Mourinho Wants 'Top Kid' Mata to Prove Him Wrong

Cape Times (South Africa), September 23, 2013 | Go to article overview

Mourinho Wants 'Top Kid' Mata to Prove Him Wrong


BYLINE: Tony Jimenez

LONDON: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has challenged Juan Mata to prove him wrong on the pitch for overlooking the Spaniard's claims and preferring Brazilian Oscar as his number one playmaker.

Mourinho was quoted in British newspapers saying Mata, Chelsea's player of the year for the last two seasons, had to adapt to the way the Portuguese wanted the team to play.

The former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto manager also made it clear Oscar was his first-choice midfield orchestrator.

"I hope he (Mata) tells me on the pitch, 'You are wrong, I am the best and I have to play every game'," Mourinho told reporters after Chelsea beat west London neighbours Fulham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

"I would love that. That is to be professional. My idea is that he is a top kid and a very good professional and I'm waiting for a professional reaction.

"History doesn't play. The past is the past and you have to be judged on what you do now," added Mourinho after Chelsea ended a dismal run of three consecutive defeats in three different competitions.

Fan favourite Mata has featured little this season and he did not even merit a place on the bench on Saturday.

Asked how the Spaniard reacted to his exclusion, Mourinho replied: "He took it the way I want. He trained this morning and my assistant told me he trained very, very hard so at the start the answer is very good.

"I gave Juan the chance to play from the beginning against Aston Villa and against Everton and I also gave him 35 minutes (as a substitute) against Basel - it's not the same as say Michael Essien.

"I have not played Essien for one single minute and I left him off our Champions League squad list. The point is that the thing I most love in football is when my players prove me wrong. …

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