How Juan Mata could be the boost that Manchester United need?

Juan Mata to Manchester United?

As last night’s Telegraph “exclusive” proclaimed that United were readying a £37m bid for Juan Mata social media sites went into meltdown. It seemed as though everyone had an opinion from the average Joe to Gary Neville, from Ollie Holt to Matt Dickinson. Whilst not surprising that the football world deliberated over what can be described as an exciting development, it must be said the sheer magnitude in the difference of opinion that ensued was ultimately unforeseen.

Never before have I witnessed such a strident division of opinion between United fans, in relation to what I can only be described as an absolute no brainer. If Mata is available we should get him, simple as that, no qualms, no if’s, no but’s – just do it. (Admittedly, I am much less assertive in my actual belief that we will get him)

Gary Neville last night said that he doesn’t think “Mata would fit the current United system”.  The fact is we don’t have a current system. We are currently in lingo or what can more aptly be described as purgatory. We have no apparent style of play, no philosophy; in fact this has been the most prevailing argument used against Moyes thus far. Many times I have heard fans discontent at the lack of evident style or structure that Moyes is trying to play.

Think about it, all top managers have a set structure, style of play and template they adhere to and we can associate them with. Wenger – control/short passing. Mourinho – defensive. Guardiola – tiki taka. Ferguson – quick counter-attacks. Emanating from such a suggestions is the realisation that Moyes has two inherent problems to contend with.

Ferguson’s style of play is embedded in United’s structure, so much so that it is now all but institutionalised. How could not be after so long at the helm? Moyes, a man with his own philosophy and ideas must now change this and but is own stamp on things, however as we know, no one likes change.

The second problem is that many still fail to realise what Moyes is trying to do at United. What is his style of play or structure? We have been given no indication as of yet what formation or philosophy he is looking to build on. My theory here would be that having been at Everton for so long where expectations were not as high he is now not 100% sure himself. As such his style of play was based on getting the best out of limited resources. At untied such a style will not suffice. It remains to be seen whether Moyes can alter his preferred style of play/structure to ensure success at United but I have no doubt the signing of Mata will go some way in strengthen the possibility of doing so.

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Mata can play on the wing

Contrary to popular belief Mata can play on the wing and in fact prospered in doing so for Chelsea under AVB. In fact one look at the Guardian’s headline from Sunday 21st August 2011 which stated “Chelsea set to sign Valencia winger for £26 million” presents further proof of his proficiency to play out wide.

juan mata

He may not be your conventional winger, who hugs the touchline with bags of pace, but football has evolved and the modern day winger tends to be attributed more with touch, finesse and technique. Iniesta a central player by and large, was, and still is often deployed out wide for Barca as part of an attacking 3. With Young and Valencia we perhaps have two of the most modern day traditionalistic wingers around, and if memory serves me right, that aren’t exactly prospering are they?

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The start of Moyes’ Restructuring?

A quick look at Everton under Moyes and it is obvious that he doesn’t necessarily use conventional out and out wingers. More often than not he deployed wingers with a tendency to tuck in e.g Pienaar and Osman, and instead, width was provided by attacking fullbacks e,g Baines and Coleman.

david-moyes-the-chosen-one

Could this be the beginning of his plan to implement a similar formation, whereby wingers tuck in and full backs effectively become wing backs at United. The summer long chase of Baines gives us further evidence to suggest that this was/is the plan, but the signing of Mata could yet be the biggest signifier in relation to what style/structure Moyes wishes to implement.

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The Ozil Effect

While many may disagree with the aforementioned points outlined, they cannot disagree with the fact that the signing of Mata would give everyone a much needed boost of seismic proportions, akin to that of Ozil upon his joining of Arsenal. One could argue that the attacking midfield area was Arsenal’s most well stocked position yet the buzz and anticipation of such a signing gave fans and players alike that much needed boost. Sound familiar??

There’s just no getting away from the fact that Juan Mata is a class act, having been awarded Chelsea’s player of the year award the last two years, his only two years at the club, one could not fathom such a move would ever materialise a year ago. In fact I recall only last summer many United fans were calling for a swap of Rooney and 10m for Mata. Not only is he proven world class quality, he is proven premiership quality and this argument stands strong against those of whom are suggesting that the money would be better off spent of Julian Draxler of Schalke.

At 25 years of age Mata is yet to reach anywhere near his peak and at a time when inspiration is needed, the Spanish schemer could just be the man to provide it. Whilst nothing but a pipe dream maybe, there is no doubting that fact that if there is any inclination that a deal can be done, and by all accounts there may actually be, we must get Woodward back from that urgent bit of transfer business he’s been dealing with since he so abruptly left Australia on July 17th. Oh Ed where art thou??

Do you think Juan Mata would be a good signing for Manchester United? Comment in the section below.

7 Comments

  1. I’ve been a fan of Mata for a long time and was dismayed that he was signed by Chelsea when he was just the type of player we needed. Can’t understand why he’s not getting his game at Chelsea but if we get him it will be there loss our gain.I really feel he could be a catalyst this season but also a key player and possible United legend. I don’t know why but I just have a feeling about Mata.

  2. Yes’I blve he would b more useful 2my team#United”cus I tink chelsea dnt really need him anyMore”and dis a gr8 chance 4 MUFC’and I blve d signing of Juan mata would b a gr8 loss 4 chelseal””jus compare it to Van persie wen Arsene wenger released him”And later he realised he has made a big loss”I blve mata wil create a record @ oldTrafford.

  3. Brilliant report. It’s difficult for Moyes to learn Valencia and Young new tricks, but you can see that when Januzaj plays on the wing he cuts inside all the time, he is more like Silva then Valencia. I believe Moyes wants to play this way, but it’s hard with SAF’s players, if not impossible.

  4. Come on Moyes, make this happen.

    Agree with the article, Mata’s an excellent winger. I don’t think he’s a conventional CAM either really. He’s just a very good attacker who can play a lot of roles when needed. Why would we say no?

    Gary Neville is a joke… he’s always got an opinion and it’s always the opposite of mine…

  5. Mata is a class player and all but fucking hell £40M for a player we could have bought with peanuts few years ago, £40M for a player who can’t get a game at his own club, last time i checked if a player is unhappy at his club and that club is willing to sell you try to buy at a knocked down price, last summer Chelsea wasn’t even willing to spend £30M for Rooney. You can tell Mourinho has learned the tactics of buying and selling at Real Madrid whiles United are looking like amateurs out there i mean how can they let Pogba go for nothing and think about going back to juventus for him or the £27M player he’s keeping on the bench i bet the Italians are looking at us like we’re fools. All that stupid no value on market stance rather than investing in world class players whiles spending £17 £18M on one footed one dimensional single brain cell players like young and valancia instead of paying the extra for a Mata or ozil or silva is really coming back to bite and this just the beginning because to rebuild this squad we’ll have to pay wayyyy over to odds

  6. Gary Neville was probably playing mind games with Mourinho by saying Mata is not fit to United current system. By saying that he’s hoping that Mourinho would think that selling Mata wouldn’t solve United problem anyway..

  7. I think the mata would b a brilliant signing for sure. Personally he’s been 1 of the top 5 players in the league over the past 1 seasons. He made an ageing chelsea team play good, am sure he will bring that to out team, as he makes those around him look good. Jus curious where he wud fit. Interested to see if a 4-3-2-1 formation would b possible now with both wayne and mata tucked in behind rvp. But its now up to moyes to find our style going fwd. In conclusion, yes, mata will be an excellent signing.

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