Chelsea will benefit from Juan Mata’s omission from Spain squad
Sharethematch.com looks at how Vicente Del Bosque's decision not to call up Juan Mata could benefit Chelsea
Spain’s Mata loss is Chelsea’s gain
The news Juan Mata has been left out of the Spain squad will be music to the ears of Roberto Di Matteo.
Despite his electric form in the Premier League, the pint-sized Spaniard has apparently not done enough to warrant an international call-up by Vicente Del Bosque – an indication the man who led Spain to World Cup and European Championship glory has far too much talent at his disposal.
While Friday’s clash with Belarus should be a walk in the park, Tuesday’s home clash with France will present a moderate test of the resolve of the nation who have so far been completely unopposed on the world stage for the past six years.
But Spain will not miss Mata in those two games. They wouldn’t miss Mata in most games. Just look at the European Championships – the 24-year-old spent the entire competition as one of those world-class players Del Bosque could bring off the bench whenever he fancied it.
The same cannot be said about Chelsea, however. His form this season has been so good that any injury would hurt the European champions severely.
Even in a team brimming with stars, Mata has stood out as a consistent performer and is one of the few players at Stamford Bridge I would say is utterly indispensable.
Chelsea’s next game is away at Tottenham, followed by a trip to Shakhtar Donetsk before a league and cup double-header against Manchester United. Can you imagine losing Mata to a needless injury sustained against Belarus ahead of those games?
Diamonds are forever at United
Sir Alex Ferguson is tempted to stick with United’s new diamond formation after watching his midfield shine in the 3-0 win over Newcastle.
Michael Carrick sat at the base with Tom Cleverley out left, Shinji Kagawa on the right and Rooney at the tip behind Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie, and it was one of United’s slickest performances in years.
For the last two or three seasons, United simply have not been able to compete in midfield with Ferguson’s tendency to use width often leaving them brutally exposed against teams employing three in the middle.
It looked like the United boss had a few square pegs to fit in round holes after signing Kagawa but this could be the way to integrate the Japanese playmaker and Rooney into the same side effectively.
United also used the system against Cluj in midweek, and Ferguson liked what he saw enough to give it another runout.
“We took a gamble because Newcastle are so big up front and they’re good crossers of the ball,” said Ferguson.
“But the football we played from the central midfield positions through Cleverley, Kagawa, Rooney and Carrick was terrific.
“People look at the name Cluj and say they expect United to win but they are a decent side.
“And because we played so well I thought we should find out how far we can go with that diamond system.”
It will obviously take time to perfect but United could finally be on to something here.