Date: 24th September 2013 at 2:00pm
Written by:

Juan Mata was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the West London derby against Fulham and has been the subject of much debate as Jose Mourinho has demanded something more from him, but how will the Spaniard react to his manager’s words?

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to Mata’s situation as many are bemused by his omission, others can see Mourinho has a point but argue he is still one of our best players and must play, whilst there are those that go out of their way to pick faults in the player in order to justify the fact he’s been left out even though Mourinho hasn’t really done so himself, he’s just challenging him to adapt to his vision.

He does have a point as Mata doesn’t really do as much as Oscar and Eden Hazard do off the ball, but I’d argue he does a lot more with it and I’d like to see us stick with him as part of a developing system, or how else is he supposed to develop the other side of his game?

I also think Mourinho’s point is generally misunderstood as he’s already bemoaned the fact that when his attacking midfielders are receiving they are all too often with their back to goal, so are generally less effective and Hazard seems to be defending on the left a lot more than Ashley Cole is these days. Surely Jose eventually wants his attacking players to press and defend in the opposition half as a unit, a little like Barcelona did so successfully under Pep Guardiola (he’d never use this comparison himself though, of course).

According to the Daily Star, a source close to Mata has reacted well to what Mourinho has said and wants to ‘knuckle down and try harder’ which is what you’d expect from a player that loves the club, the city and one of my followers on Twitter observed that Mata celebrates every goal as if it was his first.

If he presses effectively when given the chance, put his foot in and commits to the 50/50s then Mourinho won’t really have an excuse not to play him and it would really test the media’s theory that he already made his mind up that he doesn’t like him, which Mourinho denies.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the journos are wrong and Mata will prove to everyone that he’s still the best player in the team.


One response to “How will Mata react to Mourinho’s challenge?”

  1. Joseph Porto says:

    About the article “Jose Mourinho’s approach great for long-term strategy”

    This article claims:
    “He shouldn’t be judged just yet in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.”

    So he can Humiliate destroy and abuse players and is too early to criticize him?
    Sorry but I disagree.
    It is the right time to put a barrier to what can be done and what shouldn’t.
    It is the right time to tell Mourinho that even he has merits in his career, but he has no white card to do anything he wants.
    He has done some disastrous mistakes in the past , and we want to be sure he will not do it again at least while in Chelsea. Do You agree?
    I understand the main tactic employed bu Mourinho is to obtain 150% or more productive and effort of any player. In other words to sent them on the pitch with blood in his eyes giving everything for the triumph. If some will see this approach valid . I personally disagree. because the mind games employed by this manager are far over proportion humilliating his own players and putting a negative atmosphere around them.

    If this way of training and obtaining victories will be the only one and widely used by most managers, then we will agree that could be valid.
    But the reality tell us that by the contrary only few managers use mind games to transform his players into animals to go under the circus arena.
    We have some technicians who practice beautiful football tactics and style of play that produce joy and admiration, and that was never the case of Mourinho.
    So even he has good achievements , he has no one of beautiful football.
    Some will say that only winning no matter what is important, but I disagree and others like me will do the same.
    Some people can not just be passive observers of the silly and foolish mind games employed by Mourinho to obtain his purposes over his players. And in some cases like the one of Juan Mata those mind games are not only offensive for our best player but also for ourselves. If we can’t say our opinion and express our rejection then Mourinho pretend reducing us to simple observers of a self proclaimed genius?

    Mourinho is giving to all of us the label of ignorants without a clue of what can be done and what shouldn’t.
    Tell me if I am wrong if that was the purpose of Mourinho to tell us to be apart of his decisions when he decided not to even include Juan Mata on the bench during our last match? Just to avoid pressure of the fans to include him in the field? Am I going to far? Or I am just deciphering Mourinho’s mind games?.

    For the sake of everyone I propose Mourinho stop immediately humiliating players in his own selfish benefit to be himself the only star at Chelsea. Work harder but not in his mind games to put blood in the eyes of his players, but in football tactics who dominate the opponent by the football quality and ability of our team. To stop competing for the starship with our own players. Mourinho can be a star but Mata is also a star and Luis, and Lampard ( certainly a one who must retire but that is for other day).