Prior to the season’s opening and during its early stages there was a lot of debate surrounding Mata and where he will fit into the formation following the arrival of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Brazilian number 10 Oscar. The Spaniard has so far played left, middle and is currently being deployed on the right, but says he’s comfortable playing wherever the manager wants him.
When asked about his preferred position, the 24-year-old said:
“I don’t care. At the moment I’m playing right side which is good because it means I can cut inside onto my left foot.
“When I play in the three behind the striker I can look for freedom with the ball and help defending without the ball. It’s important for all three of us to keep our positions.”
Many pundits were questioning whether or not Di Matteo will successfully play the likes of Mata, Oscar and Hazard in the same XI, most of them expressing their doubt, but the trio have so far answered them in fine style as they’ve scored around 10 and have made 16 assists between them. Our third goal against Norwich also demonstrates how well they can link up, as Mata broke and put it on a plate for Hazard with an inch-perfect pass.
They seem fairly natural in the team together at the moment, especially since Ramires was moved from playing right-midfield into the centre alongside John Obi Mikel as the pair offer stability in the middle of the park and allow the attacking players to do what they do best.
Also, it’s always refreshing when a players says he’s going to do his bit for the team regardless of what’s asked of him and for a player of his talent Mata always comes across as a humble fella, which is one of the reasons why he’s so loved by the Stamford Bridge faithful. His recent rest has paid dividends for the club as he’s scored four and made seven assists himself now, but has somehow been omitted from Spain’s squad. He’s obviously disappointed by this despite remaining confident he’ll earn his place back but their loss is Chelsea’s gain, I guess.
Source: Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle