The rise and rise again of Chelsea's Mason Mount
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Glenn Hoddle has pinpointed when Mason Mount helped to turn Chelsea’s season around by proving Thomas Tuchel wrong. The German took over from Frank Lampard as Blues manager in January, with his first game being a home match against Wolves in the Premier League.
Until that match, Mount had only failed to start a league game once for Chelsea across the first half of the season.
But Tuchel implemented a new system for his first match in charge, with Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho picked in midfield with Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech playing behind the striker.
The Blues struggled to create clear-cut chances against Nuno Espirito Santo’s though, with Tuchel introducing Mount with eight minutes to play.
Chelsea immediately improved, but failed to break the deadlock, with the visitors holding out for a point.
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After that short cameo, Mount became a regular under Tuchel, winning the club’s player of the season award after scoring nine goals and providing nine assists in 54 games in all competitions.
The midfielder also provided the assist for Havertz’s winning goal in the Champions League final against Manchester City, with a stunning defence-splitting pass.
And Hoddle believes that the impression Mount made in his cameo in Tuchel’s first game was critical to the Blues’ change in fortunes.
“He went to Derby with Frank and Frank saw what he could do as a player, took him back to Chelsea and put him straight in the first team,” Hoddle told talkSPORT.
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“The challenge for me and where he’s come through so good is when Tuchel took over, he didn’t play him in the first game.
“He was on the bench and my eyebrows went up. I thought ‘Ooo, we’ll have to see how he responds here’.
“You know what I remember the game, I was covering the game. He came on for the last 20 minutes and my word it was like he was proving himself all over again to the new manager.”
Mount is set to play a crucial role for England at Euro 2020 and Hoddle believes his form for Chelsea bodes well for the Three Lions.
“Within 20 minutes I think he’d set up two chances, had a chance himself that he nearly scored. It was like he’d hit the manager between the eyes,” he said.
“The manager then went ‘Wow I’ve got to look at this fella, I’ve got to play him, see what he can do’. That’s when he started playing and he’s been in the side.
“I think that says it all about Mason Mount. He’s got such good ability but he’s prepared to work back for the team, he can work within the shape of the team, he can play a deeper role.
“That’s where he affects the game. He’s got to play like for England and I think that’s where Gareth and his staff will get the best out of the likes of Foden and Mount.”
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