Home / Opinions / Opinion: Mourinho executes ‘Juan Mata Plan’ to perfection

Opinion: Mourinho executes ‘Juan Mata Plan’ to perfection

Juan Mata Arsenal Atletico Madrid transfer rumours 2013

Goodbye, Juan

In the infamous opening scene from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, Bane says that getting caught was all part of his plan. It seems that selling Juan Mata was also part of the plan when Jose Mourinho took over.

“Of course he fits into my plans,” said Mourinho back in July, but transfer rumours started floating around as soon as Mourinho came back to Chelsea. Barcelona, then, were the reported destination for the Spaniard.

Mata, though, did not have a chance – from the beginning.

If selling became the option, Chelsea could have got a much better price for him in the summer – when his stock was at the highest. Instead, they choose to wait until January to dispose him.

Jose Mourinho Juan Mata 2014

Mourinho barking instructions to Mata

One of the reasons may be that Mourinho was well aware of Mata’s popularity. After being voted as the club’s Player of the Year for the last two seasons and also winning the Champions League, Mata is a firm favourite amongst the Chelsea faithful. Clearly, selling him wasn’t going to be easy.

Mourinho may enjoy an even bigger place in Chelsea fans’ hearts, but he did not want to antagonise anyone by making Mata’s sale being his first major decision since his return.

Looking back, his first plan was to make Chelsea fans forget Mata. For an incredibly successful manager that he is and with a talented squad, it was not hard to achieve. In came Oscar and Willian. Amidst an enthralling title race, Mata was slowly being forgotten as a regular first-team player.

Juan Mata Oscar Mourinho 2013

Oscar became Mata’s replacement

At the start of December, a disillusioned Mata said:

“Some managers will not give you any reasons as to why you are playing or not playing simply because they don’t have to. Jose is like that.

“I just try to keep myself going the same, no matter what kind of behaviour, because as a professional, you have to be ready for every situation.”

Often, Mourinho attributed the lack of defensive work from Mata as the reason for his absence. This is the same player who started against Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League winning season. These matches showed Chelsea’s defensive strength like never before and nobody seemed to complain about his defensive work rate back then.

Arsene Wenger suggested that FFP may have been the reason behind Mata’s sale. “I think it is a purely financial reason,” he said. “That is the first time I come to that conclusion with Chelsea.”

It has been three years since Mata arrived for £23 million. Hence, his book value would have reduced to such an extent that the club will stand to make the highest profit. This would be beneficial after making a loss close to £50 million in the last financial year.

Mata – it appears – was fighting a losing battle because ‘selling him was part of the plan’.

‘Hitman’ Mourinho has executed it to perfection.


  1. All very interesting, but if Oscar or Hazard had been injured for any length of time, Mata would have been in the side quite often. During Mourinho’s last spell, he had one of Gallas or Carvalho on the bench for long spells. Terry was untouchable, so one of the other two was always left out, except on rare occasions where Gallas filled in at fullback. The only difference is that those players got games because one or other would get injured, whereas Mata has not been so lucky in terms of our other midfielders being out for a spell. But his time would have come, if he stayed. This sale would never have happened if normal wear and tear of other midfielders had happened.

  2. Mou s very stupid to let mata go. Oscar can neva fill d shoes of mata in chelsea. Mata played against barca nd bayarn nd nobodyh complain. Now oscar s playin, even at dat, he cannot b priced for 37m. We ve wot d whole world s looking for, d most creative mid fielder in football
    Mata. Mou only won domestic trophies n chelsea remember, nd his here for d same old story. Basel we played home nd away n d europa came nd played us home nd away n d champions league. Mou s a very sentimental man. Mata ws nt given d confidence to play n d team. D same ws applicable to arjen rubben, now we can see him. Roma pls don’t waste time to sack him again. T ws d fan dat lured u nto mou, bt tins r goind wronge way. Mata s d best creative mf n epl.

    • I agree with a point u raised mate. Mata Is better than Oscar and clearly Oscar isnt worth close to Mata. Plus against united oscar didnt rise to the occasion!!!

    • If you know this much why are you not a coach thn.cant you see that mata is not mou ,want ?,every body knows that mata is a very good player.but the manager dont want him so stop saying shit

  3. No player stays forever so goodbuy mata

  4. Chelsea needs Mata.Mata better than Oscar. Chelsea will regret the action in future

  5. I respect jose decision… If oscar can do… What would cfc benefit 4 keeping mata on d bench…. We played half d season and mata is not 100percent in the team… So we can do without mata… Safe trip mata tanx u 4 everythng

  6. @Victor u yourself u are very stupid. Why would u insult jose mou? Mata is a good player everybody known. But mou is our coach we love him, selling Mata to Man U is not a new thing, after all Our great stricker Didier Drogba left the club and chelsea still move on. If oscar can’t fit d shoes Williams is there, no players stay 4 ever in one club. Jose thank u 4 signing Salah. To me we have no regret 4 selling Mata 2 Man U. I wish mata best of luck.

    • You are real fan. Victor is not a cfc fan.

    • You are the obvious fool with no blood ☀̤̣̈̇f CFC flowing in you,is that the way to treat a player?..If Mata was useless,then why didn’t he sell him immediately he came and see if the fans won’t hate him…you are all so blind by your love for Mou that you feel he is never wrong..at the end ☀̤̣̈̇f the season,let him sell Hazard to PSG and buy Hamsik,Diesgo Costa and bring back Van,then run your mouth after…fool..its CFC not MouFC

  7. Let..Mata stay maybe wit time he will do well….for nw we won’t know is value until we lose him

  8. 4 me mourinho’s way s d best way 4 chelsea. Mata s a fine player nd evryone knows dat but hes not dat kind of utility player mou lookin for. Hes a one side player dat lack d indept technical know how wen it coms to marking, tackling, nd deffending in comparism to oscar . He looks lazy wen it coms to team’s collective deffence. Imagine, against southampton second leg wot happen, wen he had no impact in d match nd mou substitute him for oscar. Think wot happen, he did two assist nd scored a goa. So, for me i prefer oscar in d role of mata nd lets giv support to Special one

  9. A player can not be bigger than the club period…Mou knows d best 4 cfc.

  10. @Alhassan dat is d best i can say 2.

  11. Tanx very 4 ur comment ezeworld2, pls ask victor if he knows wt it take 2 be a coach, i wnt 2 ask u a question victor, is mata greater than Rolando, van persie, babetov, falcao, aguero, pastore, calvani. jst 2 mention bt few, is he better than them when they left thier clubs 2 another clubs? Evn 4 d fact that chelsea & man utd re in both league it mean nothing 2 chelsea & mourinho

  12. I wish mata best luck gud bye mata will all miss u up blues

  13. Personally I think Mou is a vindictive man,there’s no two ways about it. He started showing his anger against the Spanish players immediately he returned to Chelsea,and that was for the way the Spanish media treated him while he was in Spain,otherwise how can one really explain the flimsy reason given by Mourinho against Mata? A player that every other top team coach would readily love to have in their team? If Mata is so deficient in defense the way Mourinho was complaining,no top team would spend 25 million not to talk about paying almost 40 million pounds for such a deficient player.It was all Mourinho’s device to get rid of Mata. We have lost a real top class player to a direct opponent>ManU! And Arsene Wenger was right in his comments about the sale,but the only problem is that,he’s the wrong man to complain for this,after supplying his direct opponents ManC and ManU included with a number of their top players,Wenger has no moral stand to comment on Chelsea sale of Mata,after all he practically handed Manchester United the Premier League trophy last season,with his foolish sale of RVP to the same club!!!

  14. The selling of mata 2 man utd is 2 tell u that chelsea did not build the team behind mata 4 d fact that his bn sold 2 rival in d league, so wit mata in man utd chelsea cn still beat them in the league, so it’s normal in the game of football, evn whn Rolando, tevez & babetov wr still in man utd, chelsea still went ahead & beat them

  15. It’s normal dt evry clubs & managers or coach ‘ll talk abt any player tht is doin fine at d moment of his career, bt yet not evry coach ‘ll dt same player they do tlk abt ‘ll suit dm in d way they want him 2 oprate in field

  16. dr kingsley mbara

    i av personally enjoyed Matas play style. everyboby musnt be a muscle man we av lost d only cream in my dear club M OU must surely pay for this.

  17. As 4 me i really i love mata as a person & player so i wish him d best in man utd, so chelsea will continioun 2 move ahead without mata.

  18. i think mata would have loved to stay at chelsea if it wasn’t because of the world cup mata would never leave chelsea for any team..i only hope he gets selected for the world cup otherwise bad choice for mata..anyway we love you and we wish you all the best even though you aren’t in our team,you’ll forever remain in our hearts…

  19. Selling mata 2 d opponent was d mistake….. I was talkin abt….bt….i neva pray he comes bck 2 hunt….cos d years are still many 2 play in d premier league

  20. Yea evrybdy is makn is bst act of shd’Mata b sale or not’ al is d same, Victor i dnt tnk u ar 2ru blue fan,dnt u rmember Madrid&Barcelona ar d worst enemy in d world of futball n here ar plyers who ply in both team lyk Ronaldo,Figo n much more,evrybdy av different feeln bt rmembr dat MOU is 1 of d world bst coaches n he did wat is rite 4 n d player 4 now,so Mata do u worth not ur worst. Up Blue 4 ever,if u lov my comment or u dnt u may add me on 2go(Babatunde1405).

  21. This shows tht jose hated mata soo much,since th beginning of th season mata played 20% of th game which is not fair at .

  22. um! Mata was not good enoug for Mou’s way. Do you guys know one thing, if Mou was here last season we’d have loaned Sturriage instead of selling him and this season it would have been, El Nino, Sturriage and E’to.

    I like this.. Mata is fantastic player and he deserves to play in other big club in England(ofcourse not Arsenal or Liverpool) MANU.

    We’l see what Mata will do against us next season. I’m sure it’ll make good relationship beetween 2 clubs too. What more could you ask? Now “Happy one” is really “Happy one”.

    We do have good young squad and one would be fool to say sack Mou!

    Good luck for Mata. You’l always be loved. Welcome Salah. Its time to score goals for us. Chelsea is now the best club who sales great players and buys even bright players. Butt hurt United fans we can win anything without ur Rooney! Take our Juan and get urself in Europe for next season.

    Real, Barca and Munich.. Next season Chelsea will win CL once again. If Mou sells Mata then he has someone better than Mata in his radar. Fear now Europe.

  23. we should now concentrate on our match against stoke city and forget about mata for now he was a great player for us i wish him best mourinho has his ways of managing he said mata is a very good on the ball but not good without the ball so he was Always at the bench playing few matches this season and he told mata to work hard to earn his place in the team he finds it difficult to be in the starting line up and whom he prefares oscar and willian because of their tackling abilities and world cup is just at the corner mata wanted to move on to another team that will guarantee him a starting place that is united so we Chelsea funs we should face the fact and move on blue is the colour stamford bridge is our home grounds he has used mata money for replacement he knows what he is doing so let us support the manager our team will not flop because of mata we loves him for his contribution for the club

  24. Finally a good analysis, and my thoughts exactly – ‘Operation Force Mata Out’ – was mourinho’s plan all along.