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I don’t get how he’s so bad at penalties but scores these for days.
His freekick technique is just simple, no frills, but effective. Such a calm and collected guy.
Why do you say he's bad at them? He's only taken 14 penalties in 10 years (not counting penalty shootouts) and he's missed 4.
Penalties is not something I imagine he practises as he rarely takes them but free kicks is something he practises. If you're not practising at something you're not going to keep up a full standard. That's why most players aren't as good at penalties as they should be. It doesn't matter if the act is similar to the rest of the game, kick a ball to where you want it to go. It's way different kind of kick than a corner that's way different than free kick. Penalties are a mental training more than anything.
The goalkeeping coach, Emilio Alvarez Blanco. Apparently he was instrumental in getting Mats to practice that variation (with Ashley Young) creating a decoy and sending getting the keeper to move in the opposite direction.
He always scores from those positions. My dad told me it wasn't a good position and too close to the goal, but then I reminded him Mata just got subbed on. Had a little smile between us before he just went and did it again the son of a queen. Little prince charming.
Super FK, can we lobby to UEFA for a special teams provision where we can sub him on to take our dead ball situations and then just have someone who can actually run play the 90 mins?
Love and Hugs.
Can't be many better than Mata at that distance...
That's cool, didn't know that! I did see Ashley Young sprint to the ball as soon as the whistle blew. I was certain he was going to take it. Looks like Juve did too!
The only one that stopped him doing so was de gea, haven't seen his kicks being stopped since than.
In the first half when Sanchez had his attempt I said "damn I wish Mata was on, perfect area"
then when Pogba got fouled I thought Yes! great chance for Juan. Didn't let me down
The man can strike a dead ball.
Different pressure? He's feeling confident and hasn't much to lose from his free kicks and he knows he can bend them.
He really is a great free kick taker but I'm not sure he should play that much though. Good impact sub.
I never had a doubt he would score. Somehow it was just obvious from that position. There was that earlier free kick from the right side of the goal that Sanchez blasted into the wall. I couldn't stop thinking "this is in Mata territory, if he was on this was a garantueed goal". So glad he was on the pitch for that second free kick.
Same here. Said to my Mrs "Mata would be perfect here", then when he got one I thought it was tough because it was the wrong side for him usually. But I said "just up and over the wall and its a goal, do your thing Juan!". My Mrs just looking at me like I'm some psychic
He's a proper footballer isn't he, fantastic technique that you can always rely on.
Just a shame his little legs can't run very fast or he'd be world class.
I think hes been wasted for 4-5 years which is a shame. I reckon his size has worked against him, but his ability has shown that him with like minded players or quick players around him can work.
Im pretty sure United have conceded goals when hes come off (or been sacrificed) cos of the fact that one part of his game, which is under-rated, then goes missing. His ability to keep the ball and help the team push forward. Its so simple but helps a lot.
Equally he's not good at tracking back so we've also conceded goals when his man has been free. So it'll even out
I think him not being good at tracking back is a myth. I can think of the goal on the weekend, but that wasnt him tracking back ,but just being out of position from what occurred on their corner. But how often does he not track back and it costs us a goal?
Its not. And its not whether or not it directly costs us a goal, but how other players have to cover when he doesnt do it right or how the opposition can keep the ball better with passes to over or underlapping fullbacks because Mata hasnt tracked them. Your point is we keep the ball more with Mata which is true, but the opposition can keep it better and make more progress when they have a pass on to fullbacks that have run off him.
Very true. Pace is all he's missing, really. And maybe some aggression which we only see from time to time. Aggression with the ball I mean rather than sticking tackles in, he should be a bit braver because he has the ability.
Yeah i'm not sure he finds being angry/aggressive easy. Same with Lukaku unfortunately, they're all a bit too nice our lads
The most determined I've ever seen him was against Chelsea the other week.
but how true is this?
From my perspective, we gave up control of the match against Chelsea with taking him (and Martial off) meaning even though we had somebody sat back more, it meant we had no outlet.
I can also think of the same against Arsenal when he was subbed off and Giroud scored an equaliser (top of my head)
But as I said, how many times has him being on the pitch meant hes left somebody isolated on our side at the back?
If he was that bad at tracking back Mourinho wouldn't pick him.
Came to us in 13/14 dubbed as one of the best playmakers in the world. Now his only use is free kicks
His role as a squad player is actually quite undermined around here. Few clubs have players on the bench as good as Juan Mata. I’d like the club to keep him on, as long as he’s happy with his role here.
I said during the 2nd half ... bring Mata on and we have a chance ... he brings our other attacking players into play and that is his most important contribution to this Man. United team, simply because no other of his teammates does that!
Nah, just free kicks less than 20 yards away.
Yeah, I guess its too late to get a decent fee for him now anyways, might as well keep him.
£37.1m to be a squad player.. he’s been a disappointment in general. I thought he was a great player at Chelsea but he’s declined massively
We paid that nearly five years ago. Today is another story. He’s never hit Chelsea heights (we’ve been shite, haven’t we?) but on today’s terms, he’s as good a squad player you’ll find. Good, no fuss, always fit, regularly chips in with goals and assists. Our squad would be much worse without him.
You really believe that Giroud scored because Mata wasnt on the pitch? Come on now.
We gave up all attacking intent and allowed pressure, which meant they scored from their one and only real attack (which might not have happened). Obviously its hard to say, but when you go from attacking and keeping a team away from your own goal, making a change which results in the other team having the ball, then yeah, you can say the change affected the game and momentum
Much like England vs Russia in the last euros where I think it was Sterling was taken off for Milner basically nullifying Englands own threat and inviting Russia on to equalise.
But once more I ask, how many times has him being on the pitch meant hes left somebody isolated on our side at the back which you seemed to point out when making the point hes not good at tracking back?
So it has nothing at all to do with Mata.
We changed tactics. That may have invited pressure, but its not because Mata came off its because we didn't replace him with another player looking to keep the ball. He doesnt have some kind of magic defensive aura that protects our goal when hes on the pitch.
Plenty of times opponents have attacked us down their left, our right. I havent been counting so couldnt possibly tell you how many times a goal has come from it, but thats irrelevant. Because even if 0 came from it in our last 5 games, if it keeps happening theres every chance it'll cause several goals in our next games. If you don't address a weakness in your team eventually someone will make you pay for it.
On the right side I can tell you there have been several matches in the last several weeks where Rashford has played on the right and done a good job tracking back. And Martial had a good game tracking back last night against Juventus.
I can't tell you the last time I saw Mata playing on the right and noted that he did a good job sticking with the fullback doubling up on our rightback. Maybe you can tell me when the last time that was.
This was your original point. As i said, him not being good at tracking back is a myth. If it wasnt, you could easily point to times where this has happened and cost us / or weve conceded when his man has been free.
Much like im saying, "Im pretty sure United have conceded goals when hes come off (or been sacrificed) cos of the fact that one part of his game, which is under-rated, then goes missing." - where I can note two obvious examples against big teams where hes been subbed off, (arsenal and chelsea) which has lead to United not having / keeping the ball as much in the opponents half / having somebody to relieve us off that.
As I said, Mata has something not a lot of our players can provide against the bigger teams, and thats the part of him getting the ball and keeping it.
Thats fine if you want to downplay Mata if you dont rate him, but youre making statements without really backing it up.
This is so spot on. He is often taken off when we are defending a lead in the last 10-15 minutes, but every time that substitution is made, we lose control of the match. He is one of the few that can keep the ball and find pockets of space, even when teams press us. Sure, we lose some height in the box, but we have plenty of that. Despite his lack of pace, he's also handy on a counter due to his vision and ability to pick a pass forward.
This is so true. People just seem to forget that he was the only one who was tracking back after we went 2-0 down against Sevilla. Ben Yeddar 1 on 1 anyone? He was among a handful of players who was interested in winning the ball back when we were trailing vs Chelsea in Cup final last year, unlike all our other players who were beyond the half way line.
I don't understand this tracking back. Salah doesn't track back, Sterling doesn't track back, Riyad Mahrez doesn't track back.. attacking players like mata need freedom to play in the final third. He has been misused because he is asked to go all the way to RB sometimes and defend and that's not his strength.
Agree with this. Even if you look at attacking players who hustle and defend like Firmino, they hardly track back into their own half. Mata has had to do far too much defensive work around his own 18 yard box. An out and out winger is expected to do this, but not an attacking rw in a forward 3?
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