Mason Mount has given his view on what will be the most difficult thing about playing matches behind closed doors.
With the Premier League getting ready to return, Chelsea will be back in action on 21 June when we travel to Aston Villa, but it will be in a very different atmosphere than we are used to, with fans remaining absent from stadiums due to the risk posed by Covid-19.
Mount has been giving that prospect plenty of thought and feels players will have to adapt quickly to the fact that everything they say will be heard by the opposition, and those watching on TV.
‘It’s going to be interesting playing in a stadium where you can hear absolutely everything,’ he said. ‘We will have to be careful with the way we communicate on the pitch, whether that’s telling players where to go or what to do on the ball and things like that. Overall I think it will be fine, but we may have to just be careful not to use any bad language!
‘I’ve been watching some of the German games and it’s good to see what it feels like with no fans at the stadium, and what it could be like for us during the games when we start the Premier League up again.
‘It’s very different and something we as players are not used to at all but if it means we can get back to playing football, then that’s great. Obviously making sure everything is safe is the most important thing, because health is the first thing that needs to be considered, but seeing that they’ve managed to return in Germany and that we are following, it makes us very excited to get back playing.’
The midfielder also revealed how the Blues squad worked hard during the lockdown in the UK, before they returned to training at Cobham, to maintain the team spirit which had served us so well earlier in the season, as well as commenting on his new hairstyle, born from time spent away from the barber's chair.
'I’m used to having much shorter hair than this!' Mason joked. 'You’ve got to work with what you have in lockdown, but I don’t actually mind it being a bit longer. I think I’ll keep it like this for a little while longer, now I’ve had time to grow it out a bit.
‘We’ve all been sticking together and keeping in regular contact with our team-mates, whether that’s through WhatsApp messages or Zoom calls, which we’ve been using to do gym sessions online,' said Mason with regards to keeping in touch with his team-mates. 'We have a really good team spirit here at Chelsea and we wanted to keep that togetherness going, even during that time, and we’ve managed to do that.’
Mount and the rest of the Blues squad are now back training with Frank Lampard and his staff as preparations continue for the resumption of the campaign, and our number 19 reflected on the influence his head coach has had on his career over the last two years, as well as his hopes of following in his boss' footsteps.
‘I’m very lucky to have worked with Lampard at both Derby and then at Chelsea this season,’ explained the midfielder. ‘The manager has been great with me. He’s always giving me little bits of advice and he’s just been encouraging me to keep learning and to keep growing as a player. I’ve loved every minute of this season so far and hopefully we can come back and end it on a high now.
‘I’d love to add more goals to my game, like Frank did when he played for Chelsea. If I could make even half of his goals then I’d be very happy! He was so dominant as a goalscoring midfielder.
‘I’d also like to be successful like him in terms of trophies won. As young players coming through, you dream of lifting silverware and that’s no different to this team. We want to win trophies and having seen the Chelsea team when Lampard was playing, that’s something we can aspire to.’