At this rate he will become a top player, I’ve never seen Hard Work fail before.

Mason Mount’s journey from a kid to the top is one of resilience, belief and hard work. His mates, before getting to the professional level, had either been released or settled for other things outside football yet he held on, believing he can make it. His resilient mentality is still active till date, in the manner he handled his recent struggles.

For the past few weeks, Mason Mount gets trolled and abused by the Club fans whenever his name appears on the starting XI list.

These fans wouldn’t call it ‘hate’ when they were confronted, they termed it ‘Criticism’. Forgetting both words aren’t the same. There is a boundary that indicates the difference between the two. For instance, a fan who wants him injured so he doesn’t feature in matches anymore isn’t criticising him, he’s wishing him no good. Same applies to the one who photoshopped his picture holding a West Ham shirt. These actions neither make them a good supporter nor a better human.

For Mount, these are what he goes through. But, for every effect there must be a cause, why is a kid raised through the Club’s academy system suffer persecution from his own fans? There are diverse answers, but, the most common one is ‘Favouritism’. It works for both sides; Frank Lampard seems to favour Mount most while those fans also favour ‘a different player’ which Mount is taking his place.

Callum Hudson-Odoi. Talent. Potential. Spirited. ‘The Starboy’, a term meaning the one with the brightest potential. Like Mount, he came through the Club’s academy system. He lighted the Bridge up in the 2018/19 season and won many fans over. His eye-catching step-overs and tricks are the cause. Who wouldn’t love such a skilful player? Nobody.

Nobody, except someone who weighed his Pros and cons. Talent is something, attitude is everything. The cons are; it was a disappointment to see a homegrown kid drop a transfer request to leave the club at the first opportunity. Afterwards, it was reported that the 18-year-old attended a late-night party. Almost a year after, during a global pandemic, he was arrested for breaching the Covid-19 guidelines by inviting a model over.

However, Hudson-Odoi’s flaws, in no way should be used to appraise Mount. It is just a reminder to those section of fans, on who the player they favour is. The plot is, they question someone’s service to the club while their rep isn’t a saint either.

From a logical viewpoint, Favouritism is inevitable in football. You can’t blame someone for loving a player over another albeit they both play for the club he supports. When you have 25 players in the squad with different qualities, surely favouritism will set in. Hence I completely understand why someone would prefer to watch the ‘enjoyable’ Hudson-Odoi to the ‘pressing merchant’, Mount. It’s a case of choice and it’s fairly acceptable.

When it became unacceptable is using the factor to show discontentment towards the manager’s decision. These fans, from their obsession with favouritism, look like they prefer their favourite to be in the First XI even if it means the team failing. So you see angry fingers typing bombs under @ChelseaFC account once they tweet the lineup and their favourite isn’t featured. The manager isn’t exempted in this social mob; his tactical decision gets rubbished every week regarding this issue.

Albeit to Frank Lampard, this scenario isn’t new to him, in fact, everything happening to Mount now draw more comparison to him. He was a local kid who loved the club truthfully after watching his dad became a legend there, he always wanted the good of his club. Lampard was promoted to the West Ham first team at the atmosphere of favouritism; a time when his dad was the assistant manager and his uncle, the manager.

“Being Frank Lampard’s (Snr) son brought with it different rules to those which apply to every other player,” he explained in his autobiography.

The West Ham fans nicknamed him ‘Fat Lampard’, an abuse meaning he is too overweight for his age. He said he nearly quit football amidst all these, especially when he broke his leg as an 18-year-old and the West Ham fans cheered. The abuse made him someone who wants to see his lifelong club lose; “I remember when Joe Cole first came to Chelsea he would turn away in disappointment if West Ham lost. I would smile.”

Eventually, the abuse directed at him by West Ham fans didn’t work in their favour, it instead pushed him to work harder and become one of the greats in football history. When you digest Lampard’s predicament from his club’s fans at a young age, you’ll see clear similarities to what Mason Mount is currently going through. Mount may be termed ‘zero ability, trains hard merchant’ but the truth is Hard Work never fails.

“This (everything) is the reward of all my Hard Work” – Didier Drogba. A grave epitome of a hard worker who hustled himself all the way up. In his book, talent is secondary to hard work. Legendary icons like Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and even the most talented Lionel Messi would tell you Hard Work is primary.

“One of the reasons Lampard likes Mount is because he trains every day as if it is his last,” a source told The Athletic. Frank Lampard backed it; “the thing about Mason is he always wants to be better.” He praised the standard he set that no one is more hardworking than him in the Chelsea squad. 

Furthermore, England’s national team manager, Gareth Southgate testified to his immense work ethic. At this rate, he will only become a top player, I’ve never seen hard work fail before. The knotty question is; will it be at his homegrown club?

Though some Chelsea fans don’t need the story of Frank Lampard to treat a youngster better. These fans watched Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah move out of the club and become world-class talents elsewhere. Thus for no cause do they find it appropriate to abuse a young player. But some fans still do, which defines a large community perfectly – there must be the good side and the bad side.