DENNIS WISE considers Mason Mount the complete footballer already.
Yet to be the complete Chelsea player there is still one thing missing – a band for his left arm.
Chelsea fans still sing about their legendary former captain who was in at the rebirth of the club back in the 1990s.
Wise, now 54, has thrown his weight behind Mount being anointed as the next skipper.
He reckons Mount lacks for nothing in terms of talent and commitment, having been slowly polished from boyhood into the cavalier all-rounder now regarded as the brightest young star at Stamford Bridge.
Wise handed over the Chelsea captaincy to John Terry, who in turn passed it to Gary Cahill and on to current skipper Cesar Azpilicueta.
Azpilicueta will lead Mount and the rest of the team onto the Wembley pitch tomorrow looking to make the FA Cup the first major trophy of a new era under boss Thomas Tuchel.
Wise hopes to see Mount win the old trophy and then in future years watch him be the first in line to lift it again and again as part of his captain’s duties on Cup final day.
Wise said: “He should be the next captain. He is a Chelsea boy, he has been there from a young age.
“He knows the club inside out, the personnel and he loves it – a bit like John Terry. Mason would be perfect.
ALL GROWN UP
DENNIS WISE sweeping up his baby boy Henry after winning the 2000 FA Cup is part of tournament folklore.
The Chelsea legend reckons it changed him on the inside – and from the outside.
Wise said: “It was a big moment. It was funny because everybody saw me as this horrible little midfield player going round and kicking people and all of a sudden it changed and people thought ‘oh, isn’t he nice?’
“Henry was six months old then. He is 21 now and cringes a little bit at the photo but it is what it is.
“It wasn’t just Henry, all the players’ kids came up. It was a family affair, a loving moment in a successful period.
“The FA Cup is up there with my moments really in allowing me to take steps forward as a footballer.”
Wise Jnr is now a midfielder with Championship side Watford.
His dad first won the Cup in 1988 when Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’ caused a massive shock by beating Liverpool.
Wise Snr said: “It means a lot, it took us off in 1988 with Wimbledon.
An opportunity for myself, for Vinnie Jones and a lot of us really.
“People looked at us in a serious way and all of a sudden we all went our separate ways. I went to Chelsea in 1990 and winning the Cup in 1997 really broke the ice for them as the club had waited a long time for a trophy.”
By Andrew Dillon
“It will make him a lot more mature as a person. He is the type that will like that and added responsibility will take him to the next level.
“And I have to say the next level for him will be very, very high.
“He enjoys himself and people respect the way he plays. I have met him. You can tell where he has grown up.
“You see the character in the ones that care. A deepness within. They know the canteen lady over the other side of the training ground. The kit man at the other building, the receptionist. It’s that kind of a scenario.
“I can imagine him going back to the academy and sitting with the boys there.
“All he needs now is experience. The players alongside him have won World Cups so you will only gain from them every day. He is gathering information every day.
“As a player he is good with his left, good with his right, he has pace, he knows when to run in behind. Pass it, dribble, can head it.
“Now it’s about what level is he going to go to? He is in the England squad so ‘can you win us the European Championship?’
“For Chelsea can he win them the FA Cup, the Champions League? You’re at the place where they will compete for them. Can he go to the next level? Yes he can but that takes time.”
Nice guy Mount looks like he can barely maintain the attempt at a goatee beard clinging to his boyish chin at just 22.
Back in the days of hair-curling tackles, Wise was a combative sergeant major who led Chelsea to two FA Cup wins and the European Cup Winners Cup.
Wise said: “I tried to play with a smile. Well, sometimes a smile and sometimes a growl.
“People would say they wouldn’t like to play against me, Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane, Vinny Jones. They say we’re horrible.
“But players like Mason hurt you in a different way. People say they would love to play against Gianfranco Zola because he is a lovely guy.
“Trust me you wouldn’t because he would run the backside out of you and you’d hate it.
“I hated playing against Paul Scholes. Not because he was aggressive, I just couldn’t get near him. He was frustrating to play against because was so clever.
“Likewise, Mount is horrible because he puts you on the back foot, runs this way, that way, drops short. He would have annoyed me.
“You look one way and ‘boom!’ He has gone and you think ‘s***’.
“Everyone has known since he was 15 that Mason would make it and he has taken his opportunity.
“He is very aggressive with running with the ball at you. He is a real talent. But he also pops up at the right time.
“Sometimes you don’t have a great game but you’re the one who pops up to create something. That tells you something about that person. He keeps going and has a real passion and desire.
“There’s an inner strength from him to play like that and still enjoy it. He thrives on it.”
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