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Daily Nation : January 26th 2014
8 January 26, 2014 Sunday Nation Does it Mata? with PHARIS KIMARU ably bring one of the following soccer geniuses; Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan, Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, Miralem Pjancic and or Marek Hamsik. With the right dealmaker, that money could even cover a combination of two of those players. The players above are the F players Manchester United needs; strong, creative and energetic central midfielders. Without singing such a player, United will still have a gaping hole in the middle of the pitch for each and every game and no amount of firepower upfront can cover that forever. The thing about Mata is he is a panic buy, a good panic buy no less, but a panic buy all the same. If Man United had drawn against Chelsea or beaten them last Sunday, I doubt United irst of all, 37 million pounds for Juan Mata is just too much. That money could comfort- would have rushed to put in a bid, or made it so high. It’s the Arsenal syndrome of not so long ago, selling clubs know you are desperate and the price is adjusted accordingly. Manchester United have no use for Juan Mata, unless as a direct replacement for Wayne Rooney. Mata is a no 10, Rooney is the undisputed owner of that position in the team, Kagawa is the understudy but even he has had to contribute from wide for large parts of the season. Juan Mata, like Kagawa, does not like playing wide, he can do so, but he does not like it and he is not at his most effective there. What exactly then is the rationale for buying? Perhaps only David Moyes knows for now. Will the arrival of Mata save United’s season? The resounding defeat to Chelsea at the weekend and the penalty debacle against Sunderland on Wednesday night means United are chasing fourth place as their only meaningful and practical achievement. The role reversal with Arsenal is yet again exceedingly ironic. United can still win the Champions League but that is a less practical proposition given current form and performance levels. The only thing that can save United’s season is what saved it last season, a scoring Robin Van Persie and a rejuvenated Wayne Rooney. When those two players come back, Moyes will have the ability to cover the cracks that are so obvious in the team. The singing of Mata is a great PR move and United have landed one of Europe’s best creative attackers but considering that’s not exactly their problem area, the good times are set to keep on rolling. Moving on, it’s the Mersey- side derby on Tuesday night, a game with a huge impact on probably the biggest fight for fourth place we have seen in a long time. Both teams are on song, both are bursting with tal- HARDBALL ent and drive and the managers are both clever and determined. This is one of the games of the season in any season and the factors above make it an even hotter proposition. Everton have the added fire- power of Lukaku while the powers of Luis Suarez almost seem to multiply with every game. Arsenal continues to keep their hold on top of the table. With Man City playing Spurs and Chelsea consecutively, they will like their chances of staying there. At one point against Fulham last weekend it appeared they were banging their head against a brick wall but up pops Santi Carzola and it was another win for the Arsenal. Chelsea’s victory over Man United has underlined their title credentials. Jose Mourinho is a crafty plotter and if anyone can add drama to the title race which is just getting started, then it the Portuguese.
October 13th 2013
January 27th 2014