It has been broiling under the covers for some time, but José Mourinho has finally confirmed that Oscar is his first choice No 10. This comes as a major blow to Juan Mata, who has played just 145 minutes of football this season. It was widely thought that Mata’s absence from the first-team was down to the player recovering from a pre-season injury, while he has also played football without a break for the past two years.
The 25-year-old was constantly linked with the likes of Manchester United and Paris St Germain in the summer. Once again, it has been proved that there is no smoke without fire after Mourinho’s latest admission.
According to the Guardian, Mourinho said:
“The way I’m reading the situation and the reasons why, in this moment, he’s not playing so much are things I can speak about with him, but not publicly
“In this moment, Oscar is my No10. I have to prove to the fans that I am good. Now [Mata] must do the same.
“I want to build with Oscar as my No10. I want the other two players, from the side, to adapt to that reality and learn how to do things they were not ready to do before.
“[Mata will play regularly] only when [he] adapts to what we want.”
It is no secret that Mourinho is a defensive a manager. He may say that he wants Chelsea to play attacking football, but his priorities will be to stop the team from conceding goals. This is where the problem seems to come.
Some of the best football must have played at Chelsea came when he was playing as the No 10. Based on Mourinho’s comments, it appears that Mata is not happy playing on the wings. He is also not happy being told to track back. Oscar is not a wide midfielder and it does not make sense to use him out there.
Whatever it is, Mourinho does not seem to like Mata, and it has become official now. The Spaniard faces a tough battle to get back into the team. Will he do that or request a transfer in January given that this is a World Cup year? You can’t help but feel sorry for the little Spaniard.