The arrival of Graham Potter at Chelsea has seen Mason Mount rediscover his best form at Stamford Bridge ahead of this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has slammed ‘daft’ criticism of Mason Mount with Blues boss Graham Potter also questioning doubts over the 23-year-old’s ability.
Mount reached 139 games for the club since his breakthrough under Frank Lampard in 2019 and has one more goal for the Blues as Lampard did in the same number of appearances (32). Despite being one of Chelsea’s best players over the last few years, Mount has come under fire lately with his manager publicly defending him against the ‘strange’ criticism.
Potter believes a lot of the England international’s qualities are hidden from view, despite his impressive output and productivity, along with the fact he has won the Chelsea player of the Season award twice already. The Chelsea boss has previously spoke about the sacrifice Mount has made in the team to benefit others, but his brace against Aston Villa proved just how crucial he is to the team.
When asked what makes Mount a special player and how he stands out from the rest, Potter was full of praise in his response. The 47-year-old said: “I would say love for the game, love for his teammates, love for the club. I think he loves to play football. You can’t measure that.
“I think it’s Mount personality as much as his football ability. He enjoys the game, loves the game, loves the club, loves his teammates, wants to win, wants to improve, is open-minded, prepared to suffer, prepared to do the ugly side of the game.
“Then he has the quality to be the match winner that he was at the weekend, but the other stuff, I think, is the stuff below the water, below the iceberg. That’s what maybe you don’t recognise or see with him, but he is a top person, a top professional.”
Club legend Pat Nevin has also leapt to the defence of the 23-year-old in his latest column on the official Chelsea website. Nevin wrote: “You do get asked some fairly daft questions when you work in certain parts of the media.
“A few weeks ago, someone seriously asked me if I thought Mason Mount’s position at the World Cup for England, his place in the Chelsea team, and indeed in the Chelsea squad, were all in danger. I had to ask if we were talking about the same guy.
I said: ‘Are you talking about the recent Chelsea Player of the Year, who is among the most talented players of his generation, who has been working harder than anyone else in the league and can play brilliantly in just about any position, and just about never misses a game?’
“Anyway, the question appeared to arise from the statistic Mason hadn’t created or scored a goal for the Blues in the Premier League this season before the Wolves game. This is the danger when you only consider bald statistics and can’t or won’t have a closer look at the actual games. Or in this case the individual couldn’t have watched the games with any great intelligence.
“The brilliance and the selflessness of Mason is clear to anyone who opens their eyes at a Chelsea game. It has been crystal clear to every single manager who has worked with him for more than 10 minutes that he gives so much more than just the goals and the assists.”
Mount proved to be vital in the win against Aston Villa on Sunday, scoring a brilliant opener after reacting to a defensive error from England teammate Tyrone Mings before whipping a sensational free-kick into the back of the net in the second half.
Nevin added: “Happily, Mason got the deserved plaudits for Sunday’s display against Aston Villa, and anyway, the stats are perfectly good when you look at them fairly.
“We are only in mid-October and he already has three goals this season – he did score against Germany for his country, remember. He also has four assists – two v Wolves, one v Milan and another v Salzburg – and five if you include the penalty he earned in Italy.
“I tend to count all the top-level matches a player plays, not just individual competitions. It is a much fairer way to look at overall form. In short, crisis, what crisis? More like nonsense, what nonsense!
“The match at Villa Park was another tough one away from home and we needed Mason and the lads to battle as hard as they have at any point this season. We spent a bit of time on the ropes, but when we needed a touch of class Mason was there with a quick one-two when we needed him.
“The first goal may have been an opportunistic strike, nothing wrong with that, but the second knockout punch was a top-drawer classic free-kick any of our great dead-ball strikers of the past would have been proud of. This battling away from home has become a noticeable feature of the Graham Potter era already.”