Manchester United Jose Mourinho has a knack for making the headlines and did exactly that when he guided the club to win the FA Community Shield against Leicester City on Sunday but that’s not the news.
The real gist is that the Portuguese substituted Juan Mata whom he brought on as a substitute for the injured Jesse Lingard during the second half and that caused a major stir among fans and football observers around the world.
Mourinho once ensured the anger of club fans over Mata when he sold the former Valencia midfielder during their time together at Chelsea despite the Spaniard being named the club’s Player of the Season for two consecutive years at the time.
Back then he explained that he preferred Oscar to play in the number 10 role and it was Mata’s decision to leave for Old Trafford and just like during his spell at Stamford Bridge the midfielder has become fans favourite for his outstanding commitment to the club.
He sealed that relationship with his two goals against bitter rivals Liverpool two seasons ago and his blog which is read every Monday is well followed by the supporters.
So, why did Mourinho humiliate Mata with that cheeky substitution against the Foxes at Wembley yesterday? The Portuguese told BT Sport: “He (Mata) played very well, he gave me exactly what I needed. The rules allowed six changes, and I wanted to stop the game, to kill time. I have one more player [to bring on] and I have to pick the smallest one [to come off].
“I know it would end with long balls, throw-ins, so I don’t pick [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic or [Marouane] Fellaini for sure. Mata is the smallest one.
“He was very angry but they threw everything. We want to win and everybody is happy in the end.”
Understandably, Mata looked disgruntled as he gingerly walked off the pitch and Jose Mourinho tried to apologise on the sideline but the Spaniard was having none of it, heading straight to his seat.
The transfer window is very much open and Mata may yet seek to leave for a second time under Mourinho but the former Real Madrid manager assured club fans when he assumed duties that he will not sell the Spaniard.
Will Mata demand for a move to gain regular first team football elsewhere or will Jose Mourinho count on him as part of his anointed 24 players this season? Stay with us as will keep you updated on the happenings inside old Trafford.