Juan Mata is our new No.10. Only after Yossi ‘offered’ him the number. You have two ways of looking at this. One is the obvious way: Yossi is on his way out. The other is, Yossi is really a nice guy to give away the no.10 shirt. He might say that it’s just a number and he doesn’t care but tell me who wouldn’t want to wear the no.10 shirt in any team?
What does this signify? Is the no.10 shirt given to Mata because he likes it or is also going to play the famous no.10 role? He’s known to be a left sided player and in particular a winger who could push Malouda down the pecking order right from this weekend. But he can also play on the right or even play behind the striker or play what’s known as the no.10 role.
Even if Mata is to play the no.10 role that need not mean that Modric deal is off. Because Modric does not play the no.10. He plays the proper Xavi role – orchestrator from the centre midfield. I’d be very keen to use Mata in the wings rather than in the centre. We have decent options for the centre (irrespective of how much we use them) and only on the wings we are a bit toothless.
In my opinion, Mata’s arrival should not bother Malouda so much. It’s Kalou and Anelka that need to worry. Malouda has the capability to switch sides or interchange and so does Mata. Together Mata and Malouda can form a good partnership.
Mata is available for selection this weekend. So are Lukaku and Romeu. They are all fit and ready to play against Norwich. I want us to use them well in this match. If they’re fit, we should even start one or two. We saw Aguero coming in scoring a brace on his debut. Such is the readiness and fitness of these professionals.
My team against Norwich would be this. Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole and Ivanovic should be in defence. David Luiz can come in as a sub. Ramires, Josh and Benayoun in midfield. Mata, Malouda and Torres in attack. Lukaku and Romeu can come in as subs.
See Norwich may not park the bus but honestly they should be happy to leave the Bridge with a point. They might start brightly and if it ends 0-0 at half time, they might be tempted to end with the same score without taking too many risks. On the other hand, we need to take risks. We need play those killer passes and the clever chips. We need break down their defence and score.
Some might say that Ramires, Josh and Benayoun is a light midfield. I’d say let them play and see what happens. If I’m right, our midfield will be more lively and we will control the game much better than usual. After all, this is the best trio of ball players in midfield I can come up with, until I see Romeu. I’ve heard Romeu is a technically sound and skilful defensive midfielder who could challenge Ramires and Mikel for their places.
Another great weekend of football. Some good Chelsea performance and three points. Arsenal getting annihilated by Man Utd. La liga strike is over (Serie A’s has started though). Villareal (I like them) looks to upset Barca. Madrid to open the league season at Zaragosa. Spurs vs City. Sevilla vs Malaga. How am I going to watch all these matches?
I almost forgot. We’ve got a decent draw in the champions league. We should be confident of a relatively easy progress. One more top signing, I would feel much better about the champions league campaign. That’s it for now. See you at BC Shout tomorrow!