Frank Lampard has reasons to favour Mason Mount
There have been questions about Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s treatment of Mason Mount among the Chelsea fans in the last few months.
The master and the apprentice spent a season at Derby County before rejoined back at the Stamford Bridge. Mount started the season brightly — he scored two goals in the first three Premier League matches.
However, his goalscoring tally started declining as he only added three goals in the next 25 league games. As his sparks dimmed, fans began to accuse Lampard of favouritism towards the 21-year-old.
And it is not a baseless criticism. Mount has racked more minutes in the league (2242 mins) than anyone bar Cesar Azpilicueta (2330) this season.
Let’s take a deeper look as to why Mount has been one of the first names in the teamsheet this season.
Tammy Abraham aside, Mount has been involved in more Chelsea goals than anyone in the team (five goals and four assists) so far. It is not coincidental — only Tammy (73) had more shots than Mount (66) in the Premier League this season. As much as 43% of his shots came from inside the penalty area.
But as often happens to young, inexperienced players, Mount doesn’t always make the best decisions in front of the goal.
He needs to improve his decision making, as he often makes good runs to get into shooting positions.
Set-piece and playmaking abilities
Mount has been the one taking most corners (74 taken) and freekicks for Chelsea this season. With a 47% corner accuracy (Willian the next corner taker has 41%), Mount were essentials to Chelsea’s eight set-piece goals this season (17% of total goals).
Mount is also Chelsea’s main playmaker. He made 42 key passes in the Premier League, second only to Willian (48) at Chelsea.
After the 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in February, Lampard asked people to look at Mount’s game from a broader view.
He told BT Sport: “I hope Mason’s performance gets digested properly today. A lot of people talk about Mason, they look at his goals. The work rate and sharpness in his game today was unbelievable.”
One of Mount’s traits is how he covers a lot of space, running up and down the field to pressure the opponents off the ball. Often deployed in an advanced position, Mount has had 58 attempted tackles this season, albeit only won 30 of them.
Mount has set the bar high with his early performances this season and has not lived up it. But it is also disheartening for Chelsea fans to vilify a young academy graduate after asking the club to make use of the youth system for so long.