Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhere Does Juan Mata Stand At Chelsea? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Where Does Juan Mata Stand At Chelsea? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Where Does Juan Mata Stand At Chelsea?

Manchester United and Chelsea played out a boring and somewhat uneventful Premier League match at Old Trafford on Monday night. Despite the eneventful 90 minutes, there were two aspects that intereseted me; the first was that Wayne Rooney started and played quite decently, and the second was that Juan Mata was once again overlooked by Jose Mourinho. What is going on with the little Spaniard, and has Mourinho already taken a dislike to Chelsea’s Player of the Season for the last two years?

Kevin De Bruyne provided an assist in the first league game of the season against Hull and also collected the man of the match award, whilst Mata was substituted after 65 minutes of the second match against Aston Villa without really providing the spark that his team needed in a difficult game. So it was perhaps deserved that the Belgian started against Man Utd at Old Trafford.

However, as time wore on, and the quality deteriorated. We saw Mata warming up on the sidelines and he appeared to be getting ready to hopefully improve his team’s attack. Instead of what was the assumed substitution of De Bruyne for Mata, Mourinho opted to take off the Belgian and replace him with Fernando Torres, which caused a shift around as Andre Schurrle dropped back to become an attacking midfielder instead of a striker. Later on in the 87th minute we saw John Obi Mikel introduced, as Chelsea looked to tighten up for a goalless draw, and whilst a point is certainly not a bad result, it was the kind of game that was crying out for the invention and creativeness of Mata.

Where does this now leave the former Valencia man, after rumours that he was made available for transfer and offered as part of a potential deal for Rooney? Surely Chelsea are not seriously thinking about selling a player that in 70 league games has scored 18 goals and provided 34 assists?!

Under Rafa Benitez last season, the trio of Mata, Hazard and Oscar looked fantastic, which is why the signing of Schurrle, and return of De Bruyne, seemed unnecessary. Whether Mourinho is trying to provoke a reaction, as he did with Iker Casillas at Real Madrid, we don’t know, but he would not be held in quite such high regard by Blues fans if he unsettles a player that they already consider to be an essential part of their team.

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