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2020-21 Performances


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amolbhatia50k

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Brilliant peformance.

When people talk about squad players this is what we should be the expectation. Mere effort should give you a place in a championship team. But to be among the first team, even if as a backup player, at a top club, you should have some great qualities.
 

PitTon

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So much to love about his play when he is surrounded by other creative ball players like Bruno and Donny. His contributions today were exquisite and won is the game.

If Bruno and Donny can do some of his running, mata will destroy plenty more defences this season, for the strikers to feast on with goals.
Exactly this. He has always moved around, to the left, behind and created overload. Now with Bruno he even more effective with his movements as they build understanding.

Another thing is that Bruno seems to cut down some of the very high risk passes he tried before and looks for Mata between the lines. That really helps with the team flow and tempo.

As stated above, Mata with Bruno or/and Donny gonna be sexy.
 

elmo

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Ole uses Mata less because he's 32. Other managers had him in his prime and didn't get much out of their team, including Mata.
Ole played James, Peirara and Lingard over him last year despite needing a playmaker and someone on the right before Bruno came.
 

kafta

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Excellent last night. H really does link up well with Bruno. Hope he's more involved this season.
 

devips

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I predict that the next one to shatter the Cafe myth about "deadwood" players would be Lingard.
 

red4ever 79

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Credit were credit is due, he was sensational last night. His link up play with Bruno was the kind of football we have been crying out for.
 

dogwithabone

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Credit were credit is due, he was sensational last night. His link up play with Bruno was the kind of football we have been crying out for.
Didn't see that performance coming, he was fantastic. Can he reproduce that game in game out though ?
 

Ashish Negi

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Didn't see that performance coming, he was fantastic. Can he reproduce that game in game out though ?
That's important, with his age and he need to be managed. Should not be over use as same with Greenwood. They should share minutes at RW. Greenwood with his age was over used and we saw side effects of it.
 

GioF

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Didn't see that performance coming, he was fantastic. Can he reproduce that game in game out though ?
To be fair Juan has looked good for a while. It’s almost like putting him with quality intelligent players helps him! Who knew?!

Bruno, DVB and Pogba all work so well with him because they have that creative mindset of finding pockets of space and playing around players....put him with Lingard/James and understandably his game falls of a cliff.
 

DickDastardly

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Didn't see that performance coming, he was fantastic. Can he reproduce that game in game out though ?
I don't see why not.

It's not like he's dependent on speed or size....

He's a smart fellow, put him in a side of equally smart players (read Bruno and VDB) and you have smart plays all around you.

Send him to Zlatan for a couple of tips and tricks on how to manage an aging footballer body and he'll be a great asset to have.

He's also a very likeable guy off the field that loves the club, and he'll be a great ambasador.
 

IAmAWinner

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What a start to the season for him, our player of the season so far. Classy.
 

united_99

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Brilliant peformance.

When people talk about squad players this is what we should be the expectation. Mere effort should give you a place in a championship team. But to be among the first team, even if as a backup player, at a top club, you should have some great qualities.
I assume you are referring to James?
Of course Mata is a much better footballer, but he was our club record signing back then and is on high wages. Ideally our bench should be filled with prime Mata, VdB, etc. but those are still not cheap signings and in their prime these players expect to start much more - and then the discussion starts if they are better than the starters, etc.
James was a much cheaper signing. If he doesn’t improve we don’t lose much and can still sell him.
Everyone’s current favourite manager wanted to sign him twice for Leeds and people seem to be in love with Bielsa’s football, so James must have some qualities which Bielsa sees in him?
Again yes ideally we have better squad players, but every top club still usually has a couple of cheap options who don’t complain about getting some minutes in the league and mostly playing in cup games.
 

MikeKing

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He couldn't sustain the success he had in the Premier eague because of his physical weakness in the Premier League? :confused:
Yes.

If he didn't have those weaknesses he would be a stronger player, and thus probably able to adapt to any circumstance and team in the league, not only in a specific setup for one team for a few seasons. Look at David Silva when he was able to prolong his career by doing something Mata probably couldn't do, and he wasn't even that much more physical. Just that little bit of athleticism would have done wonders for Mata, as his technical abilities is really good. I don't think anything could have stopped him then. Saying we ruined his best years is an excuse if I ever heard one. It's the same thing people say about Pogba, but those players has had every opportunity to take steps for themselves and not been able to for different reasons. I don't think it has anything to do with the club.
 

Livvie

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Yes.

If he didn't have those weaknesses he would be a stronger player, and thus probably able to adapt to any circumstance and team in the league, not only in a specific setup for one team for a few seasons. Look at David Silva when he was able to prolong his career by doing something Mata probably couldn't do, and he wasn't even that much more physical. Just that little bit of athleticism would have done wonders for Mata, as his technical abilities is really good. I don't think anything could have stopped him then. Saying we ruined his best years is an excuse if I ever heard one. It's the same thing people say about Pogba, but those players has had every opportunity to take steps for themselves and not been able to for different reasons. I don't think it has anything to do with the club.
Mata has consistently been used in positions which arent his strongest. It would have helped if he'd at least been played consistently in one position but he's been all over the place. More to the point in and out of the side so little chance to gain momentum or confidence. Despite that he's managed some great performances, but he's not a physical player - though not as slow as some people think - and he does benefit from having good players round him. There aren't many players who can turn a game alone. Basically, we could have made better use of him.
 

Snow

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Ole played James, Peirara and Lingard over him last year despite needing a playmaker and someone on the right before Bruno came.
He played James on the right as James had been bought specifically to play on the right. Lingard barely played, Pereira started the season playing but stopped as it progressed. Neither on the right. Football wasn't much different under Ole the first half of last season either but it changed and it's not a coincidence that it changed when players like Lingard, James and Pereira started playing less.
 

MikeKing

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Mata has consistently been used in positions which arent his strongest. It would have helped if he'd at least been played consistently in one position but he's been all over the place. More to the point in and out of the side so little chance to gain momentum or confidence. Despite that he's managed some great performances, but he's not a physical player - though not as slow as some people think - and he does benefit from having good players round him. There aren't many players who can turn a game alone. Basically, we could have made better use of him.
It's been true in moments, but overall looking back I have to disagree. I think he would have proved more useful anywhere on the pitch if he was as good some think. Yes, he was being played in different systems and struggled out wide but he was also trusted at times and he stopped scoring/assisting because of bad delivery and soft shots. When his end product drained up it wasn't anyones fault but him, imo.
 

Dve

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Player of the season so far. Great to see him playing his best football at (only) 32. Do we fans have a tendency of writing off players as soon as they turn 30? Some sort of ageism?
 
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Livvie

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It's been true in moments, but overall looking back I have to disagree. I think he would have proved more useful anywhere on the pitch if he was as good some think. Yes, he was being played in different systems and struggled out wide but he was also trusted at times and he stopped scoring/assisting because of bad delivery and soft shots. When his end product drained up it wasn't anyones fault but him, imo.
I agree he hasn't always had great games, but more than some others? I don't think so. What's alway frustrated me is how some players can turn in far worse performances, far more often, but still get revered. Mata has just had three MoM games, and didn't get on at all against Spurs for our worst defeat in years - but just watch the knives come out the first time he doesn't play to expectations.
 

MikeKing

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I agree he hasn't always had great games, but more than some others? I don't think so. What's alway frustrated me is how some players can turn in far worse performances, far more often, but still get revered. Mata has just had three MoM games, and didn't get on at all against Spurs for our worst defeat in years - but just watch the knives come out the first time he doesn't play to expectations.
I love Mata and he has been our best player the first games, no doubt about that. At the moment the expectations of Mata is that of an old struggling back up player, capable of the odd brilliant moment. I don't think anyone will hate on him much because we know what we get from him. I think it's weird that he is still around though, but I'm not mad about it as long as he plays well when he plays and doesn't play too much.
 

Superunknown

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Really, really enjoyed Mata's performance yesterday. Looked class with everything that he did and his interplay with Fernandes was excellent. A very handy option to have within the squad.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Just feel like with Fred, VDB, Bruno he has players who are on the same wave length as him so you get these patterns of play and movement which are quick and instinctive. Shaw ,Martial and Rashford aren’t that bad but not at the speed of the other 3 and Pogba and Matic take an age to make decisions on what they want to do with the ball and don’t really move To create options like the others.

This is probably how Mata should always have been played as over the years there has only been Kagawa who seemed to have a real understanding with him.

He was fantastic yesterday.
 

SER19

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Really, really enjoyed Mata's performance yesterday. Looked class with everything that he did and his interplay with Fernandes was excellent. A very handy option to have within the squad.
Brilliant yesterday. A kind of forgotten about option that actually suits some games as well as anybody
 

Superunknown

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Brilliant yesterday. A kind of forgotten about option that actually suits some games as well as anybody
The games where we tended to struggle in the past were the occasions where we couldn't get through the opposition's defence. It looks like we've actually got a number of players who can help in this area, with Fernandes, Mata, VDB and Pogba all capable of making those key passes.

The area that I think we struggle in is where we're forced out wide and need to get around the defences. We look very central-dominated at the moment.
 

SER19

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The games where we tended to struggle in the past were the occasions where we couldn't get through the opposition's defence. It looks like we've actually got a number of players who can help in this area, with Fernandes, Mata, VDB and Pogba all capable of making those key passes.

The area that I think we struggle in is where we're forced out wide and need to get around the defences. We look very central-dominated at the moment.
Telles might help a bit
 

elmo

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He played James on the right as James had been bought specifically to play on the right. Lingard barely played, Pereira started the season playing but stopped as it progressed. Neither on the right. Football wasn't much different under Ole the first half of last season either but it changed and it's not a coincidence that it changed when players like Lingard, James and Pereira started playing less.
It still doesn't change the fact that Mata wasn't played much at all unlike how you're claiming that Ole is the only manager to play him right with us.
 

SinNombre

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Mata has been revived because of VDB and Bruno.

There is no point to playing Mata unless one or both of those are playing. He is just that kind of a player.
 

SadlerMUFC

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Seems like finally more people are getting on board with Mata. He's not a player who should be starting against a big club who will be attacking us, however, against a team that is going to sit deep with a low block, Mata should be one of the first names on the team sheet...
 

elmo

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Mata has been revived because of VDB and Bruno.

There is no point to playing Mata unless one or both of those are playing. He is just that kind of a player.
Yup, the more clever players we play around him, the better he'll look.

Most of our players take ages to pass and move the ball around and it nullify the impact that the likes of Mata/VDB/Bruno can have.
 

Bobcat

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Mata has been revived because of VDB and Bruno.

There is no point to playing Mata unless one or both of those are playing. He is just that kind of a player.
Agreed. Players like him thrive when they have players on the same wavelenght as them who knows exactly when and where to move to open up space.

If hes having some sort of rennisance this season we suddenly have a lot more options and tactical flexibility at MF
 

Nickelodeon

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Got to put my hand up and say that I have hated him playing at RW for us. Having said that, with Pogba, Bruno and VdB, the passing of the team was absolutely fantastic. And if we need technical wizardry rather than pace and athleticism, then let's try to make that work.

Suddenly, I feel the urge for our team to have a front 6 of McT, Pogba/Fred (don't care either way), Bruno, Mata, VdB, Rashford.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Player of the season so far. Great to see him playing his best football at (only) 32. Do we fans have a tendency of writing off players as soon as they turn 30? Some sort of ageism?
Mata hasn’t been good enough in the last 3 to 4 years to be fair, the judgement was fair. I think not overplaying Mata last season really benefit Mata this season. He doesn’t look exhausted playing like old man, but instead he looks like a brand new player with fresh leg. Having Bruno or Donny next to him also giving a massive benefit.