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Jose Mourinho explains what he wants from Juan Mata

Juan Mata Oscar Mourinho 2013

Juan Mata was a surprise omission from the Chelsea squad for the home match against Fulham. He was deemed not good enough for a place even on the bench by manager José Mourinho. It sparked a lot of reaction amongst Chelsea supporters, who found it difficult to comprehend that the ‘Player of the Year‘ for the last two seasons was not even able to be on the bench.

Mourinho spoke before the game that Mata needed to adjust to the new style of play at Chelsea if he is to play regularly.

VIDEO: Scroll down for Mourinho’s opinions on Mata

He has now explained in detail Mata’s omission, what he needs to do to get back into the team, and some tactical insight. He has also confirmed that Mata will start against Swindon Town in the midweek League Cup match.

Speaking to Skysports, Mourinho said:

“The evolution of the team is that I want Oscar and Mata to play together. I want that but for that (to happen) one has to adapt and to work to a certain way of play because I am not ready to change Oscar’s position.”

Mourinho has already said that Oscar is his No 10 in the team. Now that he is not prepared to change Oscar’s position, Mata would have to settle for a place on the wings. Eden Hazard plays on the left, but so far, the midfield trio behind the striker (in the 4-2-3-1 formation) have all been very fluid enough to rotate positions throughout the 90 minutes.

Mata played in the wings under Andre Villas-Boas, but he was moved to a central position – to great success – by Roberto di Matteo. Rafa Benitez did not change this either, and it seems that Mata’s insistence to play in a central role is causing the problems.

“Juan has to learn to play the way I want to play. He has to be more consistent, has to participate more when the team loses the ball. It’s not his fault, it’s just the consequence of the way he has played in the last years,” Jose added.

Mourinho has been indirectly critical of Chelsea’s style of play under Benitez and this is yet another testament to this fact. In the last two years of watching Mata at Chelsea, I would confidently say that he is very good at tracking back. In fact, he is better than the likes of Eden Hazard in this respect. Hence, it is a little bemusing to find that Mourinho demands even more from the Spaniard.

Jose explained his tactics by saying,

“Oscar as a number 10 is a player that gives us creativity, but at the same time when we press up, Oscar is a runner, a player capable of pressing. We have our ideas and we stick with our ideas.”

Either way, Mata will get an opportunity against Swindon. It is time for him to prove that he is one of the best players at Chelsea.

The interview:


  1. Macarthy Uzoma Godfrey

    Mourinho is a very stupid idiot. Mata is a great player any time any day. Useless Mourinho should simply agree that he lives now on past glory and stop deceiving himself. That we managed a win over a not-too-good Fulham doest mean that Mourinho did a good job. After all we have good players who can win matches with or without any coach on our bench. And Mourinho talks too much like the big fool he is.

  2. Up chelsea.i want.mourinho to use mata and oscar in one matches

  3. I wish mata could be in chelsea first eleven

  4. Everybody is talkin abou oscar and mata,were is willian?

  5. Mata is a gud player n shld kip workin hard in order 2 make d team cuz i miss those assists of him…. Mourinho, is a vry talented manager n wntz d best 4 d club n shldn’t b put under pressure…. 1 luv BLUES!!!

  6. Soloman u ar big fool like the special one is stupid, we need mata in our squard

  7. Mourinho is very right,I have watch mata several he is a good creative midfielder but lack strenght and ability to mark opponent with more stronge midfielder like ours,this is a challenge mou is giving to mata to prove himself.let him learn how to track back and mark and intercept balls,it will be good for him too for his career.mata pls prove mou wrong like he told u to do.and I believe in u

  8. What’s big deal that mata is on the bench!is mata better than willian who is also on the bench.spain has being winning all there matchs with mata on the bench or not even invited,so what?

  9. brothers lets stop speakin profanities against eachother. I think jose wants d best 4 dis team. Have u ever compared oscars work rate with matas. Am not removing anything 4rm matas contribution in d team over d last few yrs bt he needs 2 improve on trackin back n timeli tackles if neccesary.

  10. The problem wt Mata is dat he needs to add more to his creativity to fit in to the number 10 role; he’s too lazy to tract back, make tackles. Mou has no grudges against him bt demands he does more d fact dat our team has been built around Mata all dis while isn’t a good one for us b’cos our success av always depended on his performance on the pitch in d last two seasons

  11. you people u dont know anything about coaching,coz u are talking about mata,mata.jose is a very experience coach,he knows the mistakes and he wants to make mata a proffesional player.so u guys who insult jose,l think u dont know wat u are talking about and how many coaches do u want to sack leave him alone, he knows wat he is doing.u are not a coach.

  12. Mou is right in his decisions 2 drop mata.i fnk he should prove his worth in mid-week.he should learn 2 get de tackles

  13. mou is stupid nd mad,we need mata in our midfield to nurish nd dictate our style of play on d pitch.Fuck mou,fuck any fan dat wants to support him too..UP CHELSEA.

  14. i disagree with mourhino when it comes to mata the combination of the three amigos works better he should start the three lads mata, oscar and hazard in a game and see mata display.

  15. Reminds me of the song………..”If there is any justice in the world….. Mourinho will fail…..” There is nothing anyone can say, Mourinho is egoistic and he wants all the attention and worship from his players. Once you are not that he has a problem with you. I personally await the day he will be hounded out of Stamford Bridge. I loved Mourinho but I love Mata more and this is not fair.

  16. u guys shuld just kip ur holes u calld mouth up.mou knows wat he is doing.mata shuld sit up,he needs strength,pace nd ability to intercept balls,i love u mata,just keep it up.i knw u re nt going to leave nd will b happier to c u win epl bst player of d year.

  17. i regret been a chelsea fan, & u solomon, u re d biggest fool 4 insultin sm1 hu knw’s football more dan u,

  18. If mata were 2 b a player 4rm anoda club chelsea will go 4 him, nw is dere player dey don’t appreciate him, nd 4 mou if mata is nt as gud as he claim den benitez is d bst among d 2.

  19. If u knw football,u will agree wit me dat yastdy match dere ws no midfiled, all of dem were givin wrg passes, 2ru out, bcos nobdy 2 hold d ball in midfield, chelsea re sayin dey wnt 2 build a team wit young players, were is azpilcuita, van ginkel, betrand, debrune,lukaku,mata are dey goin 2 prove demself on d bench, tell me

  20. If u knw football,u will agree wit me dat yastdy match dere ws no midfiled, all of dem were givin wrg passes, 2ru out, bcos nobdy 2 hold d ball in midfield, chelsea re sayin dey wnt 2 build a team wit young players, were is azpilcuita, van ginkel, betrand, debrune,mata, are dey goin 2 prove demself on d bench, tell me

  21. Let me tell u people believe it or not,jose mou,has personal hatered on mata,even though mata carried gold jose wil nt regard it,if u disagree wit me y iz it only mata,iz willams,essan,betrend,are thy nt players?

  22. I’m Happy To See mata On Bench,Because Of 2Reason No1,If mata Want To Become First Eleven He Should Prove His Self,If Not It’s Goin To Remain On Bench.Secondly He Have To Learn How To Use Ball To Attack That Is The Comment I Have To Say About mata.All People Which Call Mou Idiot Them Don’t Call Him Again Because His Know What Is Doing

  23. I think Mou is right, both players are good but Oscar is more aggressive than Mata when marking opponents. If Mata can adapt then it will be ‘the 3 amigos’ ones more!…Mata should just take his time and follow Mou’s instructions!.

  24. People, ask ourselves y Mata don’t have a starting shirt in d spanish national team?….y Oscar is d brazilian no.10 n has a starting shirt?

  25. I wnt mou to pl@y m@t@

  26. I want us 2 tink b4 we post anytin,i tink mourinho doesnt lyk Mata,dis is a pleyer dat can giv a striker a 2ru pass @ any time,he can dribble,assist,score wat did u wnt in a creative midfielde dat dis man doesnt have,all wat u guy are sayin is dat he didnt mark,i wnted 2 tell u dis,did Ronaldo mark anytym he is intercept….the answer is NO but he uses Ronaldo wen he was in Madrid……2 my own view, i tink Mourinho has 2 use Mata if he wnts 2 suceed in chelsea or @ d end of d day we will end up blaming the so call Happy One

  27. iyke u are vry ryt!!! Mata is a fantastic player but lack strent… He has started 2matches dis season but did not realy do well so d special one is mo dan ryt usin oscar as his no10 cos his has really done well mo dan any oda chelsea player.. Uzoma i fink u are d stupid fool here if u really fink dat mata dizav 2 be started ahead of oscar in dat central roll.. Juan we love u and we wana knw d mata wif u!!!!!! We really need u 2get bak 2top form…. Nice work by jose!!!!! We love u more!!!!!! Go chelsea…blue is d colour!!!!!!!

  28. Mou is lakin sence,an house without a pillar can it stand 4 lng tym,it wil soon get 2 a tym dat he wil use mata in evry cmpitition,he cannt knw it yet,cuz he’s stil meatin smal tim,by d tym they finish wit us at epl, we wil knw dat mou is d cause of it,i dnt knw y he is usin oscar 4 10, ask urslf is d profesions of player d same,he’s nw sayin dat mata didnt av takle experience,4get,futbal is nt by power,bt it takes only experience.i love u mata,kip it up.u re gr8 nd u re beta dan d rest

  29. U guys r set of Jobless pple for criticizing mourinho,He’s a great manager and u tink u can teach him his Job as a coach?? Beta go n get a life coz i can see u lack one!!!

  30. Now I’m beginning to agree dat mou returning to Chelsea is a nightmare cos any good coach would not hesitate to start d best player of d team for two yrs, he shud tink building on d success of last season which mata was obviously outstanding but no, mou doesn’t see it dat way, instead of adding to dat flair, he’s destroying d entire team, mata is d way forward, it baffles me hw Chelsea fans don’t really know what’s ghud for d tea cos if dey do, they would be against dis nonsense Jose is doing