Ryan Mason was the Tottenham Hotspur golden boy last week, playing great in the Capital One Cup and scoring a goal, then earning a start against Arsenal, against whom he turned in a solid performance. Not bad for a 23-yard-old academy product who many thought had just never developed enough to earn a place in the first team and wouldn't cut it in the Premier League.
Mason was seemingly out of Tottenham's plans. Players who come through the academy, but can't get a real look by the age of 23 don't normally hang around. They move on to a new club, and Mason may have done that before this year, but Mauricio Pochettino played a big role in keeping him at Spurs.
Obviously there have been times when I have questioned whether I would have to move away.
I've had a few opportunities to leave, but I wanted to play for Spurs so bad that I never really wanted to think about leaving.
I wanted to stay and give it a go and see what happened. Like I said, the change in manager helped me.
If previous managers were still in charge, maybe I wouldn't be here.
This may prove to be the best thing Pochettino has done so far in his time at Spurs. It's only been one week, and two matches, but Mason had a phenomenal showing. Put aside his goal, because Tottenham can't realistically depend on 25-yard belters with any consistency, his passing has been tremendous. Whether it's being tidy in smaller player or playing great early balls to start the attack, he's made a huge impact in the last two matches just through his passes.
Thank heavens Pochettino kept him around.