MATA: The Ringmaster in RDM's new role and formation.
Juan Mata was instrumental in Chelsea's 6-1 defeat of QPR yesterday after being criticised by member of the media and press for two mediocre performances against Barcelona.
Juan Mata's position in Roberto Di Matteo's side is through the middle behind the front man and ever since he has been playing there, he has been a revelation. It's been a masterstroke from Di Matteo.
I stated on record on here earlier in the season after having asked the Chelsea fans who read my blog the question, "Should Mata should be playing in the middle in what has been described as the David Silva role?".
For anyone supporting Chelsea or even outsiders looking in would see that we have been crying out for a creative midfielder to complete the final piece of our jigsaw as we have everything else here.
We have had a strong defence, strong midfield and forwards but we just needed someone to come in and link it all together. Frank Lampard with Ancelotti in charge, was pushed forward at the tip of a diamond formation playing in behind two strikers and it never worked.
His talent is wasted out on the wing and every now and then AVB would bring him inside but it was never enough. The reason, because of our 4-3-3 formation.
Playing 4-3-3 restricts Mata and the team as to where he can move with the ball. If you think about it, we have a holding midfielder sitting deep and two central midfielders either side of him but being asked to get forward and to then come back and defend. Defending isn't part of Mata's game and he could never be considered in that formation.
I want to take you back to Old Trafford away at the beginning of the season and I post I wrote immediately afterwards because I had seen something in that second half that offered all of us a glimpse into something that could work out well for us. It seems that RDM saw the same and has remembered just how to get us playing.
We were battered in the first half of the game and came out in the second half switching from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 formation and our performance was outstanding. I think we ended up having something in the region of 21 attempts on the United goal and should have come back with at least a draw.
Juan Mata was brought inside behind Torres that day and it's not a coincidence that Chelsea created plenty of chances.
Mata was asked to do a job against Barcelona and very different from normal under RDM. He did what he was asked to do and although understated, played his part with everyone else in getting us to the final.
Yesterday Mata was brought off and replaced on around 65-70 minutes with the game won in preparation for Newcastle on Wednesday. Mata has played 55 games already this season.
Roberto Di Matteo is taking alot of credit at Chelsea ever since he has taken over and rightly so because he has made two massive changes at the club which has brought us all rewards to the end of our season.
Like I have said, firstly he has changed the formation to a 4-2-3-1 and secondly, he has utilised the ability of Juan Mata as the focal point of our attacking play.
I really hope this position for Mata is set in stone from this moment on because the team is seeing the results and long may it continue.
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