I have to say I do not understand Juan Mata’s situation at Chelsea. The Spaniard was one of the stars of last season and Chelsea’s Player of the Year.
Yet this season he has struggled to get into the Blues starting line-up, neither mind find his best form.
I would imagine that most Chelsea fans are as mystified as the rest of us to why Mata is not in favour with Blues boss Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese boss has now warned the Spanish international that he must change his game and that Oscar is his preferred number ten.
Here is snippet of what Mourinho told Sky Sports: “There are things I cannot speak with you about. But he played against Everton from the beginning and you can analyse his performance.
“And he played against Basel, not like (Demba) Ba or (John Obi) Mikel, coming in to rescue the game, but he came on when the team was winning 1-0 and when he had specific tasks to do.
“Another thing to adapt to the way we want to play. In this moment, Oscar is my number 10 and, if somebody tells me that Oscar is not Chelsea’s best player since the beginning of the season, I’d have to disagree.”
From the above statement above it is obvious that Mourinho believes that Oscar is his best option for the number ten role, which I really do not understand because that is Mata’s best position. Oscar is talented, but if I had the choice between the pair I know who I would choose to play in that role.
Mourinho continued to say: “I want to build with Oscar as my number 10,”
“I want the other two players, from the side (wings), to adapt to that reality and to learn how to do things that they were not ready to do before.
Despite Mourinho saying that Mata has great talent, for some reason the Portuguese boss does not seem to rate the little Spaniard. Ever since Mourinho’s return to Chelsea there have been doubts about Mata’s future at Chelsea.
As Mourinho says in his comment there may be issues that he cannot talk about, but Mata has never struck me as the sort of player or guy that would cause trouble. It is a very strange situation.
Mourinho’s rotation of his team really has not helped Chelsea’s continuity this season. The Portuguese’s team selections have been questioned this season and the lack of first team action for Mata has also been a major issue this season.
Mata is the sort of player that needs to be playing first team football to be at his best. He is without doubt one of the most technically gifted players in the Premier League. He would get in any Premier League side.
The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United were all linked with signing the Spaniard this summer. However, he stayed at Stamford Bridge, but has only played a bit part at the club this season.
As previously stated Mata’s best position is probably the number ten role, yet Mourinho has been playing him as a wide attacker and Oscar as the number ten. Oscar is youngster with a lot of promise, but I do not think he is as good as Mata.
Mata produced goals and assists last season, as he collected his second consecutive Chelsea Player of the Year. Oscar spent last season becoming accustomed to English football, as did Eden Hazard, who has also struggled to impose himself on games this season.
Chelsea face Fulham in a west London derby later today, whether Mata is included in the Blues starting line-up for the clash remains to be seen. However, if Mata keeps being left out of the team then he is likely to become frustrated, if he has not already.
Mata has been linked with a summer move back to his homeland. It would be a shame for the Premier League if Mata did return to Spain, as he is one of the league’s star turns.
However, it seems that Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho are not compatible and it could result in the playmaker exiting Stamford Bridge in the near future, which would be a big loss to Chelsea and the Premier League in general.
What’s the Mata with Chelsea’s star Spaniard?