WHY NOT MATA?
Former Chelsea star Michael Ballack says that he cannot understand why Jose Mourinho does not seem to like Juan Mata, who has been one of Chelsea’s best players over the last two years. The Spaniard was brought to the club for £ 23 million from Valencia in 2011. He has been a star performer by contributing numerous assists over the last two years.
It has been a major reason towards the Champions league and Europa league success that the club has achieved during this period. However, Mourinho has sparingly used Mata and has cited the lack of defensive work done by the Spaniard for the absence. Ballack, however, does not believe this, as he reckons that Mata should be in the team on a regular basis. He also thinks that Mourinho should have been able to get the best out of the strikers, who have found it hard to score goals.
Instead, Chelsea have been relying a lot upon the trio behind strikers – Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Willian – for their goals. Ballack, who played for Chelsea from 2006 to 2010, says that his former club can expect a tough tie against Galatasaray in the Champions league last 16, but expects the 2012 winners to go through to the next round.
“I can’t understand why Mourinho is having trouble to get his best from his forwards and I think not playing Mata is a mistake. Galatasaray are a major club in European football and it won’t be an easy game for Chelsea – but I expect them to qualify. I watched the Juventus game which lasted two days! It was an interesting match and Juventus were pretty annoyed afterwards but there is no point talking. Over two legs anything can happen,” said Ballack, who also recalled the fond memories he had with former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.