I begin with the Prince of Chelsea and Frank Lampard’s favourite son, Mason Mount. Or as I like to refer to him as ‘Mase’.
It’s no secret that he is one of Chelsea’s most reliable players. Yes he is young and yes he has had some iffy performance’s but he (aside from Kante) is the only player in this Chelsea squad that will give the team 100% every game.
I think the main reason he is such a fan favourite is because you can see he wants to put everything he has on the line for the club. Take his goal against West Brom two weeks ago, nobody and I mean nobody shoots from range like they used to ten years ago.
Mount knows he has the ability to score goals of that capacity and was brave enough to take it on. The goal then sparked the comeback and the rest is history.
My point being he is brave and willing to take the risk. Something, I think a few Chelsea players are actually afraid to do. His work off the ball is also phenomenal. Not only is he box to box but he’s also touchline to touchline.
Those of you that follow Italian football will see similarities between Mount and Barella (Inter Milan and Italian National Team midfielder). Barella is two years older than Mount and has solidified his place in the National Team next to Jorginho.
With that in mind I think this helps Jorginho and Mount play together. Like Mount, Barella is a brawler and is no stranger to a big tackle.
A new breed of midfielder I believe is on the horizon, whereby they are technically very talented like Mount, but also incredibly physical, like Barella.
All in all, Mount will be the future of the Chelsea midfield, and I can’t see Frank selling him anytime soon. Another reason people should buy into the Mason Mount hype is that England manager Gareth Southgate also sees him in the same way Frank does.
The misinformed media should consider this as if more than one coach sees how good Mase is, why can’t they?
Next up, Oliver Giroud. I confess, when we signed Giroud in January 2018 I was very disappointed. At the time, Conte had started to use Batshuayi as his main striker and had seemed to hit some form with a goal vs Norwich in the FA Cup and then two more a week later against Newcastle.
The following week I remember having a conversation with my Dad and we both agreed that we thought maybe Batshuayi could be our main man for at least the season run in, we were proved wrong. I never liked Giroud at Arsenal. He sunk the penalty against us in the Community Shield in 2017 (another game I was at, a silver lining followed that game later in the article).
I was also never impressed by him at Arsenal either, or for France. Truth be told, up until he dominated the 2018/19 Europa League, I still hadn’t grown fond of him. Now however, I see him as one of the smartest strikers Chelsea have had in recent memory. He holds the ball up immensely and his movement off the ball is incredible. It’s not easy to always be in the right place at the right time.
Giroud is always in the right place at the right time. His goals vs Manchester United in the FA Cup Semi-final last season proved how good his movement really is. I also think (from what various players have said about him) is that he is a huge influence on the younger players in the dressing room.
From experience as a young player in a men’s team, there is no better motivator than one of your older teammates trying to help you improve and encouraging you to be better. Imagine how good this could be for Tammy having a World Cup winning striker coaching him day in, day out to help improve his game. Invaluable in my opinion.
This week I will end on arguably one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players. Gianfranco Zola. Now I digress, I wasn’t old enough to enjoy him in his prime at Chelsea as I was only 2 when he retired.
However with my Italian and Chelsea background combined, his influence has been largely prominent. My Zio (Uncle) Pep has a pet cat named Zola, proof of how integral Zola was in terms of my family’s support! I have however watched many of Zola’s videos on YouTube and on ChelseaTV when that was a thing.
Games that I remember sticking out that I re-watched on ChelseaTV that influenced me growing up were easily the 3-1 against Barcelona and the Liverpool game when he retired. The ending moments of that game when he’s showboating in the corner and the two Liverpool players can’t get close to him has to be one of the most stylish and truly confident pieces of play ever to have been conducted on the Stamford Bridge pitch.
Going back to the silver-lined loss of the Community Shield back in 2017 was the day that I was lucky enough to meet Gianfranco. I’ve never been one to get starstruck when meeting Chelsea players, I like to think I can keep my composure in such moments.
However, when this stylish, majestic legend of Chelsea was stood ten yards from my brothers and I, we couldn’t help but fanboy and ask desperately for a photo with him. We asked in Italian and English. Why? I have no idea, I was so shocked he was stood with us that my brain must’ve thought ‘what if he’s forgotten English’ or ‘If we ask in Italian he’s for sure going to agree’.
Who knows, but he humbly agreed and made a pretty rubbish result end up becoming my best moment of that summer (the same summer I also passed my A-levels, yes Zola beats life achievements)!