Rose: Outstanding Thompson meant no way past into Portsmouth side

Danny Rose regards Ben Thompson as the finest midfielder he has seen below the Championship.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:07 pm
Danny Rose has high regard for ex-Pompey loanee Ben Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

And he accepts there was no budging the talented Millwall man in his own drive for first-team recognition.

Thompson arrived in August to strengthen a midfield area which included summer recruit Tom Naylor.

The 23-year-old subsequently became Pompey’s most outstanding loan signings outside the Premier League years.

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Danny Rose has high regard for ex-Pompey loanee Ben Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the player also provided Rose with an immovable blockade in terms of Kenny Jackett’s first-team plans.

He said: ‘Managers like to give their own signings a chance. I look at Ben Thompson and he was an incredible player.

‘He’s probably the best midfielder I have seen at this level for a long time.

‘I knew I wasn’t going to get ahead of him because of how good he was. Whether I got ahead of (Tom) Naylor is a story for another day, I guess.

‘But I have never seen a midfielder play the way Ben does.There aren’t many midfield players that can go past people the way he can.

‘He has a 10-yard burst of acceleration which is so rare for central midfield players, like a winger playing in the centre of park.

‘Ben’s a terrific lad, such a good lad, who straight away fitted in really well with the dressing room.

‘He’s going to be missed, not only for his character off the pitch but more so on it. You can see already how influential he was on the pitch.’

Pompey represented a fifth promotion for Rose, joining achievements at Newport County, Fleetwood, Oxford United and Northampton.

And he reflects on that pivotal 1-0 home defeat to Crewe in March 2017 which galvanised Paul Cook’s side so impressively.

Rose added: ‘We had the right characters in the changing room to handle the pressure. When we had to deliver, we did – only certain types of character can do that.

‘Crewe was the catalyst, we were at the crossroads, it was going to happen or it wasn’t. Something special had to start there and then, with a trip to Crawley next.

‘But Cookie had recruited the right characters. If everything is done for the players and they don’t assume much responsibility for performances or discipline, then potentially standards can slip.

‘However, we knew we were the ones that had to get ourselves out of it. It was do or die at that point.

‘Then came Crawley, with that song born out of nowhere – “We’re on our way”.

‘My favourite match was the 4-0 win over Grimsby at Fratton Park two games later. We were 4-0 up after 47 minutes and pretty relentless, keeping the ball for ages, with the crowd electric and singing that song.

‘In that situation, even in the heat of the battle in the middle of the game, you can take stock a little bit and have a moment to realise where you actually are.

‘Games go in a flash and sometimes you don’t remember them. But I recall thinking “This is ridiculous, incredible”, just trying to savour the moment. That was special.’