We’re getting closer to Judgement Day. According to Gary Jacob in the Times, Tottenham Hotspur is currently negotiating exit compensation for Antonio Conte and six assistant coaches, and current Spurs assistant Ryan Mason is “on standby” to take over as interim manager for the final 10 matches of the season.
While the quoted phrase makes it sound like we’ve got Mason powered down and attached to some solar panels while his battery recharges, it’s the closest we’ve gotten to an actual COMMUNICADO OFICIAL from the club about Conte’s future.
According to Jacob, Mason would be left shorthanded with all of Conte’s assistants departing with him, but he’s likely to be helped out by his previous associate head coach Chris Powell, who recently left the England setup. Michel Vorm could also rejoin the club temporarily as interim goalkeeping coach. Jacob also suggests that former Spurs striker and current academy coach Jermain Defoe could be “temporarily promoted” to help Mason with first team coaching duties. Ledley King is expected to stay in his club ambassador role this time around.
Appointing Mason in his second stint as caretaker manager would give the club time to do a rigorous search for Conte’s full-time managerial replacement. Mason is well-known, liked, and respected among Tottenham’s players and stadium personnel. While he looked a little out of his depth the first time around, he’s had another two years of high level assistant duties under Conte and Cristian Stellini, who both regularly praised his abilities. Mason is tipped to one day be an excellent head coach somewhere, even if it’s not Spurs.
And Mason might also be part of the head coach search, should he do well as a caretaker. While he’d be a long-shot, he’s mentioned by many journalists as a possibility along with Brighton’s Roberto di Zerbi, Frankfurt’s Oliver Glasner, former Spain manager Luis Enrique, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, and Sporting’s Ruben Amorim. Oh, and that other guy — Mauricio... something or other.
Not long now. Ready the corner flag photo and prepare yourself for Ryan Mason 2: Electric Boogaloo!