An article on HITC sport website has focused on how Ryan Mason, statistically, outperformed David Silva in last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at the Etihad. The article showed figures detailing; touches, forward passes, accurate passes, tackles and ground duels won, as well as interceptions – all departments in which our number 38 trumped the Spaniard in. ‘Lies, damned lies and statistics’ – I hear you say, or that Silva undoubtedly had the better day, as his side ran out as comprehensive victors after 90 minutes. Whether it was simply a bad day at the office for the Manchester City magician, or just another solid performance from Mason himself, for a man making only his third start in the league, albeit away to the champions, is a remarkable testament to Mason as a footballer. Since the departure of Luka Modric in August 2012, player after player has been tried and tested in the centre of midfield at Spurs. The most prominent aspect that stood out from the reign of AVB, was our slow build-up play and inability to quickly to go from defence to attack in one swift transition. The outcome? Wins by the odd goal, and fan dissatisfaction regarding the ‘unattractive’ football on display. This Achilles heel of Spurs was there for all to see in AVB’s short-lived second season. Unsurprisingly, the British press had it down as a ‘Tottenham turmoil’ without Gareth Bale, when in fact, the damage had been done a year earlier. It was Bale’s sheer brilliance in the 2012-13 season, that painted over the cracks left by Modric’s departure. If Bale was Spurs’ leading superstar, then Luka was our glamorous Hollywood director. It was then no surprise that we were linked with Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin, after Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival. The Southampton player has the capability of getting his side moving from attack to defence as quickly as possible – somewhat reminiscent of the Croatian. As Southampton stood firm in the summer window, a Scheirderlin-less Spurs meant a jigsaw piece missing in the Pochettino puzzle. And who could have imagined that Mason would be this integral piece that would connect our attack and defence? The 23-year-old has started three PL games this season, although caution would ask us to judge the player after 30. However, what attracts us to Mason, is his intensity and urgency both in and out possession. He looks to get up and support our front three and has a knack of neatly combining tidy passing with bite in the tackle. At 23, and after having numerous loan spells since his debut in 2008, you could argue that Mason has been allowed to ‘ripen’ as a footballer. While John Bostock was labelled the ‘new Gascoigne’ and Alex Pritchard supposedly coveted by Barca and Real, Mason has been quietly applying his trade in the lower leagues of the English game. Mason has been allowed to find his footballing feet without a premature label from the British press, such as the one suffered by Jack Wilshere. Similarly, the midfielder hasn’t been subject to an ‘upward move’ or been the victim of a hefty transfer fee attributed to young English players such as Young, Rodwell and Adam Johnson. You could say that Mason has been unluckily lucky! At 23, he has entered the Spurs’ XI confident in his own ability, with no pride or reputation to lose. On the contrary, he has it all to gain. So what else can Mason offer Spurs? Goals, eventually. His goal against Nottingham Forest in the cup was no fluke, as he scored six goals on loan at Yeovil, five on loan at Swindon, and topped the academy scoring charts in 2009, with 29 goals in 31 games. Today, Mason told the London Evening Standard: “I had offers to move on and I kept going out on loan. But all along I wanted to play at Spurs. “I always believed I was good enough. If I hadn’t believed that, I would have left.” So without wanting to heap too much pressure on Ryan Mason so early into his Tottenham career, he is the man, I feel, that can spark the Spurs midfield back into life.