Tottenham defender Danny Rose has offered an insight into life at the club that could shed some light on why star centre-back Toby Alderweireld was snubbed for selection against Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus.
The Belgium international diagnosed himself fit for selection following a three month lay off but Mauricio Pochettino continued to omit Alderweireld from the matchday squad - something fans put down to stalling contract negotiations.
However, Rose has since claimed - following his own return from injury - that simply being 'match fit' isn't enough to be selected at Tottenham.
"I felt I’d started to hit good form before the Southampton setback, then I had to spend a month in the gym to get stronger again," Rose said in a matchday programme - quoted by Football London. "It’s great to be back again of course, but I need to build up my match fitness.
Danny Rose is going to start tomorrow against Juventus. I am sure.— Daniel. (@Danderweireld) March 6, 2018
"I’d say I’m probably match fit for any other team in the league, but still not quite where I need to be and where I’d like to be for this team. Being match fit isn’t good enough here, you have to be exceptionally fit for the way we like to play and I was close to that before my last setback."
Rose's comments are a clear indication of what Pochettino demands from his team, and a recovering Alderweireld - who is arguably the best defender in the Premier League - didn't meet the requirements that Spurs' manager sets.