To some, it is impossible to view Jorginho or Mason Mount on their own. They have become avatars in a battle between the former and current Chelsea manager.
The notion that Jorginho was a “teacher’s pet” of Maurizio Sarri was attached to almost every take about him last season. No matter how good or bad Jorginho did, he was ultimately going to play because of being Sarri’s guy.
This season, similar notions are attached to Mason Mount and Frank Lampard. No matter what Mount does on the field, he is being viewed as Lampard’s guy. Many believe that much like the case of Jorginho and Sarri, that no matter what Mount does he will play because of Lampard.
It is always natural to compare the new manager to the old. But Mount and Jorginho have been thrown into the fray of the manager past and present. It is nearly impossible to separate the criticism, or praise, of either from the conversations and arguments around Sarri and Lampard.
Jorginho has had good moments this season but he is still wasteful with his long passes and does pose a defensive liability to the team. But he does read the game excellently and is still able to intercept plenty or control in tight spaces. But because Sarri never took to the fans and vice versa, Jorginho is seen through a similar light.
Then there is Mount who would nearly unarguably be the player of the season if Emerson were not putting in a perfect season so far. But Mount was declared not good enough by many even before he suited up for Chelsea and that continued even as he performed well time and time again. It is not really about Mount, it is about Lampard and his preference for the boy.
The criticism on Mount is nearly identical to that against Jorginho last season and now. And it has little to do with the reality of either player and more to do with a manager that never felt right for Chelsea but who some took to with great aplomb.
To those individuals, Sarri’s departure was less about him quitting and more about the fans forcing him out. They see Lampard’s appointment as not a building block to “a Chelsea way” but as a sentimental overreaction to Sarri criticism. As such, Mount was put into their criticism in the same way Jorginho was put into Lampard’s.
The truth of the matter is that Mount has been great and Jorginho has been very good this season. Lampard is clearly a young manager on and off the pitch, but it is hard to deny the feel good factor in the club and the increase in tempo. Sarri is now the Juventus manager by his own choice and no one else’s. He will not come back and even if he could have improved things this season, the lack of connection to the fan base and stubbornness was surely going to undo things at some point.
Mount and Jorginho should not be the continuation of this debate but they have become just that. The best thing to do is to treat them on their own merits rather than that of the managers who like them. That may be wishful thinking though as Jorginho will surely be blamed for many things this season and Mount will be unrated by those who wish they could turn back the clock.