Over the summer, Watford saw two men arrive from Tottenham Hotspur in Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko. One has settled in pretty well, earning the captain’s armband. The other has struggled, writes the HertsLive.
That’s not to say Rose has been a woeful signing, nor does it mean he won’t be able to find his best form as the season goes on. It’s just, his performances of late have not quite been up to the standard one might expect from an England international.
Most notably, he looked unfit and off the pace against Liverpool. While plenty of defenders have struggled against Mohamed Salah in recent years, the Egyptian made particularly light-work of the Hornet’s left-back. Had it not been for the constant aid provided by Sissoko, that 5-0 thrashing could have risen to six or seven.
He then didn’t play in either of the club’s next two games, before returning against Arsenal. This provided another difficult afternoon for the 31-year-old. Bukayo Saka tormented him on the flanks and Rose also gave away a clear penalty with a mindless challenge on Alexandre Lacazette.
It was no surprise when Caludo Ranieri then dropped him for the following game. With Adam Masina starting in his place, Watford looked secure at the back and strong going forward as they swept aside Manchester United 4-1.
It doesn’t look as if Rose has done enough to warrant a spot as the club’s first-choice left-back, which is a shame because his history shows just what a good player he can be when he’s at his best.
In the official matchday programme ahead of the game against Manchester United, the defender provided some interesting quotes about his move to the club.
He actually revealed that he was set to move overseas before the Hornets swooped in. Rose said: “I sold my house and I was ready to move abroad.
“I’d got my mind around moving abroad, then this came around and everything was wrapped up within four or five days.”
He went on to say: “I was over the moon, but gutted I sold my house!”
Perhaps the left-back’s slow start to life at Vicarage Road is due to this. If his mind was set on a move to a new country, he may not feel so rejuvenated by a transfer that saw him sign for a club in the same country, league, and only a short distance away.
Despite the close proximity of his current and former sides, the defender did also hint at some big differences between the clubs when it came to the tactical approach.
Speaking about Ranieri, he said: “He demands a lot of hard work. If you do that for him that’s half the battle.”
He then spoke about the mindset at Spurs.
“This is in no way disrespectful to Tottenham, but there’s this idea about ‘the Tottenham Way’ which is all-out attack whereas here, what we need is more discipline.”
For now, though, he is locked in battle with Adam Masina for the starting left-back position. Masina started the last game, and has been picked for seven Premier League games so far this season, while his teammate was chosen for six – the two were paired against Liverpool.
In fairness to Rose, he showed a positive approach to the competition he faces for regular game time at his new club.
He added: “I think it’s always healthy to have two good players in each position. All the lads have been great with me since I came in, very friendly, but Adam has been one of the most welcoming.
“Whenever I do something right, Adam’s the first person in training to give me a compliment.”
He later concluded: “He’s been absolutely amazing with me.”
It’s not been a perfect move as of yet, but with Masina pushing him – and as Rose gets used to life in Hertfordshire – perhaps the best is yet to come.