Following an eye-catching individual performance in a new attacking role, Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for Mason Mount in the aftermath of our victory at Tottenham but also highlighted how the young midfielder can get even better…
There was much speculation about how Chelsea would line up in north London once the teamsheets were submitted but few expected Mount in a false nine role in between split strikers Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The tactical tweak allowed the 22-year-old to use his boundless energy and game intelligence to lead the press, while also providing him with the freedom to regularly receive the ball in perilous pockets of space.
He knitted the visitors’ attacking play together impressively and Tuchel was understandably pleased with his efforts, congratulating him at the final whistle before offering a few words of wisdom.
‘I told him he could be more decisive and dangerous in the last 20 metres,’ Tuchel explained, picking up on a theme Mount himself touched on after the game about lacking a killer instinct in front of goal.
‘You can be very sure that Mase leaves his heart on the pitch for Chelsea and this is what we need so I was just happy that we won. He’s an absolute team player, he’s still young and there’s still room to improve so I told him not to worry. I was happy with his performance.’
Tuchel also outlined his thinking behind deploying Mount in a new position and reflected on the positives of not finishing the game off with more goals, namely that the team had to suffer together in the last moments.
‘We played with Mason coming from a number nine and dropping into a number 10 position because we wanted to have two wide strikers and find Mason in the spaces between the lines,’ he continued.
‘He did good but in the end if you have to suffer and defend then I told the team that it’s a good feeling. When things get complicated or things are not too easy with the second and third goals then we have to experience moments where we finish a game like this.
‘You have to experience it because it’s not enough for the coach just to tell you and this is what we did.’