It must suck to be Harry Edward Kane. The poor lad scores a brace, including a brilliant goal in which he rounded the keeper and yet he was outshone by a fellow academy product, Ryan Mason. Mason has, particularly in the last handful of games, shown all the elements of being Tottenham's next great midfielder, a Luka Modric produced by our own academy, and all those attributes were on display against Queen's Park Rangers.
In a way, I feel bad for Mason. Kane has been stealing the headlines all season, but it's been Mason who has made Tottenham click. He carried Spurs' midfield while Nabil Bentaleb was off on a tour of North Africa and since the Algerian's return, it has been Mason's hard tackling and superb work ethic that have enabled Bentaleb to look like a superstar in the making.
Sure, Mason has caught some flack this season. Particularly from writers on this site. Some of that criticism may have been justified, but I think there's no ignoring the fact that Mason is now emerging as one of England's better midfielders. The pass to spring Kane for the goal, complete with forearm shielding his eyes from the bright English sun, was the most gorgeous through ball a Tottenham player has played all season. This match, along with the Swansea match before it, have been the culmination of Mason's efforts this season. He has been at the height of his powers in the last two matches and there's no evidence to suggest that his form won't continue.
For the stat nerds among you, Mason ticked a ton of boxes. He had an assist (which was also a key pass), completed 86% of his passes (second highest on the team), and had seven tackles (most of any player in the match). To top all that off, he nearly came to blows with amateur kickboxer turned midfielder Karl Henry. What a bout that might have been, eh? Sure, QPR, like Swansea before them, ceded a lot of ground to Tottenham in midfield, but Sandro is still a very good midfielder, as evidenced by his goal, and even he was made to look like a Championship player by Mason.
Those calling for Spurs to buy a player like Morgan Schneiderlin or Moussa Sissoko will be hard pressed to justify their position now. Mason is just as good as those players and, at 23, he still has a lot of improving to do. The sky is the limit for Mason, especially when you consider that this is his first real season playing deeper in midfield.
In summation, Mason was amazing and, as Mason goes, so go Tottenham Hotspur. Kane can take the plaudits and the goals, but I think we all know that Mason is just happy to put in a shift and gather three points. It's that sort of work ethic that Spurs need more of, and, let's be honest, Mason works hard enough for four men. His style might not be appreciated by everyone, but take a look at those late runs into the box, the range he displays patrolling the midfield, and his incisive passing and it's clear that Mason's technical skills (not to mention his tattoo game) are a cut above Tottenham's other midfield options.