Ryan Mason has the potential to be the future Tottenham captain. After captaining the side against Fiorentina to great success, he has proven that he can step up and take the lead. From his loyalty to the club since 2007, to his determined and aggressive style of play and for love of the shirt, he has all the attributes to be Mauricio Pochettino’s future leader.
Captains often are the longest-serving, and hence most loyal, players at their club. Take Ledley King or Michael Dawson for example. These are players who wear the crest on their shirt with pride, striving to put all their sinew and heart into making their club successful.
At the age of 24, it is perhaps too early to admit Mason into the hall of fame. However, having already been at the club for nine years, he could well go on to play for another nine years. In this time, there are plenty of trophies to win, awards to receive and international call-ups to savour. Despite how early it is in his career, he has already shown his love and commitment to the club, not just in his goal celebrations, but in his overall style of play. It is clear even from the upper tiers of White Hart Lane that he is enjoying every moment of being a Tottenham player. A captain has to be in love with the club and to know what their club expects. Mason ticks all these boxes.
Sentimentality and the romanticisms of football aside, captains need to be good football players and to set the example for their team-mates to follow. Statistically, Mason hasn’t scored many goals, nor notched many assists, yet stats do not encapsulate the grit and the amount of dirty work he does. It isn’t pretty but the number of tackles, interceptions and blocks he makes are innumerable.
Hard work aside, he has scored some beautiful goals, like his debut goal against Nottingham Forest in 2014. He makes plenty of attacking and aggressive runs beyond the striker, where most recently he scored against Fiorentina on such a run. He also is a good distributor of the ball, often more direct than his team-mates and he can really shake a game up.
Although it appears like all he does is run, tackle and lay the ball off, he is much more than that. But, it is good to have a captain who covers just as many or more miles in a match as his team-mates. Players would be infected by his unrelenting energy and drive and this would spread throughout the team.
Despite all the reasons that Mason should be the next Tottenham captain, there are other players at the club who may contest his captaincy. Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane currently hold the positions and seem to be leading their team-mates to potentially lifting a trophy this season. It’s important that Lloris and Kane retain such important positions in the club because they are two of the best players in the squad. The best players have to lead the rest so that they can improve and play a standard above themselves.
Therefore, is there any need to change the captaincy? There isn’t, which means that Mason may need to patiently bide his time till he is called upon to lead the club again. But, it is important that Spurs have someone to call on in the future, and that man could be Ryan Mason.