Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists he is happy that Danny Rose was angry at being left out of the north London derby but has played down talk of further tension with the unsettled left-back.
Rose, who was forced to apologise six months ago after criticising the club’s strategy, has been a peripheral figure this season and admitted this week that he was “fuming” to remain omitted for Saturday’s trip to Arsenal, which the Gunners won 2-0.
Pochettino said Rose had not shown his ire in fact-to-face discussions but welcomed the England defender’s appetite to play – however it is manifested.
“When you take a decision about your starting XI and the 18 players in the squad the players who are not involved are not happy. That is normal,” said Pochettino, who recalled Rose for Wednesday’s Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund.
“But I am happy. His performance [at Dortmund] was good and nothing to complain about his behaviour. He never showed that feeling to me. That is why I was surprised.
“The day before [Arsenal] we had a conversation and he never showed me that he was angry. Of course disappointed, because all the players want to be involved, but I understand that after he was angry, like another player who doesn’t play.
“I like when a player feels that emotion because it looks that they are interested in helping the team and they want to play.”
Rose, 27, remains linked with a January departure, with Manchester United thought to be interested in a possible swap deal involving Luke Shaw, and Pochettino did not rule a transfer.
“This is not the moment to talk about that,” the Spurs boss added. “All players have contracts with us, involved in our project. You cannot guess what is going to happen in the future.”
Attacking midfielder Erik Lamela could make his first appearance for more than a year when Tottenham host West Brom at Wembley in the Premier League on Saturday.
Lamela has been sidelined for 13 months with a hip injury but played for Spurs Under-23s last week and is now in contention for a first-team return.
“We are waiting because now it is on him,” said Pochettino. “It is up to him to get the right feeling to say: ‘I am here, I am available if you want, gaffer.’
“That is now all that we are waiting for. He is training, doing well and now, after one year, it is about how he is feeling.”