Chelsea Midfielder talks of being subbed as a substitute and improvements this season.
Nemanja Matic has spoken for the first time of what he describes as a terrible moment last season...
Nemanja Matic has spoken for the first time of what he describes as a terrible moment last season. On as a half time substitute, he was replaced less than thirty minutes later.
Plenty of people came in for criticism last season at Chelsea and even still, at times listening to the TV Pundits across the various Networks, they like to remind us all of what happened.
Nemanja Matic cut a desolute figure for most of last season and it looked as though he would leave Stamford Bridge last summer with reports that Jose Mourinho wanted to sign him. Whether or not there was any substance in those rumours is up for debate but Matic remains a Chelsea player.
Just over a year ago, against Southampton at Stamford Bridge, Matic was introduced by Jose Mourinho has a half time substitute only to be withdrawn and replaced 28 minutes later which is the ultimate humiliation for a professional footballer.
Later, towards the end of the season, Matic scored in our victory away at Bournemouth and made a point of choosing not to celebrate his goal at all, much to my disappointment at the time.
For the first time, Matic has spoken of those moments and last season and said:
“I felt terrible to be subbed, to be honest.
I am a man first of all and of course I felt bad at that moment. But as you know, I didn’t react, I stayed professional.
Normally some of the players react to that and cause some problems but as you can see I didn’t react and showed respect for the coach and for the club and my team. It was very hard. You have to play and see how it feels.
I knew I did the right thing when I sat on the bench. I knew I did the right thing and I am proud that I didn’t react.”
If the team target is to be first, second or third, it is hard to celebrate when you are tenth in the table. Of course I was happy to score, but our target is not to be tenth.”
So to this season and Matic has played a key part in our change in fortunes with the switch in formation. Playing in the middle of midfield next to N’Golo Kante, someone who is prepared to work as hard next to him in that deeper position, Matic has thrived and has rediscovered his best form.
Matic also took time to speak of the change of manager in the summer and of our current form. He said:
“As you can see, we have improved a lot game but that is normal.
We had a new coach at the beginning of the season and every day we work on that to see what he wants from us and day-by-day, we are better and better and we show that on the pitch.
We are in a good way. We are improving as a team. Also individually, I feel that everyone is one step better than before and much better.” Source - The Mirror.
It’s early days but Matic is already showing signs of being the dominant force he was two seasons ago. You have to also give him a lot of credit because when you hear his explanation as to why he decided not to celebrate, you have to agree with him but also the fact that he kept quiet and got on with things.
If Chelsea are to achieve their objective of finishing in the top four this season, we will need Nemanja Matic to perform at his best and as we know he can. Let’s hope he can build on an impressive four games between now and the end of the season!