Reading many of your comments, in relation to this weekend’s round of fixtures, it appears that a lot of you want to see Juan Mata continue in the starting eleven – in spite of the availability of Rooney, Falcao, Wilson et al.
It is arguable that, if Louis van Gaal is running a meritocracy at Manchester United, then Mata should be in the team. He has certainly been showing some of his better form during his latest run in the side.
It’s almost as if he has suddenly realised that noone (captain Rooney apart) is guaranteed a place in the team and, if he wants to start, he’s going to have to play his socks off in every game.
There appears to be a new found spriteliness about the Spaniard – a refusal to go missing or coast through games as he has in the past. Mata seems to want to be central to everything now and it’s paying dividends.
In truth, while we admire his technique, he is one of these players whose exact function is difficult to define. He’s neat and tidy without being explosive or integral. And he doesn’t offer the killer pass anywhere near as much as we had hoped he would when he signed for Manchester United.
But he’s great from set pieces, scores goals and his understanding with Herrera is already excellent. Maybe he needs more tiki-taka type players around him to properly blossom.
At any rate, he’s a super player to have as a squad member and seems to have wonderful attitude the game and to life in general.
There is a very good chance that he will start on Monday. This is how we think Mata may fit in if he does get the nod.