The continued absence of Juan Mata from Manchester United’s starting XI in the last few months has left many fans scratching their heads.
There can only be 11 players on the pitch and Louis van Gaal has had to make a number of difficult decisions when it comes to who he plays. Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera and Rafael have all spent a large amount of time on the substitute’s bench this season.
However, the creativity of Mata was sorely missed against Arsenal on Monday night as United chased an equaliser in the final minutes of the game.
Van Gaal seemed to prefer United playing the ball directly onto the head of Marouane Fellaini instead. The majority of fans disagree with van Gaal and say Mata, who joined for £37.1m, should be in the team:
@PeoplesPerson_ Anything’s better than the current state of affairs.
— Hans-Inge Langø (@hilango) March 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ He should be starting instead of Fellaini.
— Marcin Królak (@Cinkiewicz7) March 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ not when management is obsessed with defending
— Mike (@mike_mufc94) March 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ he should be in the team and I did not understand why LVG stuck it on the bench
— Dimana (@dimi85) March 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ starting 11 drop the hatstand
— Michael Walsh (@mcjwalsh) March 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ good for home games when oppo tends to be camped in their own half. Bad for away games. Should be played behind Rooney at OT
— Kiran (@bedithereddevil) March 10, 2015
@PeoplesPerson_ Should be starting every single game, his record of goals & assists speaks for itself. Quality player!
— Colin Main (@cmaincolin) March 10, 2015
Van Gaal has often spoke of the balance he is looking to bring to United’s play following criticism of the team’s playing style this term.
The Dutchman has employed a 4-2-3-1 formation in recent weeks and this may help Mata when coupled with Michael Carrick’s return from injury. The Spaniard could quite easily play in the hole while Carrick and Daley Blind mop up danger behind him. Mata will be looking to start against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday as United bid to stay in the top four of the Premier League.