To listen to some Spurs supporters, you would think that Ryan Mason is not just personally responsible for Tottenham’s poor finish to the season, but also global warming, the rise of ISIS and the continued failure to find a cure for cancer.
It’s true that Mason’s performances have not been good enough in recent games, but if it was just him underperforming we wouldn’t have lost 5-1 to a team that have just been relegated.
The truth is that Mason has not looked the same player since picking up an injury against Sunderland at the start of September. Mason was the best player on the pitch in that match and suffered a knee injury when scoring the winning goal.
From that moment on Mason’s season was interrupted by spells on the sidelines. Even when he did get fit the form of Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele restricted his chances of putting a run of games together.
There has also been talk on Spurs Community that Mason has been taking cortisone injections after picking up an ankle injury in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea earlier this season.
Mason’s career has long been hampered by injuries, which is one of the chief reasons that the 24-year old took so long to break through at the club. If that pattern continues, then he probably will struggle to find the form needed to be a useful member of Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.
Indeed, Pochettino may have already made up his mind to move him on. The Argentine clearly rates Mason, but he’s also been vocal about the squad needing to be improved over the summer.
Yet if Pochettino decides that Mason still has a part to play and Mason can get himself fit, there’s no reason to believe that he can’t hit new heights. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that Danny Rose was supposedly the sole reason for all of Spurs’ woes and he’s now in the England team.
Then there’s Dembele. He’s been superb this season, but in his previous three years at the club he struggled to find consistency and found himself behind Mason in the pecking order in 2014/15.
The success of Pochettino’s side has been built on the rapid improvement of players such as Rose, Dembele, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane, who had all been previously written off as failures by many of the club’s supporters. It’s curious then that there are still so many that refuse to believe that Mason and others who have had tough seasons, such as Nabil Bentaleb and Heung Min-Son, can make a similar leap.
Ultimately Pochettino will decide if Mason is up to standard required and his intentions should become clear over the coming weeks. Whatever the future may hold, a player that always gives his all and is one of our own, deserves better than the abuse that he is currently receiving from some so-called ‘Spurs fans’.