Tottenham fans believe former midfielder and interim manager Ryan Mason may have aimed an indirect dig at Tottenham’s current midfielders with his recent social media post explaining the role of what a central midfielder should be doing week in week out.
Mason, 30, was known to be an adventurous midfielder with his weaving runs from his own half that sometimes led to the opposition box, and his well-remembered goal for the Lillywhites against Sunderland in 2015 demonstrated his tenacity in that area.
Fast forward to 2021, despite a great start to the season in all areas of the pitch for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, their initial bubble of optimism was popped as south Londoners Crystal Palace trampled all over a lacklustre and lethargic Spurs outfit last weekend.
Consequently, this performance at Selhurst Park has prompted calls for youngster Alfie Devine to start on Thursday night in the Europa Conference League group game against Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.
Devine scored twice in his most recent encounter in Premier League 2 against Liverpool, illustrating his attacking prowess and danger that isn’t really associated with the aforementioned duo of Skipp and Winks.
The former of the pair came under scrutiny not only from the fans on social media but also from BT Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas, who pinpointed the ex-Norwich City loanee as the weakest link in the midfield three against Patrick Vieira’s Palace.
“I think he’s got to make changes, the diamond’s not working,” Jenas insisted during his half-time analysis.
“They’re getting far too much joy in there. To me, Oliver Skipp doesn’t look fit in that midfield, he hasn’t got that bite to his game that he’s usually got.
“He’s not had a kick, more worrying for me is the lack of influence he’s had on the team, not seen him scream at the team, not seen him take too many hits. He seems pretty subdued, maybe it’s just what he’s working with, if Tottenham want anything out the game they need him to come to life.”
Mason has now added to the debate by giving his verdict on what he believes midfielders at Tottenham – and in the rest of the Premier League – need to do in order to establish themselves as top players.
In his most recent tweet, he quote retweeted his favourite goal, which was that aforementioned Sunderland one at the Stadium of Light, and highlighted to “play forward and run forward” in a clear five-word verdict.
It read: ‘My favourite goal [green tick emoji].
‘We have to encourage CMs to play forward & run forward! Although I had to play through that knee injury for about a year [followed by a mindblown type of emoji].’
Spurs fans saw this tweet as a potential indirect dig at some within the club.
@Lukathfc put: ‘Shots at Winks.’
@KidiabaPonyTail asked: ‘Is that an indirect at Nuno from Mason?’