Mason Mount insists he’s no teacher’s pet as he discusses Jack Grealish rivalry

Mason Mount’s biggest problem in an England jersey is that he is not Jack Grealish.

The Aston Villa man’s spectacular early season club form and dazzling full international debut against Wales has made him a social media – and standard media – darling.

Grealish did not taste a minute of action in the subsequent Nations League matches against Belgium and Denmark while Mount started both.

It was a selection that came under scrutiny when England slumped to defeat against the Danes.

But Mount believes it is not a simple case of him getting the Gareth Southgate nod ahead of Grealish.

He said: “I’d never look at it as a rivalry. We are two different players and we do different things.

“We are kind of different players. We can play in different roles.

“Jack? You know what he can do. He’s a world-class player that can create and score goals and that’s what we need in any England team.

“There are different players in this squad who can play in different positions.

“That is the kind of squad that has been picked. Players that can be played in higher positions and in deeper positions, so, the comparisons (with Grealish) are not just there, I don’t think.”

Unlike Grealish, Mount has come through the St George’s Park system, having represented England at five junior levels before making his senior bow.

He is a poster boy for the Football Association’s coaching headquarters.

But that, he says, does not make him some sort of teacher’s pet.

Mount said: “No, not at all. I’ve never felt like that. I’m a player that wants to do their best for the team and work hard. And maybe people take that the wrong way – I don’t know.

“The gaffer chooses the team and all the players have just got to work hard to try and get in the starting eleven.”

Mount, 21, is accustomed to having his position in a team under threat.

Even though Frank Lampard is never slow to sing his praises, Mount looked one of the more vulnerable players when Chelsea embarked on last window’s spending spree.

Instead, he has remained a regular for his club.

“The whole thing about life at Chelsea is that you've got to compete against players coming in from all over Europe,” Mount explained.

“It doesn't matter if you're just starting off in the Under-8s or you're in the first-team and I think that's kind of the beauty of the club.

“It brings the best out of the players. So no matter who comes in, I will always be up for the battle.”

And he will, no doubt, have a battle to win over keyboard warriors if he again starts for England … and Grealish does not.

But it will not bother this determined young man.

“I’m very headstrong and I don’t really let too many things get to me,” he said.

“The biggest focus you can have is blocking out everything else that comes with being a footballer. The focus for me is trying to be the best one performing when I play. For club and country.”

And if that makes him a teacher's pet, it is not a bad attitude to have.

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