The Chelsea boo boys were eager to welcome Thomas Tuchel as they thought it would spell the end for the likes of Mason Mount in the starting XI. “What does he even do?” they would wail as they thought he only started because he was Frank Lampard’s “son”. They surely dismissed his last start against Burnley as Tuchel rotating, but they will find a much harder time at dismissing Tuchel’s most recent comments on Mount.
Tuchel stated that he saw Mount’s potential before he even joined Chelsea because quite frankly he has eyes and watches the game outside of FIFA matches. He also spoke about the effort Mount puts in on and off the pitch and how he would give everything for Chelsea.
Of course, none of that should come as any surprise to fans watching games and knowing what they are seeing. Mount, over two seasons with the first team, has arguably been the club’s most important player. This season, he has arguably been the best player with only Thiago Silva and Callum Hudson-Odoi (if he keeps this form of) having an argument for anyone else.
Mount getting the armband in Frank Lampard’s last match wasn’t a giveaway to his favorite player, but a well earned reward to a player that deserved it. And just as many of the boo boys trumpeted the signing of Kai Havertz because they thought it would mean the end of Mount, so too did they bang their drums for Tuchel meaning the same. But neither Havertz nor Tuchel spelled the end for Mount because he is a player too good to be kept out of the lineup.
“He doesn’t score enough goals or get enough assists!” is a criticism often levied against Mount but not other players like Mateo Kovacic or Jorginho who have played in similar positions this season. “All he does is run around” is just boo boy speak for “effort doesn’t matter to us if we don’t understand the game well enough to see its purpose”.
This may all sound overly cynical but it is just a reality that there is a section of fans that refuse to acknowledge Mount’s ability or rightful place in the team. Here is a player who has been at Chelsea since he was a school boy who goes out on the pitch and plays every match like it is his last. He bleeds Chelsea in a way that few others ever will. And even still that isn’t good enough for the boo boys who decided their opinion on him early and refuse to back down in the face of facts and evidence. Their false narrative is all the facts and evidence they need.
But Tuchel gets it, just like Lampard got it and Gareth Southgate gets it. Mount is something special. At 22, he is a key cog in one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs. Though he is not a shoo in for England given how Southgate is still trying to find a way to fit everyone on the pitch at once, when he does play he is almost always one of the nation’s best players. Managers in the game respect Mount because they never have to question his effort and they know he knits the team together.
The boo boys won’t see this and they will quickly return to their old false narratives now that Tuchel is also backing the young Englishman. Mount is here to stay, as he always was going to be under any manager. He is simply too good to write off for people that know what they are looking at. Meanwhile, the boo boys can take solace in knowing their fantasy world is possible in FIFA and whatever else is their main consumption of the sport.