Walker has lead the way
If you have seen a close friend move to another company, doing the same role, doubling his or her salary in the blink of an eye – all while working for a more likely market leader – you’d want some of that. It is human nature: to better oneself, you move to a better company and earn more money. Self-actualisation awaits.
But Danny Rose has done a great deal wrong in many people’s eyes; expressing his desire to do just that – earn “what he is worth”. Sir Alan Sugar wants him “chucked out” of Tottenham. Harry Redknapp was “surprised” by Rose’s outburst. Gary Neville slammed Rose’s lack of professionalism. These were the more mild-mannered reactions to his candid interview with The Sun newspaper on Wednesday.
Who do you think put him up to it? Do you think that Rose himself would have said yes to the interview off his own back or was he encouraged to say what he said?
Rose’s agent is Mark Rankine. Rankine is Rose’s uncle. Rankine has several other clients, including Kyle Walker. Walker and Rose are close friends. Walker has just doubled his money at Manchester City. Can you see where I am going with this?
Agents controlling the transfer market
It is no secret that the power so-called super agents wield in the modern era is reaching exorbitant levels. Whether it is Jorge Mendes forcing through big-name transfers at Wolves, Mino Raiola stockpiling clients at Manchester United or Mondial Sport Management engineering sizeable fees for their charges (Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham and Ramires to Jiangsu Suning in China, for example) agents are having a greater say in the make-up of squads, taking full advantage of the TV revenues burning a hole in Premier League chairman’s pockets.
Rankine is no different to his counterparts. He has seen an opportunity for his client to earn more elsewhere, and thus earn a nice bonus himself. Rose is simply an easy target.
The vast majority of Tottenham fans believe in the Mauricio Pochettino project. The Argentine believes in continuity over overhaul, and feels he already has a team in place to challenge for the title once again.
The problem is that while it is all well and good sticking with a tried and tested formula, Spurs are actually weaker than last season. They have lost Walker, and not replaced him. Kieran Trippier is a perfectly adept player, but his high intensity game means injuries can never be ruled out.
Spurs relied a great deal on their effervescent full-backs last season. Walker and Rose worked in tandem brilliantly, playing almost as wide forwards, penning their opponents back and causing real problems.
Rose knows, without Walker, he might not be as effective. And that could be seriously detrimental to Spurs’ title push.
Pochettino taking too many risks?
“They [Tottenham] should have been buying serious players to make sure they had the finished article in two or three positions and then they could have been real challengers for the Premier League and the Champions League,” Graeme Souness said on Sky Sports this week. “Instead, they have stood still while everyone around them has got stronger. As a player you want better players coming in as it benefits the club.”
Rose’s comments about the lack of household names coming in will not have gone down well with his manager. His desire to ensure he gets “what he is worth” even less so.
But is he the one to blame in all of this? Spurs are weaker than last season, and are therefore less likely to win the title, according to the bookmakers, than three of their rivals. Also, more money can be earned elsewhere, up north, closer to his family.
So much temptation will have been weighing on Rose’s mind. All he needed was some gentle encouragement to let his feelings be know by someone close to him, who he trusts, someone who will mutually benefit from a big-money move away from a potentially stagnant Spurs. Money doesn’t have a stranglehold over football – agents do.