Mason Mount Chelsea star from childhood
“I can remember him running and kicking a ball that was bigger than him,” Tony Mount, father of Mason Mount, the Chelsea star had told in 2019. Mason Mount was not at all the tallest nor the strongest while it came to the physical attributes he had. Mason is an attacking midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea. He joined Chelsea at the age of 6 and made his Chelsea debut in 2019.
Mount’s father Tony was a player and manager at non-league level with local clubs like Havant Town. Mason Mount used to play under 6 football in local leagues as a four-year-old and spent one day a week training in the academies of Portsmouth, Southampton and Chelsea. Mount now at 21, on August 11, 2019, in a 0-4 defeat to Manchester United, Mount made his competitive debut for Chelsea. He had signed a five-year contract with Chelsea earlier in July 2020.
Mount was found to have ignored self-isolation rules following the corona pandemic, while the entire squad of Chelsea was forced to self isolate due to Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive covid test and had gone to play football with his friends. But on July 22 2020, he became the first Chelsea Academy Graduate to make his first-team debut and completed 50 appearances in the same season. On the final day of the 2019-20 Premier League season in a 2-0 victory against Wolves, Mount scored his first goal from a free-kick and helped Olivier Giroud for the second goal to help Chelsea secure a place in the 202-21 UEFA Champions League for the following season.
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Guardiola’s Barca, the greatest inspiration for Mount and Gilmour in Chelsea
It’s been over a decade since Joseph “Pep” Guardiola has taken charge of Barcelona. He is always inspired by the work he did with Andres Iniesta and Co. all those years ago. ‘La Masia’ product Andres Iniesta was first promoted to the Barca senior squad by Frank Rijkaard but he went to a whole different level when Pep Guardiola took over as coach in 2008. Guardiola has transformed Manchester city into one of the best footballing sides England has ever seen in recent years and they are about to travel to Stamford Bridge on this Sunday night for a key battle near the top of the Premier League.
The Premier League has become an international league with players and coaches from all over the world. Homegrown players like Mount don’t get much time in the limelight either but he is a perfect example of the benefits of hard work and is much envied. As a kid he used to always watch on YouTube, his favorite Andres Iniesta at Barca in his prime, when they were playing their tiki-taka. He says, “I saw the Barcelona games and I think Barca and Iniesta were a big part of me growing up, looking at those as role models.”
Mounts father used to say, “I remember at a young age Mason never kicked the ball with his weak foot, I cleared my garage out and we carpeted it and used different colored socks for him, then he learned to use his weaker foot. He would get very frustrated at first, but then he wanted to do it and go into the garage, no if you watch he scores as many goals with his left foot as he does with his right foot.”
Billy Guilmour’s Journey
Now Chelsea has another midfielder who also was inspired by the Barcelona team of the 2000s. It’s none other than Billy Gilmour, who joined the Blues from “Rangers”. He also is a diminutive player who has outplayed his physical attributes by watching and getting inspired by what he saw on television and YouTube. Unarguably he is also inspired by Andres Iniesta and Xavi. Gilmour says,” I always loved watching El Classico when I was young. I loved watching Iniesta and Xavi. Iniesta was more like my style of play and looking at Xavi too, that’s what I wanted to focus my game on.”
Both Mount and Gilmour are all about hard tackling and strong running but times have changed and they are two of the many footballers in the UK who is the result of great coaching, a determined mentality and smart career decisions. They have always picked role models that showed it was possible to dominate games with technical attributes over physical ones.