Tottenham 2-1 Southampton: 3 observations as Ryan Mason clinches first win as manager

3 observations from Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton match where Ryan Mason took charge as manager. Spurs made a euphoric comeback in the second half.

Gareth Bale-Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham did well to come back from 0-1 down to secure a 2-1 win over Southampton in the Premier League earlier tonight. 

It was the Londoners’ first game under the management of Ryan Mason. The former Spurs midfielder replaced Jose Mourinho as the club’s interim manager, and he will be pleased with his side’s showing tonight. 

Spurs were without star striker Harry Kane, but they showed impressive character and determination to fight back and grind out three points. 

The Londoners struggled to take charge of the game initially, and Southampton were on top from the start. They could have easily scored more goals in the first half, but Hugo Lloris produced a few crucial saves to deny the Saints. 

Spurs improved considerably after half time, and the likes of Gareth Bale and Son Heung-Min helped overturn the deficit caused by Danny Ings’ first half striker.

Here are three key observations from the game 

Comeback spirit

The Spurs fans will be delighted to see the fighting spirit from the players after going down 1-0. Under Mourinho, Spurs struggled to get back into games after trailing, and that seems to have changed instantly under Ryan Mason.

Prior to Mason’s arrival, Spurs had won just one of the last 14 matches they were trailing in at half time under Jose Mourinho. 

Mason has managed to boost the confidence of his players and lift their spirits already.

A new lease of life for Gareth Bale

The Welshman was made a scapegoat for Spurs’ performances against Arsenal and Zagreb earlier in the season, and he was dropped to the bench despite showing signs of recovering his peak form.

Gareth Bale was back in the starting line-up today, and he showed exactly why he should be playing every week. The winger scored a stunning goal to level the scores in the second half, and he provided some much-needed pace and flair in the final third. 

Even Ryan Mason admitted after the game that needed Bale’s quality in the absence of Harry Kane. 

The on-loan Real Madrid winger has now been involved in 11 goals in his last 11 starts in all competitions for Spurs (9 goals, 2 assists).

Same players, different manager

Tottenham 2-1 Southampton: 3 observations as Ryan Mason clinches first win as manager European Leagues Premier League

Spurs players played a more palatable style of football tonight despite their flaws. 

Mourinho’s defensive approach was heavily criticized before his departure. The Portuguese made it seem like his side will not be able to play an expansive style of football because of the players at his disposal.

Under Mason, they looked a more positive bunch, and if the newly appointed Spurs boss can sort out their defensive vulnerabilities, the Londoners could be a handful for any opposition.