It was thought that a start against Everton would dispel all the Juan Mata transfer rumours. Yet, they continue to persist after the Spaniard was substituted after just 57 min in the 1-0 defeat against Everton despite putting in a strong performance. His replacement, Oscar, was average, as Chelsea suffered the first league defeat of the campaign.
Mata and Jose Mourinho have been stating that there is no truth in the transfer rumours, but one can’t help feeling that the 25-year-old will put up with this situation for much longer. Mata, though, has confirmed that his absence so far this campaign has been down to muscular injuries.
“I can confirm that I’m feeling good after the muscular problems I’ve been suffering since pre-season,” said Mata.
These comments hint that Mata is ready to play more regularly.Yet, Mourinho gave hints that Oscar is really his first choice and that Mata will have to be happy with more time on the bench.
Before the Everton match, Mourinho said:
“Oscar was injured with Brazil and Juan Mata didn’t go with the national team. It’s easy for me to decide.”
After the match, he said:
“I took Mata off, I tried Oscar – the same position but a different player as Mata is more a passer, Oscar more individual creator.
“He [Mata] will sometimes start, sometimes on the bench. He has to be [prepared to be] not selected like everybody else.”
It is a mystery why Mourinho was not happy with Mata’s performance in the match. According to Opta stats, Mata had a pass accuracy of 88%, made 3 key passes, and had 48 touches on the ball. It was strange that Mourinho thought he could improve on those statistics. Oscar has so far been consistent this season, but against Everton he did not have one of the best matches. A pass accuracy of just 75% and no key passes confirmed this fact.
Mata against Everton:
Muscular injury or not, Mata was good enough to play the entire 90 min against Everton. For some reason, it appears that Mourinho does not fancy him and it is very disappointing.