If anyone has come out of the Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte eras at Tottenham Hotspur with an improved profile, it’s Ryan Mason. A former homegrown midfielder, Mason has risen from the academy coaching ranks and just completed his second stint as caretaker manager of his boyhood club. In the process he’s won the approval and respect of many senior players at the club and earned a lot of goodwill with the fans in the process.
Mason made no secret of the fact that he wanted to be considered for the head coaching position at Spurs, though everyone seemed to agree that he simply wasn’t ready for such a high profile job. Tottenham know they have a bright young future manager on their hands and are ready to offer him another assistant position under new head coach Ange Postecoglou.
However, Mason probably is ready for a head coaching position somewhere, likely down the pyramid, and according to Dan Kilpatrick in the Standard, Mason is now attracting some interest. There aren’t many details, but Kilpatrick notes that Mason has interest from a couple of teams in the Championship, as well as teams on the European continent. Mason is to talk to Daniel Levy over his future before deciding which path to take.
It’s not clear which Championship clubs would have an interest in Mason. Both Leeds and Leicester City are obvious candidates as both are licking their wounds after relegation and are facing substantial rebuilds in the 2nd tier. That said, both are also looking to bounce right back up and may be less willing to take a chance on an unproven manager.
Swansea City manager Russel Martin is considering bolting for Southampton which would leave an opening, and the Swans have been the proving ground for a number of managers over the years including Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers. There’s also usually a significant offseason managerial churn in the Championship.
Mason will get a head coaching chance somewhere, eventually. But he could also learn quite a lot spending another year under Postecoglou, absorbing his tactics and learning from them. Big Ange’s former assistants have themselves gone on to good things, including Kevin Muscat who succeeded Postecoglou twice as manager of Melbourne and Yokohama F Marinos, and successfully continuing what Big Ange started.
But no one would likely be surprised if Mason thinks that his career arc is currently at an inflection point and that he’d be best served by striking out on his own. It’s a risk, but one he’s probably earned the right to take.