Another (calendar) year is almost in the books. Another year of ups and downs, wins and losses, trophies and disappointments, injuries and infections, glories and triumphs. There’s never a boring day at Chelsea, but the past twelve months have been some of the most dramatic in recent memory.
This time last year, Frank Lampard was still in charge. In fact, at the start of last December, Chelsea were very briefly even top of the league. Five defeats in eight followed. Lampard was sacked. Thomas Tuchel was appointed. Chelsea went unbeaten for two months. Lost an FA Cup final. Barely finished top four. Won the Champions League. Won the Super Cup. Re-signed Romelu Lukaku. Closed the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool. In fact, at the start of December, we were even top of the league. Three wins in eight have followed.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. History, especially Chelsea history, is often cyclical.
For those most closely involved however, such as Chelsea’s reigning Player of the Year, Mason Mount, it simply remains a case of taking things day by day, game by game.
“Looking back on the year, you always say there’s ups and downs but the emotion of it all has been extreme. What happened back in January and how we were at the time, it was obviously a big low point.
“With a new manager coming in, having that transition period that I’ve never experienced before mid-season, you have to work things out and find your position within the team again. It’s just about working hard every day in training and then to finish the season with a Champions League trophy shows how you go from the lows to the highs in football. It was what we all dreamed of and that’s what we achieved as a group and as a club so it’s special.”
“[Now we’re in a] position where we can be pushing for first in the league but we know if we let it slip or drop our standards a little bit then you’re out of the title race. That’s the league we’re in and the competition we have so we have to always be on it.”
For Mount it was of course a momentous year personally as well, but also one that found him hitting a few (physical) limits that he had never hit before. At the same time, he’s become one of the more consistent goalscoring threats in the team, which perhaps says more about the rest of our goalscoring threats, but also underlines Mount’s constant desire to improve and achieve more.
“[...] You never know what’s going to happen around the corner, whether good or bad, so it’s just about enjoying what’s going on in the moment and trying to learn as much as you can and take something from every day. That’s the mindset I have. You might get injured tomorrow or you could be winning a trophy in a couple of months, even if you don’t expect it right now.”
“[...] As a person, I want to play every game and be able to help the team in any way I can but if I look back now I probably was a bit physically and mentally drained. [You] then start getting these little injuries here and there which I don’t normally get [so it’s] hard to build consistency and to be at a level that I probably ended the season on. [Now] I’m getting back to after a bit of a break. It definitely helps to re-energise mentally and physically if you want to consistently be at the top of your game.”
“[...] I’m always someone who wants more and I’m never content so I’m happy to be in good form in front of goal but I want more. I want double figures as quickly as possible! [I’ve] worked closely with [Joe Edwards] recently around how to get in the box more [and] now I’m getting the rewards from it.”
-Mason Mount; source: Chelsea FC
Mounts rewards translate to Chelsea’s rewards. May that continue for many more Christmases to come!