Daniel Levy’s contrived plan to sack José Mourinho six days before the Carabao Cup final will turn out to be a masterstroke, as Tottenham look to upend Manchester City on Sunday.
By sacking Mourinho, Levy has put the onus on the players, entrusting them to rise to the occasion against the runaway Premier League leaders. It’s a high-stakes plan that has every chance of working.
The Ryan Mason effect
Ryan Mason, with Mourinho escorted to the closest exit at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, has been provided the opportunity of a lifetime.
Out with the old, in with the new.
Let’s not get caught up on the interim part of his title. He is, in every meaningful way, Tottenham’s gaffer.
A likeable and affable character, Mason, as a former teammate of a number of Spurs’ current crew, has earned the lads’ unswerving trust and respect. At just 29 years old, he reminds one of a player-manager, somebody who understands acutely what motivates the current generation of professional footballers. He knows what makes his pupils tick and how to relate to them.
Those commonalities, along with the player’s desire to provide a dream start for Mason’s Premier League managerial career, will prove decisive.
Oftentimes you see an incredible response when a new manager takes over at a club. Players usually have something to prove, yearning to make an unforgettable positive impression on the new gaffer.
While this isn’t a prototypical changing of the guard, the players will want to perform for their new manager, more so out of respect and admiration for what Mason, just by being named Spurs manager, has accomplished.