Ryan Mason believes Gareth Bale will never lose his ability in the final third, but has not been able to say if he can stay at Tottenham permanently.
Mason had to thank Bale as the Welsh hat-trick sent Tottenham on their way to victory over Sheffield United. Son Heung-min added a spectacular fourth to complete the victory. This allowed Spurs to rebound directly from the disappointment of losing the Carabao Cup final last week.
Now a top-four challenge is always at hand, with Spurs having moved up to fifth thanks to the victory. Some of their rivals have a game in progress but they have done everything to claim three points.
Bale was the architect of the victory with his first hat-trick since returning to the club on loan from Real Madrid. But it was a strong overall performance from the team.
Mason was thrilled with the way his players participated in their individual battles – and was happy that Bale had the impact he made.
The acting boss said Sky Sports: “The attitude, the desire to compete, to continue to compete for more than 95 minutes [was good]. We had some real quality moments but the courage to play in each duel, each action is the most enjoyable thing.
“Last week was a disappointment for everyone. We had a week where we could practice and work on the players. We defended firmly as a team. Some of our pieces were absolutely exceptional.
“I’ve always said Gareth Bale hasn’t and won’t lose that ability in the final third to produce great moments. He’s a world-class player – he’s proven that for many years.
“The nicest thing about him tonight was his attitude, his race for the team. You feel confident that he will take the risk.
“I think that [whether Bale could stay] is a discussion once the season is over. Our priority is the next game. “
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Another player who was lucky enough to start was Dele Alli, who was frozen under Jose Mourinho earlier this season. Mason said he got his chance because of his impression in training.
The former midfielder explained: “Dele Alli had a great attitude – he trained for the team.
“He’s had a great week of training. He gave 100% and had a few moments.
Mason was also satisfied with his defensive players because they kept a clean sheet. But one of the four full-backs also had a significant impact going forward, as Serge Aurier recorded two assists.
It wasn’t his main job, however, insisted Mason, who said, “The clean sheet was important, the defense was great. It was a very pleasant night for us.
“Serge is first and foremost a defender. The priority is to defend and he did it with the rest of the team.
Mason shocked by the arbitration decision
One aspect that Mason was not happy with, however, was the referee’s decision not to fire John Fleck early in the second half after standing against Giovani Lo Celso.
He said: “I’m so shocked it wasn’t a red card.
“I’m shocked the VAR team didn’t at least tell the referee to take a look. I think it’s a red card. I don’t think there is a clearer red card.
“You see the replay once and it put an opponent in jeopardy. I can’t believe it wasn’t given as a red card. It is preventable. To me, that’s a red card, without a doubt.
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