MARTIN KEOWN: Intelligent Mason Mount leads Gareth Southgate’s trust in the English brain … he makes things happen when he gets the ball and Albania can’t handle him
- Mason Mount has intelligence and is an important part of England’s Euro 2020 plans
- Gareth Southgate’s tactical shift against Albania allowed Mount to dictate the game
- He makes things happen on the ball and allowed Harry Kane to stay on the field
Mason Mount has entered England’s last seven games and proved himself a useful player for Gareth Southgate due to his intelligence.
In the first half, with midfielders Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, England’s build-up game didn’t have the desired effect.
But Southgate changed things for the second half. He had Rice as the lone sitting midfielder, Phillips moved higher and Mount came back to receive the ball. Albania did not know how to handle it.
Mason Mount has entered England’s last seven games thanks to his intelligence as a footballer
As a defender of England, you know that when you roll the ball to Mount, it won’t come back. He’s going to turn around and make something happen.
He became vital in the build-up and that meant that Harry Kane could stay higher on the field.
Another sign of Mount’s intelligence was that the opening goal was the result of England creating an overload on the left.
Mount never seemed to miss his chance to give England a 2-0 lead against Albania
The Chelsea midfielder cut the ball back to Luke Shaw, who went home for Kane. With Mount through on goal to make it 2-0, there was no doubt he would score.
Phil Foden, as someone who has shown a perfect understanding of Pep Guardiola’s rotation system at Manchester City, is another who can understand what Southgate wants from him.
In Foden and Mount, 20 and 22 respectively, England has two intelligent players.
Mount was vital to the building of England, allowing Harry Kane to stay higher on the field