It’s been a while since Spurs fans have felt good after a Tottenham Hotspur match. Spurs, under new interim manager Ryan Mason, looked a little disjointed in the first half but came roaring back in the second 45, scoring two goals en route to a come from behind 2-1 win over Saints.
I can’t take credit for today’s theme — it was an excellent suggestion from commentariat member Ossiemandias in the comments of a recent article that inspired this, and it’s topical!
In honor of Spurs’ new manager, here are your player ratings for their win over Southampton to the theme of Masons, real and disambiguated.
5 stars: Jars
Basic, utilitarian, but utterly versatile, there are no better jars than Mason jars. Yes, you can use them for canning, but they also make great general storage containers. Throw a sippy-cup lid on them and they’re perfect on-the-go reusable drinking vessels too. Heck, my family uses Mason jars as general water glasses for daily dinners, too. And if you break one — who cares? You can get a 12 pack of 16 oz wide mouth jars for less than $10. What a bargain. No wonder Daniel Levy appointed a Mason.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.5): Hugo didn’t have to make many saves, but when he did he was up to the challenge, especially in his outstanding double-stop within the first three minutes. Spurs looked shaky in the first half, and Hugo’s ability kept them in the game and gave them a chance to make the comeback.
4.5 stars: Actual stonemasons
You want an unglamorous job that has roots that go back a millennium? Try working with rocks all day every day. There are stonemasons that exist today but not nearly as many when buildings are constructed out of steel and other materials. Even so, there should always be a place in society for people who know how to carve a functional or decorative item out of a block of limestone, or literally hew building materials out of the ground. Stonemasons rock, pun very much intended.
This is just an extra category because I wanted to include it.
4 stars: Mason Williams
The dude wrote Classical Gas, and even 53 years later this song SLAPS.
Ryan Mason (Community — 4.5): It was far from a perfect debut, but considering Mason had all of two days to devise a plan for Soton that wasn’t just “do what Jose said,” he did a pretty great job. Spurs came out looking far different than what we’ve come to expect under Mourinho — playing out of the back, pressing, short progressive passes through midfield. It wasn’t perfect, but you could see the way Mason wanted them to play, and over time the team got more and more comfortable with the idea.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 3.5): It’s actually criminal how we’ve wasted what’s probably Toby’s final season at anything close to peak form at Tottenham Hotspur. I thought he was great against Saints.
Gareth Bale (Community — 4.0): Gareth’s probably never going to be a 90-minute guy again, but he’s as fit as he’ll get this season and still has the quality to make a huge difference. Not many players in world football can score the goal he scored against Southampton.
Sergio Reguilon (Community — 4.0): Still weirdly deficient at times on the defensive end but looked much, much brighter going forward. Could’ve been higher had Son’s first goal not been ruled out by VAR.
3.5 stars: Charles Mason
An 18th century English astronomer, everybody knows Charles Mason but they don’t know that they know him — he, along with Jeremiah Dixon, was primarily responsible for charting what is now known as the Mason-Dixon Line in the United States. Above — a song about both of them, sung by Mark Knopfler and James Taylor.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4.0): Stepped up in Kane’s absence to bury the winning penalty kick and had a lovely team goal ruled out because Lucas couldn’t get his bald head out of the way. However, he looked like garbage in the first half.
Eric Dier (Community — 3.5): I have been quietly convinced for a while now that Dier isn’t as awful as he’s been showing lately. Southampton aren’t a good team, but it’s amazing what a new manager and a jolt of confidence and belief can do. He looked solid.
3 stars: Anthony Mason
A fifteen year pro in the NBA, Anthony Mason had a solid career as a journeyman defensively oriented player in the 90s. He earned his way into the league after being drafted and then cut by the Blazers, playing in Turkey and Venezuela as well as the CBA and USBL before Pat Riley took a chance on him with the Knicks. He blossomed in New York, making a name for himself as a glue-guy and sixth man. Tragically died of a heart attack in 2015 at age 48.
Pierre Hojbjerg (Community — 3.5): Still not at his best, and maybe won’t be without an extended rest, but did a workman like job in midfield.
Serge Aurier (Community — 3.0): I really don’t have a strong opinion about Serge’s performance in this match. Strangely didn’t get forward as much as I was expecting, got beat on the set piece for Soton’s goal. Otherwise he was ok on balance?
Harry Winks (Community — 3.0): I didn’t agree with Mason’s subbing on Winks for Ndombele, but Winksy was... fine? Only had six passes but at least one was progressive and didn’t make me scream at him for his positional absence. Credit where due, I guess. Please don’t start him in the cup final.
2.5 stars: Mason Plumlee
I should probably like this guy because he’s from Fort Wayne, about 45 minutes from my house. I’m sure he’s a lovely man. OTOH, hear me out: Duck Fuke.
Gio Lo Celso (Community — 3.0): Gio showed pretty well for the ball in this match, and thought he was unfairly substituted (though it may have been for fitness purposes). Had the hockey assist for the ruled out Son goal too, but frustrating with his decisions a lot of the time. I still attribute much of this to rust. Consider this a 2.74 rating, rounded down.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 3.0): Not one of Tanguy’s better games. Looked slow to the ball (along with everyone else) in the first half, though I wish he had been given more time in the second half once the team in general started playing better.
2 stars: George Washington
George Washington may be on our dollar bill, but he was also a freemason, a rich white land owner which colored his support for independence, a mediocre general who started the French & Indian War, and he also owned slaves. Thanks for starting the country, though.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.0): It’s unfair for any player to try and fully fill the void left behind by Harry Kane, but Lucas didn’t come close as a false nine. Got in the way of Sonny’s goal that was disallowed by VAR, stole away a gorgeous cross to Son later from Bale by trying to jump and head it in, and was generally ineffective going forward.
1 star: Mason Mount
It’s not like this wasn’t the expected one-star category. This is a Tottenham blog.
No Tottenham players were as bad as Mason Mount.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Erik Lamela, Steven Bergwijn