The 22-year-old wore the armband for the FA Cup win against Luton Town because the former manager was impressed by his standing in the team
Frank Lampard says he gave Mason Mount the Chelsea captaincy because of the midfielder’s “authority” among the team.
The 22-year-old wore the captain’s armband for the first time as the Blues beat Luton Town 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup in what turned out to be Lampard’s final match in charge.
Lampard, who was sacked days later and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, says the England international deserved to be trusted to lead the team and challenged him to “rise up” to the role.
What has been said?
“A nice feeling when I left Chelsea in my last game was that I made Mason captain,” the Chelsea icon said at a Q&A at the Willow Foundation ahead of the London Football Awards.
“It wasn’t a gesture because I didn’t know I was leaving! But it was about his authority and standing in the group that had risen. He needed to see that and understand that. He needs to rise up.
“The minute I gave him the armband, I saw the look on his face and what it meant to him. That’s something you get when you bring through academy players and fans love it. They have been fighting with desire since they were eight years old. That’s tangible and something that’s important.
“You won’t always see it at 20 because they might have dips in confidence or moments in games that come. But when you have players who have that care, then it doesn’t matter who the manager is. The desire they have themselves will carry though because they work so hard.
“When I left Chelsea, and this is no disrespect to the manager who has come in, but I would have put my house that they would think, ‘Wow Mason Mount trains every day like a champion. He works off the ball and sets the press, has great quality, is improving all the time and now he is adding goals to his game.’
“That’s the end of Mason Mount but as you can see, I like him a lot! I probably said enough about him because people used to say he was my son, but I’ll be quiet there.”
How has Mount performed this season?
The Chelsea academy graduate has scored eight goals and registered eight assists in 41 appearances this season.
Mount struck for the London side in the second half of last week’s 5-2 loss to West Brom in the Premier League, before opening the scoring in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Porto in midweek.
What next for Mount and Chelsea?
Tuchel’s team travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace in the English top flight on Saturday.
They will then turn their attention back to the Champions League as they look to defend their 2-0 aggregate lead against Porto on Tuesday.