, not only him but with different players, staff and decisions from the club.
“It’s about arriving at the moment and taking the best decision for the club.”
In the meantime Pochettino is preparing his side for Saturday’s home game against West Bromwich Albion at Wembley.
Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama remain sidelined – it is hoped the Kenyan will be back in action before the end of the year – but Erik Lamela remains close to a first-team return.
The Argentinian, who has been sidelined for over a year with hip problems, got his first game under his belt last weekend with Spurs’ under-23 side.
It now remains to be seen whether he turns out for the youth team again this Saturday or whether he feels ready to step up to senior level.
“We have another training session tomorrow,” said Pochettino. “We are waiting but maybe we decide to play him in the under-23s.
“Maybe in his mind he says: ‘Gaffer if you want, I am ready again to be available if you believe I can help the team’. If it’s not like this then we decide maybe for him to play in the under-23s.
“We have a lot of games ahead now - Saturday, Tuesday and then the weekend again. I hope it’s going well with him and his mind, and he feels that confidence to be available again to play.”
On a more sobering note, Pochettino has received two pieces of bad news this week, with Eduardo Berizzo – the coach of Sevilla – being diagnosed with prostate cancer and Luis Bonini passing away today after a battle with stomach cancer.
“I sent a text to [Eduardo’s] assistant,” said the Argentinian. “I tried to contact him but it was impossible by phone. I don’t have the full information about what’s happened but of course 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. He was my team-mate, my friend. Of course, I’m with him at this difficult moment and I want to send best wishes for all that he is going to do.
“I also want to send condolences to the family of Luis Bonini. He was my sports scientist and the assistant manager of Marcelo Bielsa in Argentina, a very good friend of mine. I want to send all my love to his family. It’s a very painful day for me, the bad news that he passed away.”
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