Ange Postecoglou’s official appointment as the next Tottenham manager has cast a shadow over Ryan Mason’s future at the club, leaving him with a crucial career decision.
Mason stepped up when his club needed him the most.
He stepped up twice in successive seasons, taking on the interim head coach role when Jose Mourinho was ushered out of Hotspur Way, followed by Antonio Conte and Cristian Stellini’s exit.
Mason did an admirable job under tenuous, tumultuous circumstances. In both instances, he took the helm of a disheveled and forlorn side.
Thanks to the steadfast relationship Mason has built over the years with Tottenham’s players and staff, Mason made the best of dreadful situations.
Unfortunately, Mason didn’t make enough impact to be appointed permanent manager. The cards, however, were stacked decisively against the former Spurs player.
The odds were not forever in his favour. (Sorry for the Hunger Games reference.)
While the 31-year-old is Tottenham through and through, he has an unenviable decision to make.
It would be easy for Mason to perceive Postecoglou’s appointment as yet another snub from Daniel Levy and the board.
Mason took two for the team. But Levy never intended to return the favor and give Mason want he has always wanted, to manage Tottenham permanently.
On this subject, you can’t blame Levy. Mason isn’t quite ready for the job. He will be, but not quite yet.
Which begs the question: Will Mason be able to swallow his pride and work as an assistant under yet another permanent appointee?
The Standard reports that Mason will be offered a spot on Postecoglou’s coaching staff. Whether Mason excepts is another matter entirely.
The argument can go both ways. He’ll most likely learn a ton under Postecoglou, who, from what various sources say, has a brilliant football mind.
Given Postecoglou’s reluctance to get too close or friendly with players, the assistant role would allow Mason to be the conduit, reinforcing his pivotal interpersonal role with individuals on the team.
But Mason has been there, done that.
And it might be time for him to embark on a new challenge. While losing one of the club’s most loyal servants would be a shame, it feels like a natural progression for the 31-year-old.
If he leaves, everyone at Spurs will want to see him climb to unparalleled heights. He deserves it for being there in Tottenham’s darkest hours.