Harry Kane is buzzing. This is important, as there has been very little of that from Kane over the past few months. Oh sure, he’s played well — he’s having a career year, in fact despite the team regressing overall under the now departed Jose Mourinho. But buzzing? Well, there’s been a distinct absence of buzz. What’s the opposite of buzzing? It’s been that.
Well, the buzz is back. Kane is questionable after injuring his ankle in extra time of Spurs’ 2-2 draw at Everton last weekend, the match that got his gaffer sacked, but while his new boss and academy bestie Ryan Mason may be hedging his bets about Kane’s availability for this weekend’s Carabao Cup final, Kane’s certainly happy that Mason is in charge.
“It’s given everyone a buzz going into the cup final. Me and Ryan are good mates, we’ve known each other a long time. I’m buzzing for him to have this opportunity and to have the experience to manage one of the best clubs in the world.”
There’s that word again. God, I’ve missed it.
Kane has not yet returned to full team training ahead of Sunday’s match against Manchester City, but was photographed working on his own at Hotspur Way Training Centre with a giant bungee cord, testing the limits of the ankle he rolled less than a week ago.
Mason, having clearly already learned a thing or two from other Premier League managers on how to handle a press conference, was a lot cagier about Kane’s chances of playing the match when asked when Kane would return.
“We’re not sure yet. He didn’t train with the team today but we’ll have more of an idea tomorrow to see if we can get him back on the pitch.
“I’m not really sure. It’s a case of taking it hour by hour now. So the days are obviously running out. It’s a case of seeing how he feels in the next four hours, the next six hours, and go from there. I can’t really answer that question until tomorrow. Everyone isn’t sure.”
Seriously, Ryan, that’s not a very buzz-worthy quote. What about the risks from potentially bringing Kane back too early?
Potentially rushing an injured Kane back to displace Lucas in a massive cup final? That's never backfired before. https://t.co/b1sMnKyTJT— Cartilage FreeMason (@cartilagefree) April 23, 2021
“I think it was completely different, because Harry had a very long time out injured before the Champions League final. Like I say, I don’t know if Harry is going to be available for training tomorrow, let alone the game on Sunday. But, if he is, then it’s a quick turnaround. A week without training is not a problem for someone in Harry’s condition. But I think we are going to have to assess it later tonight, early on tomorrow morning, and see if we can get him onto the pitch.
“Harry is a top professional. We’re taking it hour by hour, seeing how he feels. What we are not going to do and what Harry is not going to do is put his body on the line if he does not think it is suitable.. We are never going to put Harry in that position, absolutely not. We will see how he is tomorrow and we can make a decision from there.
Mason’s press interactions have drawn a sharp contrast with that of Jose Mourinho, coming out with fan-servicey quotes that sound like something straight out of the Mauricio Pochettino Manual for Press Interaction. That’s probably not a surprise; Mason practically learned at the feet of Pochettino, and considering the love and devotion he has for Tottenham Hotspur, some Poch-ian language is probably all to be expected, especially with a major opportunity for silverware coming up.
“There’s no doubt Wednesday night was massive, just for the whole energy around the club, the players, the feeling, it’s important you go into a massive game like we have on Sunday feeling good. And I think the manner in which we won the match Wednesday night. It was a good feeling, the lads felt confident, they felt comfortable, and hopefully that momentum can build into the weekend.
“No, listen, this is about Tottenham, this is about the football club, this is about the group of players, our fans, everyone. This isn’t about me, my ego, me going up against Pep. This is Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City. I’m sure we’ll be doing all we can to get the better of them, and likewise they’ll be doing the same for us. But it’s a cup final, we’ve seen over the years, one-off games, anything can happen. We’ll go there believing, with confidence, that hopefully it will go our way Sunday.”
There’s a lot more from Mason on the upcoming match, his personal coaching philosophy, and his transition to manager of Tottenham Hotspur in the full press conference below.