Spurs interim boss Mason backs Kane criticisms of club culture

AFP , Friday 12 May 2023

Tottenham interim manager Ryan Mason believes Harry Kane is right to question the club's culture change since Mauricio Pochettino was sacked.

Harry kane
Tottenham Hotspur s English striker Harry Kane reacts at the end of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on May 6, 2023. Photo: AFP


Pochettino led Tottenham to the 2019 Champions League final and lifted them to top-four finishes in four successive seasons.

But the Argentine was axed by chairman Daniel Levy following a poor start to the 2019/20 campaign.

England captain Kane, Tottenham's all-time record goalscorer, has said Pochettino's departure triggered a decline in the club's values, leading to their current predicament at the end of a dismal season.

The north Londoners sit sixth in the Premier League, six points adrift of the top four with three games left, and look certain to miss out on a place in the Champions League.

"We had a really good mixture of young and experienced players (under Pochettino)," Kane said recently.

"I feel like there were some values at that time and some culture that really made us achieve the things we did. Maybe we've lost parts of that over the last few years."

Underlining Kane's point about the club's decline, Mason is Tottenham's third manager this season after Antonio Conte's departure by mutual consent and the sacking of his caretaker replacement, Cristian Stellini.

"Yep, absolutely I am fully with him on that, 100 percent," Mason told reporters on Friday when asked about Kane's comments.

"We can talk a lot about players, but I think the environment, culture, it's everyone, everything, the small details. It has to be driven from within.

"I'm happy he has said it because he is one of the people I want to drive it. He is important to us, in terms of his stature at this club, but also his understanding that there's many people that can contribute as well."

Tottenham travel to Aston Villa on Saturday knowing victory will virtually secure them a place in the unglamourous Europa Conference League next season.

It is a far cry from the heady days of the Pochettino era, even if he failed to end a trophy drought dating back to 2008.

Spurs have been strongly linked with a move for former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, but he reportedly wants assurances about the amount of control he will have over the club's transfer policy.

Whoever takes over will have a big job to get Tottenham back on track, as Mason was quick to acknowledge.

"You can spend years trying to build something but at the same time it doesn't take long to lose it," Mason said.

"It is important, it's vital and it's crucial that everyone who comes in here is pulling in the same direction and wants the same things."

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