The last few days have been hectic being a Chelsea supporter to say the least. Many of us have been shocked, upset, sad, happy, etc etc regarding Midfielder Juan Mata’s move to Manchester United, that has been confirmed by both clubs now.

I have noticed many varied opinions but on the whole, this issue seems to have divided Chelsea supporters on their opinions on the matter. Some of us fail to believe or understand the reasons on why we have sold Juan Mata, who has been player of the season in both seasons since joining Chelsea and has created the most assists, those are facts. Then there are the other half, those who truly believe that Mata was suffering poor form this season and did not feel that he took his chances to prove himself and that Chelsea are right to sell him.

Now, many of you that follow me on Twitter will know that my opinion in this firmly sits in the ‘why the hell did we sell him’? category. To be honest, I was not shocked at all to learn that Mata was leaving, and it did not surprise me that it was to a club like United (baring in mind Mourinho’s desperation to land Wayne Rooney this summer, I’m adamant this is why we sold Mata to United). My problem was the fact that it even got to this stage in the first place, in the space of half a season we have gone from Mata being our most important player in the team, to not even getting five minutes of game time and solely warming the bench. Has Mata really decreased in ability that much in such a short space of time to warrant constantly dropping him? No, is the short answer to that.

Mata and Toress relax before Basel fixture
Mata and Torres relax before Basel fixture

Every single player in our squad had a bad spell at the start of this season and even Eden Hazard had a few off days, but he never got dropped (apart from the missing training incident). There are a number of other players who have not produced on many occasions either, including Oscar. But still time after time it was always Oscar over Mata. Now I’ll go out on a limb here and declare that in my humble opinion (without even looking at stats, I know Mata’s are better), Juan Mata is a better player in the No.10 role than Oscar. They are both pure class in that role, but for me Mata is better. Mourinho asked him to be more direct, press more and work harder, which he did in the very limited game time that he received, but still no applaud-its or extra game time from the boss.

We have a good balance in that team now with two fast, skillful wingers that make things happen and then a flair creator in the middle, which works. Yes Oscar is faster than Mata and this does allow him to press quicker etc, but for me, if we had Mata in that hole, he would have a field day releasing the pace of Willian and Hazard and being the puppeteer if you like, dictating the play. Oscar does this, but not as well as Mata did. It would be like Pellegrini dropping David Silva because he does not run at full pace everywhere all game, because this is not his style and neither is it Mata’s. Which brings me to my next point, the reason he was dropped was not his form or ability, it was simply because Mourinho does not like his style of play, the slowing down tippy tappy passing is not what Mourinho likes. And Mourinho is the Manager and we all have to respect that and put our faith in him, which is what I am doing. So please do not call me ‘Team Mata’ or ‘Mata FC’ and don’t spout the old cliche ‘no player is better than the team’ etc etc, because I know this, my issue is the fact people are claiming he was sold because he was off form. He wanted to leave in the end to get game time, which is understandable and Mourinho even said he did not want to sell, so yes under the circumstances, selling him was the right thing to do.

Mata celebrates scoring against Arsenal
Mata celebrates scoring against Arsenal

I’ll state again, selling him is not my issue. I’ll remind you of a few of the various comments I remember seeing last season, probably from these same naive supporters who feel Mourinho can do no wrong and that Mata was not good enough for our team anymore. ‘Juan Mata is going to be the next Gianfranco Zola’. I saw that quote many times, especially after the period when we went without Mata for a few games and supporters were begging for him back as we lost match after match and failed to create anything without him, Oscar did not step up and we were called a ‘one man team’. Funny how short some peoples memories can be. Mata created goal after goal for us the last two seasons and was admired adorally by supporters and players alike, rightly collecting his player of the year awards. Then all of a sudden, after a slight dip in form, he is off and some people claim he deserves to be. I disagree, I believe that he could be the pinnacle of our team still with the fluid attackers alongside him and really be the mastermind behind our attacks. But I don’t dwell on things and I put my trust in Jose and that he made the right decision, he is building a different style of team, a faster and fluid side, I can see that and I can see how Mata will not fit that bill, I understand it. I just wish people can see the reasons he’s gone is NOT because he’s lost form or ability, that is far from the truth.

I will not hate Mata for being a United player, I will remember what he’s done for the club, but nor will I claim that he is a Chelsea legend, because he is far from that. I respect him as a top Spanish football player from now on and that is all. I don’t think it is right to hate on him, abuse him or tell him that ‘you wished he was dead’ which is a genuine tweet from a Chelsea ‘supporter’ that I saw today. Of course he’s now a United player and in banter terms, we don’t like United players. It will be painful to see him in the red of Manchester, but we move on and we move forward with Jose, who is well in to this exciting transition of our beloved football club, we have a lot to look forward to and some exciting times ahead with Mourinho at the helm, but in my opinion Jose, you got this one wrong.

On a lighter note, officially United are signing a Chelsea player who could not make the starting line up, so affectively they have just spent £37 million on a Chelsea reject! And also, Juan Mata is now unfortunately going from a top three club to an average mid-table side, two huge reasons to keep on smiling and KEEP THE BLUE FLAG FLYING HIGH!

Sy Phillips – News Editor CFCnet

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