Jose Mourinho, the master tactician, gave a press conference in which he spoke about Juan Mata leaving Chelsea for Manchester United. On the face of it, it seems as if Chelsea and Mourinho did the noble thing. They couldn’t guarantee him game time but they knew he was too good to sit on any bench. But the sound bytes that Jose chose for his press conference where intriguing as ever. Sky quoted him as saying:
“Juan is not comfortable on the sides. He tried very hard and he did very well in some matches playing on the sides, but it’s not his natural habitat.
“So when a club like Man United comes and for sure they told him he’s going to play in his favourite position and he wants to go, he goes.”
The interesting part of this is where Mourinho says that Manchester United have told Mata that he will play in his favourite position. If this is true then it means that either Wayne Rooney will play wide or RvP will be overlooked and Wazza plays up top.
We don’t think that this will be the case. Some may think it’s just Mourinho meddling on the sly. With rumours rife that Rooney will sign a new deal with Manchester United you would imagine he will continue at number 10 for the time being at least. So Mata will surely play wide in a 4-2-3-1 or further back in the midfield.
But it’s an interesting comment from Mourinho nonetheless. Perhaps he knows something about the current situation that we don’t. When RvP and Rooney are back we will get some empirical evidence about what formation Manchester United will play going forward.
Just for the beauty of the game, let’s have another look at Mata in action. His debut tomorrow night will be one of the most eagerly awaited in recent history.
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