Nemanja Matic: What's happened to our Midfield "Monster" from last season?
Jose Mourinho had described Nemanja Matic as a "Monster" and was one of our most consi...
Jose Mourinho had described Nemanja Matic as a "Monster" and was one of our most consistent performers in our Premier League winning season last year. What has happened to him this season?
As Matic walked off the pitch having been substituted on fifty-five minutes against Everton, he looked a shadow of the man that took the Premier League by storm upon his return to Chelsea. Now, there are reports that he has decided to leave the club this summer as he believes that a change of club will help rediscover confidence and his form.
So what's gone wrong this season for the big Serbian Midfielder?
I have been of the opinion that this season, we have been found out by the other clubs in the League. Whereas last season we were able to paper over our cracks by scoring plenty to begin with, to then almost stumble over the line to win it, this year is totally different.
Cesc Fabregas is NOT a deep lying midfielder and should never be considered to play there. With Chelsea insisting on adopting a 4-2-3-1 formation, Matic has suffered this year because he has little choice but to try and cover the ground Fabregas is unable to.
Fabregas cannot tackle to save his life and hasn't got the legs to get himself about the pitch at speed to close down someone making a break from midfield for example. Don't get me wrong, Fabregas has plenty of stamina and will work hard for the whole game (as the stats last season had proved) but defensively he is a weakness in that position.
Let me highlight the difference for when Ramires has played next to Matic and you will understand where I am coming from here. Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, Jose selected the Brazilian to play along side the big Serb and what a difference it made. Matic was the man-of-the-match in my view and many others in the ground that night because he knew he had a player alongside him that could cover the areas that he was supposed to and had legs to get around the pitch. This gave Matic the freedom to concentrate on the area of the pitch he had to deal with and he was majestic that night.
Can he rediscover his form here between now and the end of the season?
At the moment it doesn't look good with Mikel back in favour but I still feel Matic has plenty to offer Guus Hiddink and the Manager will be well aware of his influence in games. Granted, last week the Matic/Mikel combination didn't work as Everton outplayed us and managed to find space in between our defence and midfield but it's a work in progress for me.
I expect Chelsea to line up with these two again today to sit and protect our back four with Fabregas playing as the number ten but, I would like the Guus Hiddink to consider and Matic/Ramires combination in that deeper role as they worked so well together as stated above.
Nemanja Matic is proven quality and proven class. I get that he is unhappy at the moment because he was one of the first names on the managers team sheet last year. In life you come up against challenges and right now Matic faces one head on. He either works hard to force his way back into the team, then performs to a level we know he can to remain there or he doesn't, it's as simple as that!
What do you think of Matic this season?