Mason Mount got the 4-0 party started against Everton with a flying half-volley in the 7th minute. The composure and control to not only twist his body parallel to the ground, but make perfect contact, and hit the target with power defied belief and more than deserved a goal.
Alas, Pickford stuck out a strong hand and made the reaction save.
But no matter, we didn’t have to wait too long for the party to actually start. This time, Mount took a touch, twirled, then surprised everybody by hitting a low shot unerringly into the bottom corner at the near post.
20 - There were 20 passes in the build up to Chelsea's first goal against Everton, scored by Mason Mount - the second longest passing sequence leading to a Chelsea goal in the Premier League this season. Silky. #CHEEVE pic.twitter.com/TFWEupxKaJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 8, 2020
In fact, he may have surprised even himself.
“It just happened. I took a touch and turned and finished. It wasn’t me thinking about it too much. I think I’ve been overthinking it. It hasn’t been coming my way and I have been snatching at it.”
Mount started the season like a house on fire, scoring three goals in his first five Premier League games. He’s scored just three more since in 21 games, including Sunday’s. He’s hit the post a few times, he’s gotten unlucky a few more times, he’s collected a few assists along the way, too. But it had become clear that he was also just trying too hard, as the cliche goes.
But cliches are cliches for a reason, and in Mount’s case, that was actually he case. His goal drought got into his head and started messing with things that would normally come naturally.
“You start snatching at it. You don’t take your time and focus on your technique enough. Today, I kind of had looked at my game and where I’ve been going wrong recently and to aim, stay calm and not to try to look for it as much as I have been. [...] Today, it was the total opposite. It wasn’t in my head, I just focused on the performance and it came.”
All players experience these moments many times in their careers. How you deal with them to get beyond them (or not) can often make or break a career.
In Mount’s case, it’s included some internal reflection and some well-placed external advice.
“I do look at games. My dad is very into football and watching my game and where I can improve. He helps me a lot. He’s here for every game and after he’ll tell me what I did best and what I didn’t do well and where I need to improve. The last few games has been finishing and end product.
”I think I took a shot against Bournemouth from an impossible angle where I was just trying to score a worldy when it wasn’t on. We spoke about that. More just me personally looking at my game, speaking to my dad as well.
”I think about games like the Bayern game where I snatched a chance with my left foot where it hasn’t been on. It’s something where you don’t have to try so much. It just comes at the right time and it did today.
”You listen to every bit of advice coming your way and learn from it. It’s good to have my dad there focused on me, watching what I need to do better. It helps me so much coming off the pitch speaking to him in the car. We have done that since I was a little kid and some things never change.”
-Mason Mount; source: Goal
That strong support system has been with Mason every step of the way, and has been a big reason for his success in the Academy, at Vitesse, at Derby, and now at Chelsea.
Hopefully that never changes, and he just keeps going from strength to strength. It’s easy to forget that he’s still barely 21 and should thus have a very long and fantastic career ahead of him.
P.S.: Mount’s goal celebration, “The Frankenstein” was apparently something that came out of a video he did for ProDirect Soccer with the often funny Chunkz & Yung Filly. They have episodes with Tammy Abraham and Reece James, too (and Michy and N’Golo, too!) if this is your jam.