Former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason has admitted he squared up to a few of the club’s senior players during Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge.
Pochettino took over in the summer of 2014 and was tasked with turfing out the players who were not willing to meet his requirements.
The Argentine is known for his focus on fitness – he immediately implemented double training sessions at Spurs to the dismay of some senior players.
Meanwhile, the likes of Nabil Bentaleb, Harry Kane and Mason – hungry youngsters from the academy – quickly began to thrive under Pochettino’s management.
And Mason, without naming names, admits he squared up to some of the “bad eggs” as a result of his determination to break into the first team.
“I was so desperate to play for Spurs. It helped because I had Harry and some other boys [with me]. In the first few weeks of preseason, there were a few lads not giving as much as they should. We called them out, we had arguments… I squared up to a few senior players.
“I think that’s why the fans now see connection with club and the players. And the gaffer coming in was part of that. You’ve got players now that actually care about the club and want to play. If you’re a new player, you can’t cut any corners. If you’re not putting work in you get called out.”
Mason was eventually sold to Hull City, where he retired earlier this year following a serious head injury.
He has since returned to Tottenham to work for his coaching badges – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back at the club on a full-time basis in the future.