Juan Mata delivers veiled criticism of Mourinho

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After completing his £37.1m move to Manchester United yesterday, Juan Mata wrote a lengthy and seemingly genuine goodbye to fans of Chelsea on his blog.

“Before last summer, my intention was to stay here for a long time; as long as the club wanted me to, and to keep winning trophies for Chelsea FC,” the player said.

By referring to before the summer, Mata had already hinted that things changed once Mourinho had completed his much-anticipated return to Stamford Bridge.

Indeed, it became immediately clear that the Portuguese wanted Mata to learn to fit into his system, something that the player tried to do. 

However, as Mourinho began to favour the trio of Oscar, Hazard and Willian, Mata became increasingly frustrated, as he hinted in his blog.

‘As you all know,’ the player said, ‘things changed after the preseason. From feeling like an important player, I started to experience some difficult situations and I felt unable to help the team to the extent that I wanted and was used to. Obviously, I fully respect the circumstances.

The player did have a grudging note of thanks for the ‘Special One’, although – in the hint to being dropped – some may interpret the words as another veiled criticism.

‘And [thanks] to Jose, for making me a stronger player, because in difficult moments, I have learnt to remain positive and to keep working hard.’ 

Juan Mata is now a Manchester United player, someone who the Red Devils hope will be capable of turning around their so-far dreadful season.

If Van Persie and Rooney can return to fitness, it is undoubted that United will have a formidable attacking force.

It still remains to be seen how they will cope at the other end though.

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