JUAN MATA: 18 GOALS 31 ASSISTS - BETTER THAN ZOLA?
Juan Mata is quite simply " El Mago " or "The Magician". 18 goals and 31 ass...
Speaking at the launch of the Adidas "It's Blue, What else matters?" Campaign, Mata was quick to play down comparisons to Gianfranco Zola but I just wonder if he IS in fact right up there with him or even better?
"He was so good, so talented, just magic to watch. To be considered like him in any way makes me so happy. But Gianfranco Zola achieved a lot more than I've done so far in my career. What he did here, the reputation he has here, is something I'd like to try to emulate.
Everything I do is about improvement. Last season went so well for me, my first at the club after changing everything: my life, my football, from the Spanish league to the Premier League. But it's stepped up again since In terms of confidence, I'm still growing, but it's easy to do that when you're enjoying yourself.
It's vital a player feels important in the team and, personally speaking, all the managers I've worked with here have given me that backing and confidence. They have told me to control games. I had it from André Villas-Boas, from Robbie Di Matteo at the beginning of this season, and I've felt the confidence of Rafa [Benítez]. It means everything to feel important for the side I consider myself lucky to have worked with each of them.
André, Robbie and Rafa are all good people even before you consider they are great coaches. I've picked up different things from them all. André helped me settle. He gave me confidence as well, put me in the first XI, made me believe I belonged. He showed me age is not an issue: he had experience of success at 33 or 34, and he helped me settle into English football.
Robbie communicated on a personal level, talking to me all the time and impressing on me how important I was for him and his system of play. He changed my position, put me in the middle so I became more like a second striker. That's a big step forward.
With Rafa, I'm playing more like a striker still, which has given me the chance to add more goals and assists. He's always telling me to push forward, forward, forward.
None of us knows what will happen next, who will take over in the summer, but this is not the time to worry about that. We have too many games, and two trophies still to focus on. What we have to be is 100% committed to the club and to Rafa. He is doing his best for Chelsea.
I look back on these two years happily. I know I said the first 12 months I had here were the best of my career but, since then, I have won the European Championship with Spain so it's not been too bad. Everything has gone right so far: trophies, my life here in London, growing as a person. But this is only the start(Source)
Juan Mata is just 24 years of age and it's amazing to think that he has the best years of his career ahead of him after he has already achieved so much.
I believe he is right up there alongside Zola and encourage you to do the same. Two players from different generations but both with the same abilities. Small, compact players with wonderful control of the ball at their feet, both can win the game for you with goals, assists or just a moment of magic from literally nothing.
When the season is over, when the dust has settled and the players head off for their holidays, we will sit down and evaluate our season. There will be plenty of negatives without question but it's important to focus on the positives.
Right now, more than anyone "El Mago" is THE standout performer and the conductor of our Chelsea team. As he said himself, "This is only the start" and Juan Mata will continue to get better and better.
Mata will be ignored when it comes to the awards at the end of the season because of Chelsea's nightmare season and it's unfair. Like I said before, 18 goals and 31 assists so far this season, he deserves to be at least considered and shortlisted.
Juan Mata has had an outstanding season and here is just one or two reminders:
So what do you people think? Is he better than Zola?
Carefree & KTBFFH!
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