Do You Think He Saw This Coming?
Picture the scene. You've just delivered the corner from which the winning goal in the Europa League final was scored. You're celebrating at the final whistle with your team-mates, another monumental victory in which you played an intrinsic part. You've had another superb season at the club you love and are responsible for a decent chunk of their success. You're hotly tipped to retain Chelsea's player of the year despite the plethora of team-mates who could also argue a strong case for winning the coveted title.
This probably epitomizes Juan Mata's sentiment at the end of last season. Oh, how his fall from grace has been profound. His imminent departure from Chelsea will be felt throughout the club but do you think he was wary of this fate when the Blues were poised to re-enter into one of the most famous love affairs football has ever witnessed?
The Special Juan never really hit it off with Jose did he? Despite active attempts to 'adapt', Mata has failed to impress this season and looked, during his infrequent performances, a shadow of the creative genius who orchestrated successive European titles in the two years before.
Obviously, it has been well documented as to why Mata fell out of favour. He isn't a Mourinho player, fair enough. But I really don't think even he saw this coming. From hero to zero and in such a brutal fashion.
I promise this is the last piece I'll write on this whole sorry state of affairs as I feel like the horse I'm flogging has seen its best days. I'd like to hear what you guys think and whether or not you believe Mata had any idea he'd be playing for United 8 months after winning the Europa League with Chelsea.
As an intriguing transfer deal draws to a bitter-sweet close, I leave you with a little thought. When a player moves to another club, the reception he gets from his former fans usually depends upon which club he's moved to. Manchester United is an unwritten taboo and we don't take too kindly to traitors. But Mata, despite the acrimonious circumstances of the deal, doesn't deserve any such label. He's a gent, a true professional who deserves respect. He's immortalized himself in CFC folklore for that magical moment in Munich and I hope he succeeds at United [Just not too much]. The way he's conducted himself throughout this season should be an example to all the want-away, over-hyped teenagers who serialize a fabricated struggle for a wage increase. If, and when, he plays against us next season, I, for one, will stand up and applaud the guy. I hope you do too.
Up the Blues!