Juan Mata and Chelsea FC : How to lose fans and alienate supporters?

Just this Monday, I stumbled upon what I thought was a ridiculous piece of news. United on the brink of signing Mata, screamed the headline. Yeah, I have been there, I thought to myself. I knew it wasn’t gonna happen. Simply because

1. Chelsea had just sold Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg, selling Mata would mean Chelsea would find itself really short of personnel to deploy in the attacking trinity.

2. Juan Mata was two time player of the year.

3. We don’t sell to rivals.

4. Juan Mata, being Juan Mata would never ever leave Chelsea football club .

It seemed logical at that time, but something about this rumor irked me. There was nothing from the club or the player to deny this piece of news. Then I remembered we were Chelsea Football Club.

We do phenomenally stupid things from time to time. Like sacking managers, midway through the season, just after the final whistle of the last game of the season,  sacking champions league winning manager within 3 months of the season, buying 8 or more AMs etc etc.  As the rumor’s been reported in all the major newspapers, it looks like When not If this transfer will go through.

In these last 3 days , a load of things have been said. SirAlex negotiated with Roman, Sir Alex spoke to Jose, Juan Mata wanted to leave, Juan Mata didn’t train, Juan Mata had informed “friends/family” of the impending transfer etc. If anything this was a bolt out of the blue for Chelsea supporters, who thought the Matic signing would be the icing on the proverbial cake, that this team was now complete. Juan Mata had played 1015 minutes,which is a decent amount for a sub. But it was plain to see that Jose didn’t trust Mata in big games. To his credit Mata ran his heart out ,whenever he was given a chance.

The trouble was that Mourinho’s new system stifled Mata’s influence on the game. It was never more apparent than at the game vs Southampton at St Mary’s last month. Taken off around the 54th minute of the game, the dimunitive Spaniard was visibly upset. Jose later brushed it off saying that the disappointment was with his own inability to score. One would be compelled to think that this was the last straw. Was this the treatment that the hitchhiking, instagramming, nice-guy Mata deserved?

After having seen Chelsea’s victory over Manchester United from the bench, and now Mata seems to have had enough and has apparently agreed for a move to United. Chelsea fans are visibly confused with the move. BBC confirmed on Thursday that Chelsea had accepted a 37m bid from United. How could Mourinho let Mata go to a rival? How could Mata even leave Chelsea? Where was the logic? Loyalty was split between the club’s most successful manager and the fan favorite. Fans like me are taking this news pretty badly . As it stands, there has been no confirmation from the clubs. But it looks like the deal is as good as done.

Speculations are rife whether this was a Mourinho ‘ploy’ to stifle the opposition. Mata playing for United would mean taking points off rivals. I feel it would be foolish to assume so. He could have very well been sent out on loan if that was the whole idea behind the transfer. The consolation is that Chelsea will get 37m for  a squad player. So the rumor mills have gone to full swing , linking us with “Salah(Liverpool Target),Ross Barkley,Luke Shaw, Antoin Griezzman,Rooney” in a matter of 12 hours.

When this move goes through it is sure to polarize a huge section of support who have adored Juan Mata over the period of two and a half season, something that we Chelsea supporters should be used to , actually. No one would have expected the kind of influence the Spaniard has had at Chelsea.  Selling him to united might just be a big mistake, it probably depends on how the season pans out. Considering our propensity to sack managers, if we do the same with Jose, we will be well and truly in trouble. Because the only thing stopping the fans from burning effigies is Jose Mourinho, the one man who can turn anything he touches to gold. If he is gone, it goes from bad to worse for us Chelsea fans.

Until then, be strong and keep the faith.

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