Cristian Stellini backs Ryan Mason for future Tottenham manager role
Cristian Stellini believes Ryan Mason has the right character to enjoy a successful career as a manager.
One-time England international Mason played for Tottenham between 2008 and 2016 but suffered a career-ending head injury in January 2017 while at Hull City when he collided with ex-Chelsea captain Gary Cahill. He had 14 metal plates in his skull during his operation and in February 2018 confirmed he would have to retire from playing, aged just 26.
Two months later he joined Spurs’ coaching staff, and in April 2021 he became Tottenham’s interim manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. He won four of his seven matches in charge but one of three defeats came to Manchester City in the 2021 League Cup final.
Assistant manager Stellini has been deputising for head coach Antonio Conte while the Spurs manager recuperates in Italy following surgery to have his gallbladder removed. Stellini has been left to make tactical decisions alongside Mason, who has been first team coach since November 2021.
Stellini said last week that a tactical tweak the pair of them made to Eric Dier’s positioning helped Spurs see off Manchester City in the Premier League the week before, in a match Conte missed whilst he had his operation.
“I think so, yeah,” Stellini to Standard Sport when asked whether he thought Mason would one day take the step up and become a head coach in his own right.
“He is young. He needs time and experience but probably. I am not the right person to give him suggestions because he has studied a lot and he wants to improve. He has a good character to be a coach and to lead a club. But he needs experience like everyone.
“I think one of the best skills for a coach is [clarity]. Don’t create confusion. He has many details, many ideas, many players to make a choice [about]. To [filter] all this is an important skill. Ryan has the character and this type of skill, and I think this is an important skill for a great coach.”
Stellini will continue to stand in for Conte in the coming weeks, starting on Sunday when Tottenham host London rivals West Ham in the Premier League.