COMMENT By Richard Parks
Football fans can be unmerciful on social media at the best of times, when every error, mini-mistake or slight cock-up is lambasted in keyboard-slamming fashion.
Danny Rose was at the centre of the ire of Tottenham fans following his performance against Bournemouth on Sunday.
Spurs overcame a shaky start to emerge comfortable 4-1 victors and Rose had a poor game in what was his first Premier League appearance since Boxing Day.
With Ben Davies rested from the squad due to what Mauricio Pochettino termed “general fatigue”, his left-back rival was given a rare chance in a non cup tie but struggled to deliver the kind of performance that would have persuaded the manager to alter his pecking order for the position.
Tottenham fans reflected on Twitter afterwards that the 27-year-old is a shadow of the dynamic player who roared up and down left flank 18 months ago.
Others went further and claimed he was finished at Spurs.
On the face of it, that seems ridiculous, but, actually, it is not.
Manchester United have been strongly linked, by the Daily Mail among others, with trying to sign Rose for a fee of up to £50million in the last 12 months and are expected to pursue him this summer.
Spurs don’t have the finances to fend off such a windfall for a player who can’t get in their team most of the time.
Rose has made just 12 appearances this season, partly due to his knee problems and partly due to his form issues.
The plain-speaking Leeds academy product admitted his fitness is also not at the level needed for Pochettino’s high tempo side.
With just eight league matches of the campaign remaining, and the FA Cup taking on extra significance following Spurs’ elimination from the Champions League – they face Swansea City in a quarter-final next weekend – it is highly possible Rose has played his last game for the club.
Pochettino doesn’t tend to take off Davies during matches and, with a less congested schedule with which to contend, is likely to now select his strongest available XI for every fixture.
Rose could finish his Spurs career sat on the sidelines as the possibility grows that he may never play for the club again.
In other Tottenham news, Mauricio Pochettino has been at the centre of a huge Spurs dressing room bust-up.