Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has recalled the day he first saw Ryan Mason sitting all gloomy in the gym and went on to quote that the doors are always open for him to take up a role at the club after he was forced to retire from the sport.
The Enfield-born midfielder was forced to retire from football on medical advice after he suffered a severe head injury in Hull City’s Premier League game against Chelsea back in January 2017. While defending a Chelsea corner, Mason clashed with defender Gary Cahill and suffered a fracture in his skull. The midfielder received treatment for around nine minutes on the Stamford Bridge pitch before being taken off on a stretcher for further treatment.
He was soon admitted to the St. Mary’s Hospital in London for a surgery and was released some eight days after. However, he has struggled on his way to recovery. Mason returned to the club training back in May 2017, but no official return date was released by Hull. On the last day of the previous year, the midfielder went on to post a photograph of his head injury and quoted, “it’s hard to put into words the year I have had.”
Mason started his career with Tottenham, joining the club’s academy at the tender age of eight. But with him being unable to get into the first-team action right away, he went on to spend as much as six loan tenures before establishing himself at Tottenham in 2014, the same year Pochettino was appointed as Spurs’ manager.
Recalling the incident where he first met Ryan, Pochettino, after Tottenham’s draw 2-2 at Juventus in their Champions League last-16 first leg, said that he first interacted with the midfielder at the airport and he absolutely started loving him soon after.
“I remember very well how we found him the first day; sitting in the gym, head down and so sad,” Pochettino said. “I asked Jesus [Perez] ‘who is this guy?’ And he said ‘Ryan Mason, who in the last five seasons has always been on loan and never played because he suffered a lot of injuries’.
“It was difficult for him in the beginning because he struggled to cope with the training sessions, because it was very tough. But then we travelled to the USA and I met him in the airport and, during 30 minutes, we shared, and I said after to Jesus ‘wow, I love Ryan’. I didn’t know if he played well or not but I loved him like a man.”
Speaking of Mason’s first performance under him, the Argentine said that he was technically perfect as he understood everything after only a few tactical training sessions.
“Then, in the first game we played against Seattle, he understood everything. After only a few tactical training sessions he was quick and he understood everything – the movement and the timing and the concept – that maybe for another player it takes a whole season, and I said ‘we have in front of us a very good player’.
“Always he is and will be a special player for me because he represent a little bit this change in all the processes when we arrived at Tottenham.”
Expressing his grief over Mason’s retirement, Pochettino hailed Mason for his amazing ‘football brain’ and went on to conclude that gates are always open for him because the club loves him and his family.
“Sure he was a very successful player, and sure he will be a very successful person in football, and everything that he is going to do. It is very sad news but it opens up a massive future (for him). He is 26 but he is an amazing person and has an amazing football brain.
“Of course the door is open to help him; myself, the coaching staff and the club, because we love him and all his family. In the last few days he was at the training ground. He was talking a lot with us, the coaching staff and (academy boss) John McDermott.
“Don’t worry Ryan because you are going to be a successful person in football outside of the pitch, no doubt about that.”
What a beautiful gesture by the gaffer.
Lamela stars: Player ratings from Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion
Glenn Murray handled the ball late in the first half which allowed Kane to score from the spot. The home team came at us with all they had in the second half and Paulo Gazzaniga pulled off a great save before Danny Rose crossed in for Lamela to slot in our second.
Anthony Knockaert pulled one back in stoppage time to make it a nervous last minute or so but we held on for all three points.
There were a few heroes on the pitch today and here are the player ratings from the game.
Paulo Gazzaniga – 6.5/10
The youngster did pretty well and made one good save to deny Knockaert. He couldn’t do much regarding the goal he conceded.
Kieran Trippier – 6/10
Trippier didn’t have the greatest time as he struggled a bit and even got a yellow card for a needless foul.
Toby Alderweireld – 7.5/10
The Belgian had a great chance to score early on and did a great job at keeping things tight for Spurs.
Jan Vertonghen – 7/10
Vertonghen didn’t have a lot to do at the back but he helped us to an important win in the final few minutes of the game.
Danny Rose – 7/10
Rose got the assist for the second goal but didn’t have the greatest of games for us. The Englishman should have done better for the goal we conceded.
Eric Dier – 5.5/10
This was another poor performance from the Englishman as he kept on making the wrong passes and losing possession.
Mousa Dembele – 7/10
The Belgian had a decent outing as his passing was good and kept things ticking for Spurs in the middle of the park.
Son Heung-min – 6/10
This was a quiet outing for the South Korean and he should have done more to help Spurs get all three points.
Christian Eriksen – 6/10
Another player who seemed to be out of touch was Eriksen. He must do a lot more if he is to keep his place in the team.
Lucas Moura – 6.5/10
The Brazilian tried to do things but they weren’t coming off. He did have a role in the second goal and was later subbed by Dele Alli.
Harry Kane – 6.5/10
Kane scored the penalty but couldn’t get another shot away as Brighton did well at keeping him quiet.
Erik Lamela – 7.5/10
The Argentine changed things as he provided an attacking outlet. He did well for the goal and maybe should start more games.
Dele Alli – N/A
The Englishman didn’t have a lot of time to make a difference to the game.
“We need this man in our team” – Some Spurs fans want 21-year-old Lyon midfield tank to join club
The French side played Manchester City and came out 2-1 winners at the Etihad. While Nabil Fekir starred in the attack, Ndombele was immense in the midfield and did his bit for Lyon.
The 21-year-old Frenchman has played five times for the Ligue 1 club this season and his performance in the Champions League caught the eye of a few Tottenham fans.
Spurs didn’t buy a single player in the offseason and have struggled in recent times, losing their last three games. Ndombele might not help us find the back of the net but he surely can keep the midfield from being overrun.
Some Spurs fans were quick to suggest we needed the 21-year-old while some were irate as to why we didn’t add to the midfield in the summer.
— Kev J. Stewart (@KevJStewart) September 19, 2018
Could’ve had him for €40m in the summer. Will cost a lot more if he has a good CL campaign.
— Ari (@AriHotspur) September 19, 2018
Ndombele showing tonight in the Champions League exactly the reason why Tottenham Hotspur should have looked to snap the midfielder up when we had the chance in the summer just passed us.
— Ricky Sacks 🎙 (@RickSpur) September 19, 2018
With bids like £3 million plus Josh Onomah we had no chance
— Harry C (@HazSpur92) September 19, 2018
Ndombele, fekir and depay would have been dream signings
— Daz (@the_life_of_daz) September 19, 2018
This conversation it really hurts Ricky. Its madness that we didnt add at least one midfielder. Ndombele would be perfect addition…
— Dimitris (@dimitriskan94) September 19, 2018
Not signing a CM seemed ridiculous given the physical issues of VW, HW and MD, and is already being proved so. Bloody infuriating.
— SalopianCOYS (@kanagawaben) September 19, 2018
“Can I sell mine back”, “God help us” – Some Tottenham fans are dreading facing this club at Wembley
Tottenham’s Twitter account certainly know how to rile up some of the fans. We just came off a third defeat in a row but the team decided to give an update on the tickets being sold out for the Barcelona game.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 19, 2018
We took the lead against Inter and should have wrapped up the three points by managing the game in the final few minutes. Instead, Tottenham allowed the Italians a chance back in the game, thanks to a wonder goal from Mauro Icardi. Subsequently, the players fell asleep defending a corner in the last seconds of the match.
The Catalans will face Spurs at Wembley on 3rd October but we first need to get our season back on track.
Losses against Watford and Liverpool have pushed us six points behind the leaders in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Inter Milan, Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven don’t make for easy reading in our Champions League group.
Our next game is against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League but some of our fans weren’t confident of a quality showing when the Catalans pay a visit.
— John_Wick (@JohnWic53445461) September 19, 2018
We, the supporters, will always be proud of the club. All we ask for in return is a performance we can be proud of aswell. #COYS
— Lilywhite Spurs (@Lilywhite_Spurs) September 19, 2018
Prediction : Tottenham 0-7 Barcelona
— Sam schulz (@senopatiDM) September 19, 2018
A VERY DIFFICULT MATCH FOR SPURS
— Enjoy your life (@english4alu) September 19, 2018
biggest ever attendance to watch an english team get beat in europe, looking forward to it!
— dan (@danceinastorms) September 19, 2018
Messi, Suarez, Dembele & Co. will have a field day against us if we continue to be as timid as we have been.
— Liam (@FathersCountToo) September 19, 2018
Let’s make sure there are 2 balls available; the match ball for Barcelona and one for spurs to have a few touches with🙏
— Darren Gough (@dgyido) September 19, 2018
Scared about how many goals Barca are going to score 😭
— PerkyG (@perkyg) September 19, 2018
No more technical decisions please.
— Ian (@EyeSea71) September 19, 2018
Can I sell mine back after last night
— James Caulfield ✌️ (@jrcaulf) September 19, 2018
God help us!
— Graham Ellis (@gramellis) September 19, 2018
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