Eyebrows were raised when Mason Mount was a consistent name on Frank Lampard’s team sheet – week in, week out. Some considered it as undue favoritism by Frank Lampard. Those critics have been silenced by new Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel. He highly rated the young midfielder who in his words said “I cannot tell you where his limit is.”
Some other critics consider Mason Mount as being exceedingly hyped by the British Media. Yes, we have seen this occur a lot of time in the past, but attention must be drawn to England’s National Team. Gareth Southgate has used Mason Mount in 7 straight international fixtures. No one in the Three Lions call-up has that to his name.
The Three Lions possess a wealth of talent in every position including the midfield; with Declan Rice, Phil Foden, Jesse Lingard, Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Bellingham, and highly rated Jack Grealish, among many others. Yet the name that consistently appears on every team sheet for the last Seven International Games running from their game against Belgium in the Nation’s League in October 2020 till their last game against Albania in the World Cup Qualifiers is MASON MOUNT. Definitely, Gareth Southgate must have seen something.
In this article, we will consider the specific things that makes him special to all coaches:
HUMILITY AND READINESS TO LEARN
Many would have expected Work rate or some other features of Mount’s game but I believe this is the first thing that endears him to his coaches. In Modern Football, no coach wants a player bigger than them. Every coach wants a player who has the talent to progress and help his team and at the same time follow instructions and improve. Every Manager under which Mount has featured makes mention of his humility, how he trains hard and puts in his all into every game. For a moment let’s ignore talent, every Manager loves this type of player.
In Chelsea’s last game in the FA Cup tie with Sheffield, Mason Mount revealed in Tuchel’s in-game tweaks, he played 5-6 positions in 90 minutes. Mason Mount’s versatility makes it so difficult to nail down his best position. All we know is that he is a Midfielder. He can play pairing in a double pivot at the heart of the midfield; He can play as an Eight; Mount can also play as a Ten; Under Tuchel, he has excelled playing as a false nine; He can also play on both sides of the wing. With this advantage, his coaches tend to play him because of his versatility, thus giving the manager more freedom to make tactical switches in the game. After the last game against Albania in the World Cup, Gareth Southgate also made the same assessment.
TECHNICALITY AND SPATIAL AWARENESS
Get the ball to Mason!!! That’s like the first thing on the mind of every fan when Chelsea begins to rotate the ball between the center-halves and the deep-lying midfielders. The technical nature of the Mason Mount game is beautiful. He knows what is expected of him and does it so simple and elegant that many quite overlook it. But it’s the ability of Mount to do these things again and again that makes him so special. Mount is not too renowned for taking on players or overly skillful football, but the way he attacks spaces and makes use of his body on the ball to his advantage is so good.
CREATIVITY AND GAME-DECIDER
Last season, his goal and assist against Wolves secured Chelsea Champion’s League qualification. Mason Mount opened the scoring for Chelsea against a low block West Brom who were 3-0 up motivating a 3-3 draw. Against Fulham, his goal was the fixture decider. These among his many moments in the Blue jersey has made him so important for the Chelsea team. He creates the highest number of chances in the whole team. In the International break against San Marino, he created 8 chances just behind Xavi who created 9 against Bosnia and Herzegovina for Spain in 2009.
What’s more, 22-year old Mount came within touching distance of the record before being taken off at halftime. Thomas Tuchel said in a press conference that he wants Mason Mount to be more ruthless in the opponent’s box. Of course, who doesn’t want to see Mason Mount racking up the goals on a consistent basis!
We purposefully left this for last because many underestimate the value of Mason’s energetic work rate in games while some others only value him because of the work rate and nothing else. Having a player who has the 4 attributes I have listed above and is still disciplined in winning the ball back when off the ball is a bonus to any team. Mason Mount’s first goal for Chelsea came through his relentless marking. His important goal against Manchester United in last year’s FA Cup Semi-final tie was also through his relentless marking. Discipline off the ball is something managers want to see in their players in modern football. And it is something Mason Mount has in plenty.
With the incoming of Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz, it was predicted that Mason Mount might lose his place in the team. But over the regime of two managers, Mason Mount not only looks to cement his place in regular squad sheets but also in the hearts of Chelsea fans and also of England teamsheet.
Over-rated? Clearly not!
For more such articles do click here