Chelsea’s flamboyant manager Jose Mourinho might be the best tactician in the Premier League, but when it comes to dealing with the club’s reigning Player Of The Year Juan Mata, he doesn’t seem to have a clue. Mata played in 35 and 34 games respectively during the last two seasons in the League, scoring 17 times and providing 30 assists — numbers that would be more than sufficient to merit regular first-team action with any team in Europe. Ironically, for his club Chelsea, they are not good enough as the Spaniard continues to struggle to force his way into Mourinho’s game-plans day-in and day-out.
Mata, a huge fan-favorite at the club and winner of the Champions League and Europe League trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge, has been finding it tough to gain his manager’s trust. It is in fact baffling that a player so good at setting up his teammates does not play more often given the Blues’ troubles with their misfiring strikers. Mourinho may have his reasons for snubbing the playmaker, but his refusal to let the player leave is understandable given the talent Mata possesses. Mata could be a valuable asset to any team if he is let go, particularly to a direct League rival.
With the FIFA World Cup around the corner, Mata needs consistent performances with this club to have a chance of featuring prominently in his country’s matches in Brazil next year. Vicente del Bosque has arguably the deepest squad of any international team as the country’s golden era of football players continues. It will be interesting to see how long Mata holds on at Chelsea before he gets frustrated with the situation and forces a move out. Given his current plight, he should hope that the day comes sooner before it is too late.