Monday, August 8, 2016

Jose Mourinho explains why he substituted Juan Mata

Being substituted after being subbed into the game is arguably the ultimate ignominy for a player.
Juan Mata suffered it at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

The Spanish midfielder was brought on after 63 minutes of Manchester United's 2-1 Community Shield victory over Leicester City on Sunday, replacing Jesse Lingard, who got the opening goal of the game.

When Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave United the lead with seven minutes remaining, Jose Mourinho decided to shut-up shop as the Premier League champions began bombarding David de Gea's goal.



Wayne Rooney was withdrawn for Morgan Schneiderlin, and, rather controversially, Mata was taken off for Henrik Mkhitaryan.

Given the rocky relationship between Mata and Mourinho, the decision of the United manager was bound to raise eyebrows.

Mata is only at United because Mourinho froze the two-time Chelsea player of the year out of the first-team at Stamford Bridge, and many expect history to repeat itself at Old Trafford.

However, the new United boss said the decision to withdraw the player at Wembley was purely tactical.

"Mata is fine, he understands what I did," Mourinho said following the game.

"I needed to take off the smallest player because we were expecting a lot of long balls. He is the smallest one. We want to win and everyone is happy in the end."
Mourinho also said Mata "played very well," and "gave me exactly what I needed," but the player appeared, understandably, bemused by his manager's decision

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