There’s always one player who takes the brunt of anger from supporters. For the past 7 years, Willian has held the post, but now it seems Mason Mount has taken over the reigns.
The 21-year-old was slated on social media following our return to football in our 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.
That was despite the midfielder actually performing well and causing Villa problems all afternoon.
In fact it was his running through the lines that allowed Oliver Giroud to score the winner.
It was more natural that Willian took the brunt of supporter anguish, simply because he wasn’t Eden Hazard.
He often sacrificed his attacking game, to do the tracking back that Hazard didn’t want to. It was no coincidence that everybody thought Cesar Azpilicueta was finished until Willian returned to the team and provided the cover he needed.
There’s a reason that Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard have all picked him regularly.
The problem for Mount, is that he doesn’t have a position set in stone, which is his own, nailed down and you know that’s where he’s best.
Is he a winger, or a number 10, or part of a midfield 3?
Lampard obviously likes and rates him very highly because of his versatility and flexibility in the starting line up.
It was interesting that Ruben Loftus-Cheek took the wide role on Sunday. Allowing Mount to sit deeper and do more of his running.
And if it wasn’t for a good piece of goalkeeping, Mount would’ve scored a very Lampard-esque goal.
It’s utterly baffling.
Especially given Mount is an academy player, who’s made it through the ranks, done his time on loan and now, just as we’ve always wanted, has made the breakthrough into the first team.
I get, and totally agree with, the notion that just because they’re academy players it doesn’t mean we can’t say they’re not good enough.
But Mount has certainly done enough to prove he is worthy of Premier League football and deserves a place in the squad.
I do believe there’s a question to ask over whether Tammy Abraham is at the top level you need in a striker, but again, he’s scored enough goals this season to warrant time to develop.
But again, what the PlayStation generation don’t seem to realise, it’s footballers aren’t robots like they control on games of football.
Mount wants to be a Chelsea footballer. His dad told him that young players don’t make it at Chelsea.
He was determined to prove him wrong, and has done so. Yes this season might be exceptional circumstances, but the emergence of the likes of Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen has shown is that the level of players coming through now are at the right level.
Why wouldn’t you want a player that A) is good enough and B) loves the club, as part of the squad?
It makes absolutely no sense to pick holes in his game every week or unfairly criticise him.
Maybe people should be taught a lesson in what it means to be a supporter and instead of slagging off players every week, they do what they’re supposed to and support them.
Luckily, the majority, and especially those (when they’re allowed) inside Stamford Bridge know we’ve got a proper Chels player in Mount and just like his manager, he’s going straight to the very top.