Some minds can’t be changed, and Jose Mourinho has shown more than once during his career that his treatment of the Juan Mata situation isn’t new, and isn’t going to suddenly change just because there’s an obvious push from the media to give the Spanish player his place in the lineup again.
But Mourinho makes the decision, not fans and not journalists. Both, by the way, have this weird infatuation with Mourinho, at least in England, unlike the scorched earth he left behind him in Spain. There wasn’t much love from the press towards him in Italy as well.
If it was a different manager, Rafa Benitez for example, who would have gone on to bench Juan Mata by using reasoning such as ‘he doesn’t fit our tactical system’ or ‘he needs to prove me wrong’, Stamford Bridge and the internet wouldn’t have been a very calm place. Benitez wasn’t popular, and it didn’t matter that he finished third with Chelsea and won the Europa League. Chelsea fans wanted Mourinho.
It’s this faith in Mourinho that sometimes blinds them. Juan Mata is an excellent player, but for some reason, Mourinho doesn’t plan on using him much. Maybe it’s an initial disliking to the player. After all, he plays for the Spanish national team, which means he must be friends with Xavi and the Barcelona gang, or the duo of Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas, who don’t have too much love for Mourinho.
After all, even if there was a professional reason for dropping Iker Casillas, his lack of hate for his Barcelona rivals or at least the people wearing the Barcelona jerseys had something to do with it as well. If you’ve noticed, Cesar Azpilicueta isn’t getting too much playing time either.
On most things Mourinho decided upon, he’s usually proven right. However, it continues to be quite mind boggling that one of the best players in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons suddenly doesn’t have a place in a lineup, and it seems that Mourinho is actually throwing him in there to show the world ‘see, I told you he shouldn’t be playing.’ The worst part about it is that Mourinho is openly criticizing Mata, which isn’t something Mourinho does on the first two months of a new managerial positions. It usually takes a year or two before players can’t stand him.
There’s no grand conspiracy, probably. Simply a manager who doesn’t hold a player with much regard. Juan Mata is too good to rot away on the bench of any team, unless its of his own choosing. If this continues and becomes a cold, rough and long December for the Spaniard, pushing for an exit might not be out of the question.