The Mata Situation

What’s the deal with all this Mata garbage floating around? At this point, I’m ready for the transfer window to close. I’d like to see ...

What’s the deal with all this Mata garbage floating around? At this point, I’m ready for the transfer window to close. I’d like to see us snap up a striker before the door slams shut, but all these rumors and “reports” are starting to drive me mad. Everyone and their mother is reporting that Mata is on the out and out at Chelsea. Pundits are saying that he’s not a Mourinho-type player, that he isn't quick enough in transition and doesn't track back well enough, that Mou has something against him, etc., etc.

I can see the cause for speculation –  Our 2-time Chelsea Player of the Year hasn’t yet started in any of the 3 games thus far this season. Mata’s father/agent was seen yesterday in box seats at Arsenal’s match against Fenerbahce. I acknowledge these points and I can understand why they fuel the rumor mill.

But looking at it logically, Chelsea won’t sell one of their best 3 players, one who’s been forcing his way into the Spanish national team’s starting side. I don’t see why we would. It’s not as if we NEED the money right now. If some funds need to be raised to comply with FFP, that could potentially be addressed in January with the sale of players deemed as excess as the season progresses. Second, why wouldn't Mourinho want to blood some of the younger players early in the transfer window? It gives him a good point from which to assess their readiness for the Premier League season going forward, and gets them some experience before any final decisions have to be made regarding loans. Beyond this, everyone at Chelsea (Mou especially) is hoping for, and anticipating, a long, long season ahead. Champion’s League matches, FA and League Cup runs, and not to mention the grueling strain of the PL itself. It doesn't hurt to give Mata a continued respite from the rigors, allowing him to get to full health (mentally, as well as physically), achieve full match-fitness, both while giving Mourinho extra time to tweak/help improve some aspects of his game in training (namely, the lacking defensive qualities everyone is so keen to criticize him for).

“Had Mata played at Old Trafford we’d have won”. I've read something to this effect about a hundred times since Monday night.

Yes, maybe we’d have won. Maybe we’d have lost. Maybe it would have ended the same. The truth is, we never easy to do. It wasn't a classic, no – in fact, it was quite boring. However, the fact remains, we should always be happy when we can walk out of Old Trafford with a point. More is always better, sure – but something is better than nothing.
don’t know, and it doesn't really “Mata” (sorry) at this point. Last season, Mata started when we lost at the Bridge to United, 3-2. He also started when we won in the League Cup match 5-4 a few days later. Later in the season, he was in the lineup when we drew against United in the FA Cup, as well as when we won the replay due to Demba Ba’s spectacular winner. The big thing for me is we got a valuable point at Old Trafford. That’s

Above all else, Jose Mourinho is not Arsene Wenger. He’s not going to offload Mata to one of our domestic rivals like many sources are claiming. He’s not going to strengthen a direct competitor. Love or hate the philosophy, he’d prefer to see talent rotting on the bench than help Tottenham, Arsenal, United, etc. However, believe me when I say he won’t let Mata rot – Mourinho knows he’s too great a talent to allow that. I have no doubt we’ll see him starting against Bayern on Friday. I can only hope we’ll see Luiz make his season debut, also – preferably paired with Ramires in the midfield. 

Whatever happens with the Mata situation, I think we can all agree the biggest disappointment will be that Drogs won’t be there, putting them to the sword. Again.  

Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@blakehewitt) and SWOL for Chelsea-related news, commentary, and updates on postings to both ChelseaDaft and Soccer Without Limits (SWOL).

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