3 reasons why Chelsea's season has gone off track
- A look at why Chelsea's season has suddenly crumbled and the problems Lampard needs to solve immediately
As teams flew out for the third international break of the season in the first week of the November, things looked rosy and sunny at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea were on a six-match winning streak, level on points with second-placed Leicester City and remarkably a point ahead of defending champions Manchester City. Having had a transfer ban, lost Eden Hazard, and appointing an inexperienced manager in Frank Lampard, the Blues found themselves in a situation that even the most optimistic fan could not have imagined.
However, since then, things have gone from bad to worse for the West London club as they have lost four of their last five league games. While a spirited defeat at the Etihad Stadium raised expectations, defeats to struggling West Ham, Everton, and Bournemouth is a matter of huge concern for Lampard's team. All three of them came into the match in a bad run of form and by all means, barely faced a challenge from Chelsea.
With a busy and tough fixture list coming up over the next couple of months, alarm bells are bound to ring in amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful. Here is a look what has suddenly gone wrong for the Europa League holders.
#3 Mason Mount's form
In modern-day football, the number 10 role has increasingly become a redundant one. Year after year, one is seeing lesser and lesser coaches play a formation that accommodates one. The best teams around like Liverpool and Manchester City do not play with one. Quite simply put, it is an extremely luxurious position and by playing one, teams risk losing balance in midfield
However, Lampard has decided to use one at Chelsea and given the responsibility to Mason Mount. In the Blue's 'youth revolution', Mount was one of the early stars of Chelsea's season as he scored four league goals in the first eight games. His energy, high-pressing, work rate, and movement were crucial in helping the Blues play an intense and attractive brand of football.
However, the former Derby loanee's form has faded as the season progressed and has only one goal to his name since the 6th of August. There also remain big questions marks over his overall contribution to the game. So far this season, Mount has only 26 key passes and 27 chances created to his name as per data on 'FotMob'. His contribution fades significantly to other young English attacking midfielders in the league like James Maddison (43 key passes and 47 chances created) and Jack Grealish (37 key passes and 41 chances created). Kevin De Bruyne, who is the gold standard in this position, currently has made 62 key passes and created 71 chances.
A 20-year-old player having periods of inconsistency is hardly surprising. Without any doubt, Mount has an extremely bright future ahead of him but for a club like Chelsea, the present is just as important. With Ross Barkley barely having anyone's trust and Ruben Loftus-Cheek's continued absence from injury, Lampard barely has any options in attacking-midfield. Hence, Mount recovering his form and improving his game is extremely crucial for the Blues.