There are a few things you can fault Danny Rose for after his tell-all interview that rocked Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday (10 August). The timing of it stinks for three reasons; Their Premier League begins in three days. He, the north London side and any potential buyers have just 21 days to iron out a transfer before the window closes. And Rose himself hasn't played for the club – or any football for that matter – since 30 January due to injury.
All of those will understandably leave a sour taste. But is difficult to fault the reasoning behind Rose's refreshingly honest comments with the club still to sign a player the day before the new Premier League season officially gets underway.
Rose's evolution under Mauricio Pochettino has made him the best left-back in the Premier League. Despite the knee injury that ended his season prematurely last January, his stock is at an all-time high. The same could be said for most of the Tottenham starting XI who, like Rose, will all be forgiven for casting envious glances at their colleagues at rival clubs earning in many cases twice as much as they do.
Eric Dier may have found himself in a similar position just a couple of weeks ago. Manchester United's first-choice target before Nemanja Matic was brought in to fill the role in midfield, the England international now looks set to remain at Wembley this season. But according to reports at the time, United were ready to double Dier's £70,000 per week salary with an offer that would comfortably surpass Tottenham's £100,000 cap – a sum which only Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris earn. Dier was said to be open to the move, with Spurs rejecting three bids for his services.
Toby Alderweireld is one of the few remaining players in the Spurs dressing room still to sign a new contract in the past 12 months. Like Rose, he stands as one of the best in his position in the league and while the Belgian has so far chosen to remain silent, he can be forgiven if he shares the same concerns.
Rose's criticisms centred on a desire to win trophies before "his time runs out" and Tottenham's penchant for looking at players "you have to Google," – a clear nod towards the club's reluctance to look at top-tier names. While not everyone will have eyes on a move north like the South Yorkshire-born full-back, many of Tottenham's star players will share those first two qualms. They may not choose to speak out like Rose has. But having seen the way Kyle Walker has got just what his heart desired by pushing for a move to Manchester City, the prospect of an exodus is becoming more realistic by the day.
Rose will be admonished by a cohort of Spurs fans for some of the reasons mentioned at the top of this article. But frustration with the club's rigid wage structure controlled by Daniel Levy has been boiling all summer – particularly with Arsenal, City and Liverpool all breaking their transfer records in preparation for the new season.
While so many of Tottenham's starting XI would appear to genuinely buy into what Levy and Pochettino are trying to build, it would be naïve of Spurs supporters to think that similar discussions like the one Rose had today haven't been had by other players behind closed doors.
'Project' and 'vision' have been the main buzz words coming out of Tottenham over the last 12 months. While there is the argument Tottenham have been wise not to spend big while their new stadium is being built, they appear to be failing to find a balance between Tottenham's grand vision for the future and remaining competitive in the present.
Rose's case may prove to be an isolated one this summer. But that won't be the case for long unless something changes.