Tottenham Hotspur finally welcomes some fans back for the home finale and penultimate game of the 2020-21 season versus Aston Villa. Here are the XI we believe Ryan Mason will start in another must-win if Tottenham is to reach Europa League.
Mason creating consistency at Tottenham
Mauricio Pochettino was renowned for never using the same line-up in back-to-back matches. This was a trend that continued under Jose Mourinho. Although both coaches did it for different reasons, both Pochettino and Mourinho varied their line-ups and even formations.
For Pochettino the constantly revolving line-up was more a reflection of the competition he was trying to instill in the club. It was actually when he started to shy away from letting the hot players play with folks like Dele Alli or an injured Harry Kane, that he started to lose his dressing room.
For Jose Mourinho, the changes in the line-up from game to game and match to match were more about matching up against the other team. In his quest to field the team he felt was most likely to win the match, Mourinho consistently changed players, formations, and even positions of his men.
Alternatively, Ryan Mason has coached five matches at Tottenham Hotspur and has used mostly the same line-up for four of them. With the exception of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City where Tottenham played a very conservative 4-3-3, Mason has used a 4-2-3-1 with little change in personnel match to match.
If you look at Mason’s first match in charge against Southampton versus his most recent team-facing Wolves, there are only a few changes. Giovani Lo Celso, who started in the #10 role against Southampton has dropped to a deeper position next to Pierre Højbjerg. That move displaced Tanguy Ndombele and reintroduced Dele Alli into the team, with the latter moving into the #10 role.
The only other change in the line-up was Japhet Tanganga subbing in for Serge Aurier this past weekend, with the Ivory Coast captain, reportedly injured. Other than the Tanganga move the other 10 players have been the same 10 players for three straight games. While we do envision some minor tweaks for the last home game in front of fans, for the most part, we should expect a consistent XI.