Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Stuart Mcdermott on The thin blue line

"Jamie, superb article as always! I have to say that, as always, you're spot on. Arsenal have no momentum going into the last 5 games and i can't see them getting the results they ... " View all comments

Jamie Redknapp: Jose Mourinho needs to start Juan Mata for Chelsea

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 20th September 2013 view comments

People are saying it wouldn't be a good time to go to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea's two losses under Jose Mourinho, but I couldn't disagree more.

Fulham have never won a Premier League game at Chelsea, but if there was ever a time to do it, it's on Saturday.

Chelsea are nervous. I think Jose is searching for his team. After their defeat to Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday, I questioned whether Mourinho knew his best starting XI; If you look at the players they've got and the opportunities he's got to change it, I can't understand and neither can anybody in football, why Juan Mata isn't starting?

Juan Mata: Not making the Chelsea starting XI despite being the Premier League's leading assist maker in 2012/13

Juan Mata: Not making the Chelsea starting XI despite being the Premier League's leading assist maker in 2012/13

With MataStatWithout Mata
71Games7
39Wins2
16Draws3
16Losses2
135Goals For7
1.9Avg. Goals For1
54.90%Win Percent28.60%
1.9Points/Game1.3
12.8Shots/Game9.9
55.70%Possession49.50%
17.3Crosses/Game13.9

The problem now, is that if Jose brings him back in it's like an after-thought. Mourinho is one of the best and wherever he's gone he's said it to certain players - like Frank Lampard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 'You're the best player, I'm going to build the team around you', but actions have spoken louder than words with Juan Mata and he obviously doesn't fancy him as a player and I don't know why.

In football we talk so much about tactics, but confidence in individual players is one of the most important things and Mata needs his confidence to be built up again by the manager.

I'll be honest, sometimes you can see why a manager doesn't pick a player, but I can't see that with Mata. He creates goals, he scores goals. Mourinho may think he slows the game down after having the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo last year, or maybe he thinks: 'how do I get him into my team?' But Mata can play in one of the wide positions, he can play in the number 10 role - it just doesn't make any sense to me as he's so comfortable on the ball.

On trial

It feels like every player in the Chelsea team is on trial and I don't think anybody feels confident in what they're doing, because if you play a bad game then it's 'whoosh you're out' and that's not building anyone's confidence or building the team.

It's a really strange thing that Jose is doing. When you look at Jose's teams they normally have an identity and you know how they play, but I think the Mata one is a conundrum and I just don't see how they can be a better team without him.

Saturday Night Football

David Jones and I will be watching Fulham v Chelsea on SNF this week and it's going to be a really interesting game.

Like Chelsea, Fulham haven't had a good start to the season and I think the pressure is on both teams. The Cottagers were booed off last week and in terms of a derby match you can't think of a west London derby in a long time that's had so much consequence.

If Fulham can go there and make it difficult for Chelsea and keep it tight, you can see the crowd starting to get a little bit edgy and you'll feel the nerves in the players. They mustn't concede an early goal because then the game will open up and give Chelsea that little bit of confidence. The longer the game goes with Chelsea searching for form and style of the play, the more it will help Fulham's cause.

This is a game changer, because whoever gets the result here will relieve the pressure around the club.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Graeme Souness

Im-pressed by Bayern

Graeme Souness explains why Bayern's pressing game will yield many more positives than negatives....

Guillem Balague

Choose Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal is ideal to replace David Moyes at Manchester United, says Guillem Balague....

Latest News RSS feeds

Liverpool set to strengthen

Ian Ayre is confident Liverpool will be able to attract their top targets in what promises to be a busy summer.

LMA critical of Moyes exit

The LMA has issued a statement describing the manner of David Moyes' departure from Man Utd as 'unprofessional'.

United: Scholes helping out

Manchester United have confirmed Paul Scholes is at Carrington assisting interim boss Ryan Giggs.

Barca transfer ban suspended

Barcelona's one-year transfer ban has been suspended while the club's appeal against the sanction remains unresolved.

Cole: Sacking 'disappointing'

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole describes the manner of David Moyes' sacking as 'disappointing.'

Features

Andy Walker: Rangers fans deserve more than just promotion

Andy Walker: Rangers fans deserve more than just promotion

Sky's live showing of Saturday's home game with Stranraer should be a carnival atmosphere for every Rangers supporter as they celebrate seeing Ally McCoist and his players raise the SPFL League 1 trophy.

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Italian keeper Simone Scuffet

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe, in partnership with Wyscout, looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.

El Nino's return

El Nino's return

Some see Fernando Torres as a figure of fun but he saved face in front of his own, writes Adam Bate.