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Mason Mount - A player that divides the fan-base

It is safe to say that Mason Mount is one of Frank's most trusted players. Throughout this season this youngster has been thrown into se...

It is safe to say that Mason Mount is one of Frank's most trusted players. Throughout this season this youngster has been thrown into several different positions when required by Frank and given ample minutes across all club competitions. Having said that, he is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most loved and disrespected players simultaneously in the Chelsea fanbase. 

Many fans epitomize Mason as the key figurehead of the Chelsea youth academy and everything that's good about it. Others tend to think he's part of the mediocrity that Chelsea supposedly finds themselves in. There seems to be no middle ground in the fanbase. It's one extreme or the other. 

So what is the rational perspective?

Stage 1: Beginning of the season

Mason Mount started the season with the most electrifying fashion imaginable for a youngster. Racking up 90 minutes after 90 minutes at will. By the end of October 2019, he'd already registered 4 goals and 2 assists in the Premier League. His high pressing and intensity throughout the match regularly caught the opposition napping. His absence in the Valencia game at Stamford Bridge, after an early injury, it was clear to see how much the team lacked in energy upfront.

During this phase of the season, he was one of the most consistent players in terms of providing decent performances alongside Tammy Abraham. Sure, Frank trusted him but there was a reason why Frank trusted him and it was because Mount understood Frank's plan better than anyone else in the team. 

Stage 2: Middle of the season

Like the rest of the team, this was a supremely tumultuous period for Mason. From November 2019 till late January 2020 he registered 1 goal and 1 assist in all club competition (both contributions came in the Premier League). It was during this phase of the season when many fans started to harshly criticize him (including myself at times) due to his lack of passing range or finishing ability. Many fell in the trap of expecting a lot from a youngster who was in his debut Premier League and Champions League season. However, a lot might've been stemmed from the overall team's mediocre performances during this time frame and Mason was easy pickings for the fanbase. As Mason predominantly played as the second striker or in the attacking midfield role many expected prime Kaka in that position. 

Mason also endured slight niggling injuries during this period which further hampered his performances. However, the determination of the player was immense as he played through the pain during this phase and provided Frank cover wherever he needed. A testament of what truly means to Mason in regards to representing Chelsea.     

Stage 3: Prior to lock-down

Prior to the lock-down, there was a string of performances where Mason performed brilliantly. It was during this phase you could clearly see that Mason has definitely developed since the start and middle part of the season. The winter break during this period did a lot of good for him as well as it allowed him to be refreshed and re-energized again. His passing, overall movement, and final third decision making had improved substantially. All of these facets clicked into gear against Everton where he scored the brilliant opener which led to a 4-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. His combination play with Barkley, Billy, and Giroud was a treat to watch. He linked up well with the veterans as well in the likes of Willian and Pedro. All of a sudden there seemed to be a balance in the team even though there were several key injuries. 

Just as when the team and his personal development were on an upward trajectory, the lock-down was upon us...

Final thoughts?

For his first proper senior season in one of the toughest leagues, Mason's done extremely well. A tally of 6 goals and 5 assists in all club competition is a great return for a youngster in his debut Premier League season. Just like any other youngsters, he too endured form fluctuations throughout the season however, he still managed to play an immense number of minutes. 

He developed a strong partnership with Tammy and he carried that on with Giroud in the latter parts of the season. He also showed a great understanding of combination and link-up play in midfield as the season progressed. His finishing and decision making had also improved prior to the lock-down. 

Having said that, he still has a lot to improve and this is understandable for a 21-year-old. Playing in the second striker or the supposed "number 10" position, he must improve on the following:
  • Passing range (short/long)
  • Vision - must have an eye for assists due to the areas he occupies in the field 
  • One-touch passing - Has to improve in this department to carry out a high tempo playing style 
  • Overall defense - it's great to see him press and defend from the front but during a sustained defensive phase, he needs to improve on the reading of the play to inflict more interceptions. 
Frank Lampard believes in Mason just like Frank's uncle believed in Frank once upon a time... 

Please also check out this fantastic group discussion on Mason Mount's performances this season so far and the fans' expectation from him next season (Youtube video below)

Written and picture edited by - Miz Rahman 
Twitter - @Miz9Rahman 

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