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RoM Reads

Scott writes for Bleacher Report about what United can do if they don’t sign anyone.

Scott writes for The Metro about our potential bid for Juan Mata.

The Guardian claims a provisional £40m fee has been agreed between the clubs for Mata.

The Independent discusses why Chelsea would be prepared to sell Mata to United.

Plains of Almeria gives a Chelsea fan’s perspective of Mata.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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92 Comments

  1. scholes18 says:

    i agree that mata’s arrival needs to be enforced by buying central midfielders but i (excuse me for disagreeing), for one, do not believe in signing every world class player available

    i mean casillas is all but available but should we buy him? lewandowski, cavani, higuain etc change clubs recently or about to but we did not/do not need any of them. if dani alves becomes available tomorrow, i do not think we should sent rafa packing. it is not all about money but sanity.

    @kwesi

    i am not an admirer of players who only have solitary quality of putting in the shift every time though one can not argue that these sort of players are not needed. a club like united should have minimum of them. look how hazard and willian were gliding past even two of our defenders while valencia always looks shell shocked when double teamed.

    i pinpointed kagawa because of it is abundantly lucid how uncomfortable that lad is while defending. forget about putting in tackles, his positioning while defending is abysmal. look how he runs to the side of right back when it is clear that right back will go straight to put in cross.

    problem is not kagawa but playing him out of the position. rooney can play everywhere but not everybody is rooney. i dare say kagawa is also very single dimensional player who is only good (infact one of the bloody best) when he has ball at his feet facing opposition goal. i am an avid watcher of german league and have seen kagawa put in those visionary passes which even made robben/ribbery to look like muppets

    i find mata having similar attributes. it is all about giving these sort of players opportunities in the match in the position they thrive (ie face towards opposition goals in center) and we need decent midfielders for that

  2. NBI Red 21 says:

    Also its not about quality, Kagawa has quality, the way we play now 442 will not suit Mata any more than it suits Kags. Moyes will need to have the ability to change tactics for these players to show what they can do, no sign of that so far, I mean where will Mata play? In MF with Carrick? n Rooney’s place? No chance of that. We need a player who can make an immediate impact. A top winger or defensive ball playing MF. We don’t need Mata, he is a nice luxury.

  3. Tommy says:

    Some people just are never happy and dont look at the bigger picture, Rooneys as good as gone in the summer so signing Mata makes perfect sence, as if we would wait to the summer to sign him when more teams would be interested in him, Its a deal that suits everybody, simple as that, but some people will always be critical, shame really!

  4. Tommy says:

    If United signed Messi some on here wouldnt be happy, Interesting that sky sports listed all the United players under the most chances created this season and Valencia was top of the list with 19 created this season (Not that much but more than anyone else in the team)

  5. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    You aren’t happy with the idea of signing Mata because he’s not needed but apparently according to you we need a Reus type player. What’s the difference between Reus and Mata’s playing styles? Both are Attacking midfielders. SMH.

  6. scholes18 says:

    @ dan young

    i do not how you can simply say that moyes will change the formation to accommodate mata. it is debated to death that if we will tweak our formation to play three in midfield then many of our recent woes would evaporate with or without mata.

    as far as i see it your argument stands on the line of providing cover for our attacking players. you need decent and agile defensive midfielders for it. who is your pick? carrick, cleverly or fletcher? as far as i see it only jones can do that job properly.

    with the formation you suggested januzaj, rvp , rooney and mata will all be in the opposition box (which frankly is how united should play) and adding rafa and evra to it, would not it expose our back line. defeating united off late has just become an activity of putting in first goal.

    mata’s amazing vision which you have talked about is useful only when players front of him make intelligent runs. what in this seasons’ game play has even made you to believe that it will surely happen?

    look mate i am a realist. expecting wins from moyes seems like a distant dream and you are demanding him to change our game play which even our previous manager failed to do in his later years. i know it is how united should play but…………….

  7. Tommy says:

    @Danny

    He didnt think of that one, we apparently dont need Mata but we could do with Rues whos best position is as number 10, The mind does indeed boggle with some people

  8. Tommy says:

    @danny

    Hes just using it as an excuse to knock Moyes mate, without even thinking what hes saying

  9. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Mata would be a very good signing, a player who has the technical quality’s, can create chances, can hold onto the ball, and he scores goals and he can take free kicks. Already he is an upgrade over nani Valencia and young, he is similar to kagwa, but why not instead of the outdated 442, why not play a 4231 of carrick someone else, and have januzaj kagwa and mata creating for someone like rooney or RVP. It gives us a hell of allot more of a chance to hold onto the ball

    But I do believe having carrick fletcher mata kagwa and janazaj in midfield is a very good midfield to have

  10. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    scholes18 – I think we need change in this team, get away from the 2 upfront,and the 2 wingers, and get guys like Mata and kagwa into this team, I feel our fullbacks can be our wingers, Mata is one of those players who is very good at closing down the opposition, like the Spanish are famous for. But he is crucial at freekicks, we saw it loads of times. But if we sign mata, and add a CM, already that gives united that boost they need, mata is still young, he is 25, you can build your team round mata, janazaj learns allot from him, and already we look a much better technical side having mata kagwa and janazaj has an attacking midfield 3, supporting the striker

  11. scholes18 says:

    @ tommy

    just to clarify, if you are referring to me mate i have never used the name reus. we need midfielders not no 10, wingers, trequartistas, false nines etc.

  12. tallestreD says:

    I’m still in disbelief, the same way I was when I heard rumors we were gonna sign RVP.

  13. Tommy says:

    @scholes18

    No mate NBI, he claimed we didnt need Mata but we needed Rues and I was pointing out hes a number 10, so if in his opinion we didnt need mata then we wont need rues, Moyes is going to watch Patrick Hermann on Friday, they say hes one of the top young players in Germany, what I have read from German reporters

  14. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    United do need creative players like mata, heck mata is better than what we have got, and hey he scores goals and gives assists unlike nani Valencia and young

  15. tallestreD says:

    @scholes you do realise all those positions are for midfielders? As long as you are not a defender or a striker/forward you are a midfielder.

    For me a signing as big as Mata is good. Though I still can’t believe Chelsea are selling to us. But like Tommy said it will help give the team a boost

  16. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Tommy – like I say, mata would improve our midfield, and I have no problem seeing united get away from the 2 upfront heck an attack 3 of mata janazaj and kagwa is better than guys like Valencia and young who do not assist much, or scores goals, and with rooney and RVP or not really in good form. So this sounds better to me, its a transition has we start to move on the likes of rooney and nani, if the mata deal goes through

  17. Dan Young says:

    scholes 18 – how am i demanding we change our formation? i simply said signing mata opens us up to other options. mata would play well in a 4-2-3-1 aswell.

    our front players havnt made many inteligent runs, but why would you when the ball is at young or valencias feet? if the ball is at matas feet you will make a run cause you know he will find you, same goes for januzaj.

    i am amazed you think signing mata is a bad idea, the club isnt asking me to pay £40 million to get him, they are doing that themselves so why the hell would i complain about the price?, and as he has been chelseas player of the year 2 years in a row it shows he is an incredible player in the premier league. on top of that it weakens our opposition and maybe even tempts more players into coming here. this is a bigger signing then rvp in my opinion

    in other hilarious news, yaya toure is talking up a move to psg. only way this day could get any better is a big win against sunderland

  18. scholes18 says:

    @de gea

    agree with you mate. main reason for our downfall this season has been 4-4-2 and my whole line of argument of redundancy of mata is based on obstinate use of this system by david moyes.

    give players like mata cushion of 2 decent midfielders he will become one of the best players in the world if he is not currently.

    look mate, we often tend to underestimate importance of midfielders when attackers like messi are playing. my football coach used to say (when barca was in pomp) that take busquets out of equation, every team has chance of scoring goals against them.

    even barca’s pressing style was based on busquets as pivot (and obviously to the mastermind of pep). those quick one two passing, high balls from d top taking whole defensive line out are no works of ordinary midfielders. sadly those gifted midfielders and intelligent strikers are not in abundance.

  19. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    NBI – its pretty obvious rooney is leaving, so this is a smart move, plus mata will be an improvement over rooney, for many reasons

  20. WilliamAR says:

    I said this in an earlier thread but probably should have said it in this one.

    I think those people harping on about the glaziers not willing to spend can finally put that notion to bed. we may not have Mata just yet but at least we have made the right offer this time. It’s also a little more encouraging to know that we not only made a positive effort in trying to get Mata it’s good to hear that we are also doing the right prep to get players in summer that are difficult to get in this window. I know I have said on many occasions that I wasn’t sure of the Moyes appointment and to be honest I am still not convinced but I have to give him fair credit where credit is due. I hope this is a turning point for us.

  21. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    scholes18 – he will give us better options than rooney, he is more gifted on the ball, he is not picking up many injury’s, he can score free kicks, he gets has many goals as rooney, and assists more, with rooney and possibly RVP moving on, this is the time to start building the 4231 shape of janazaj kagwa and mata, many forget mata never played central, he drifted on the left and right of Chelsea’s 4231 system last year. He is everything we need. And is anyone telling me, a midfield of carrick fletcher janazaj kagwa and mata is not a very good midfield to have for a striker to get chances

  22. samuel - united WE stand says:

    DegeweTrust – it’s simple.. Play a rotational system that allows attackers to switch positions. Technically gifted players thrive in that system and mata will slot in seamlessly. You just cannot turn down world class players and you never have enough of them in a team regardless of what positions they play.

    United essentially need all round complete central mid and I hope moyes is putting in the effort to get them in but mata is avalaible, he’s an artistic technician of the ball, he will improve united and be a start of the rebuilding project.

    Like I said, I would add the players breaking through to the ones being purchased.. Powell, lingard etc should come in, discard the likes of young, valencia and nani (who will find another top club)

  23. samuel - united WE stand says:

    WilliamAr – sorry mate, it proves nothing.. The glazers are leeches and have held the club back from the level it should be.. We still don’t know if this mata chase isn’t a PR stunt… Investment should be constant at the level united want to reach, not once in a blue moon.

  24. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Samuel – united have got to get away from the outdated wide player system of 442, and go towards a 4231 system. Like I say, with Anderson gone, add a CM player to go along with Mata this jan, uniteds midfield already gets a little better, promote powell, heck why not replace kagwa with powell to play in a front 3 behind the striker. I would love to see lingard be the one to play up top, with the service of powell mata and a janzaj, that sounds pretty exciting to me.

  25. WilliamAR says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious what our problem is at the moment. because we have nobody that will play creative forward passes in the center we are forced to play wide all the time which is making us predictable. the problems from that are that apart from our wingers being too one dimensional (young and Valencia), full backs know how to defend against it which forces hurried shabby crosses into the penalty area which often don’t get passed the first defender. but with a Mata type player on our team we become far less predictable and can play through the middle whether it’s in 433 or 442. it’s irrelevant the formation as gifted creative players like mata are more adaptable to a lot of formations that involve attacking.

  26. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I hear some people sceptical about the reasons mourinho wants rid of mata, that alarm bells should be ringing? What alarm bells? Mata doesn’t fit into the style jose wants to play but real madrid did the same thing and got rid of robben and sneijder.. Some people just don’t appreciate what they have till its gone.. If united can somehow nab mata from chelsea, it will ignite the diminishing spark, it would kick united on for next season at least..

  27. slim says:

    DeGeaWeTrust

    This is where i think fans have got it all wrong. There’s nothing wrong with two up front or two wingers. The “change” that is needed is in getting your players to buy into it. And that set up doesn’t always mean the winger gets chalk on his boots or run down the line to cross. There’s room for all kinds of invention and creativity. Secondly you’d need the right skill set to see through that particular kind of 442 system. Two clubs who’ve done it fantastically well are City and Munich. Even Barcelona have tried it, the injury to messi cut it short but they could see the merits.
    The set up can work it just needs the right mindset and players. Make no mistake it’ll the same if we attempt to change to formation of the moment(4231). If you don’t have players playing with each other, playing for each other, backing up team mates, in short the correct mind set , then htat attempted shift will also fail

  28. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    I agree with Samuel – maintenance must always be kept at a certain level, just because the club put in a bid for Mata proves nothing, if the club continued with its transfer policy, we not be in the mess we are currently in.

    What you forget is, the club needs a new defence, like a new CB, a new LB, we already need 2 CM players long term, to replace carrick and fletcher, we add the fact the club are looking for a creative player in a mata. So no, the glazers have proved nothing, they are going to have to invest big time in the next 4 years, to get this club at the level it needs to be at, and that is going to take a few years. And if Moyes is serious about quality rebuilding, its going to take 3 to 4 years to rebuild this squad

  29. WilliamAR says:

    Samuel i really can’t agree with you there, sorry dude but 5 leagues in 6 years means they didn’t have to invest as heavily. sure it would have been nice if they did but we had a tactical master in fergie so the need wasn’t there for them to spend big. I can’t recall them ever turning down funds for any players under their ownership. people tend to blame them purely based on the debt thing in which they are repaying pretty well to be fair. The debt they created to buy the club left a pretty bitter taste in my mouth but I have to be honest and give them credit for never turning down anybody for funds to buy players. We forget that it’s their business at the end of the day so they are entitled to make some money.

  30. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Slim – I think we got players more suited to 4231 than 442, you take kagwa and janazaj, they suit a 4231 system, our wingers need to go, but I do feel we have a squad more suited to 4231. Like I say, if we sign mata, I do feel a midfield of carrick fletcher janazaj mata and kagwa looks like a pretty good midfield to have

  31. slim says:

    The narrow set up is good too and it may suit the players we have and the rumored Mata. And it seems to be the way everyone want to play so maybe we could see that happening. DM, i’m sure notices how poor we’ve been with the wingers and may be deciding to ditch that and go for a more deliberate approach

  32. sir matt martin says:

    Man Utd are lacking creativity in
    midfield at the moment and Juan
    Mata is the ideal player you would want in there to make things happen. He has got all the abilities for the complete midfielder and I think he would be a perfect fit for Man Utd. His past at Chelsea says it all, so why not? Proven in the Premier League just what we need right now, quality player!

  33. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    WilliamAR – we did not really need huge investment, LOL, you serious? we need a new CB, a new LB, vidic Ferdinand and evra are past it, we need 2 CM players long term, and a new creative players, that is without factoring in we are trying to buy a creative player in Mata. This so called lack of investment, how did we do against barca in 2011? by not signing a new CM player, barca ripped us apart because we played carrick and giggs against barca as Hargreaves Anderson and fletcher broke down

  34. tallestreD says:

    The team line up is in

  35. tallestreD says:

    Look no team would have survived that Barcelona. None.

  36. tallestreD says:

    I must say that our bench is not encouraging at all

  37. scholes18 says:

    i think with the current crop of players, united best team and best formation is

    *********ddg*********

    rafa****vidic*****evans****evra(he needs to improve)

    *****carrick*****rooney (if he agrees)/flecther

    ********kagawa**********

    nani/januzaj****RVP*****januzaj/rooney

    formation is 4-3-3 with narrow attacking trio. mata can be a boon in this formation and if rooney is to go this summer, mata would fit right in

    @tallestre

    you are right mate, they are all midfielders. i meant to say we need, box to box midfielder who can spray long balls and can run with the ball pass players

  38. WilliamAR says:

    DeGeaWeTrust

    we have to remember that fergie always spoke about having complete control, that includes transfer business. fergie didn’t see it necessary to add to the squad too much. that doesn’t mean that the glaziers weren’t always prepared to buy players if fergie asked for the funds to do so.

  39. slim says:

    DeGeaWeTrust

    Yeah, i think so too. However i’m not sure why a lot are so keen to see Tony V go. For me having someone like him in the squad is great. Not a moaner, plays hard and is something different. Very difficult getting by with only silky smooth players. There will be days where we just find it impossible to break a team down, throw in Valencia with his wild pace and direct play and you just could come through with a point or vital win. Said it many time i prefer wingers like Nani generally but on our case i’d hold on to the Ecuadorian and wave good bye to Nani. Don’t know what the deal is with Nani, just hasn’t worked out well with him for us. Almost similar tp Mata’s case really.
    If we go on and let go of Nani, Valencia and Young, we could be leaving ourselves short, short of visiting the transfer market again to get another winger in. Say Mata does come in and adapts well in the central area as opposed top the left/right, that leaves Januzaj/Kagawa on the left and NOBODY on the right hand side.We got Lingard but maybe a bit too much to soon to bestow such a huge responsibility on the lad.
    Personally i do think we need a right sided player, not one who can do a job there or one who’s claimed to be “modern” footballer who has no problem changing positions. We need a full fledged right sided player. Robben may interchange all he wants but he IS a right winger/sided player.
    Maybe this is just the beginning and much better to start bedding in players now instead of trying to bed 4 or 5 players during the summer. If we can do this business with Mata and fingers crossed another palyer(CB,LB,CM,RW doesn’ t “mata” which. lol) then we’d be on the right track.

  40. slim says:

    scholes18

    That was my dream, seeing Rooney in Midfield. ahh how i enjoyed that. alas i’m awake now, Rooney will not go for that. He just wont. I wish he would you know but i don’t see it happening.

  41. KwesiOwusuJnr says:

    I dont mind the 4-4-2 @all. Its just that our wingers suck, and our best players are better suited played the 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Herrera is my pick for CM. Just see him fitting perfectly here.
    Nice lineup we got out there. Cant complain.

  42. sir matt martin says:

    Dont you think one of the reasons Mourinho is keen to offload to United is because Chelsea have now played them twice in the league and a Man United team with Mata in their side are more likely to take points off Man city and arsenal?!?! Just a thought, its a pretty short term gain for chelsea, but i wouldnt put it past Mourinho

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