Sunday, July 31, 2011

Who is Juan Mata?

Juan Mata is the player who are reportedly getting closer to sign for Arsenal. However many of the fans are not so familiar with the player and the history of the player. So we bring to you some information for you to know Juan Mata better.

After a youth career that took in stops at Oviedo and Real Madrid, winger Juan Mata signed with Valencia in 2007. The 23-year-old has scored 33 goals in 129 appearances for the club, adding four more in 11 appearances for the Spanish senior side.

Despite owning World Cup medals, Mata and Spain teammate Javi Martinez were both part of Spain's Under-21 side that beat Switzerland 2-0 in the final in Denmark on Saturday to clinch a unique double. According to Uefa, no player has ever won a World Cup and then an Under-21 championship.

At 5' 7" Mata won't muscle anyone off the ball but relies on speed to beat opponents and appears to have modeled his game after that of Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs, who he has said was a hero in his youth. Indeed, it has been suggested that he would be a perfect replacement for the Welshman at Old Trafford though Liverpool and Manchester rivals City may still have something to say about that.

By way of an introduction, here are five factoids (descriptions doubtless featuring varying degrees of accuracy) about Mata:
- "Thoughtful and softly spoken, the young Spaniard is regarded as one of the country's finest prospects. Mata represents Spain's new generation ...

"The Valencia number 10, who predominantly plays on the left wing for club and country, started out in Real Madrid's cantera or youth system, after joining as a 15-year-old from Real Oviedo, the former club of his father, Juan Mata Senior, who was also a footballer and now acts as his agent. It was the disappointment of being released that made Mata eager to prove that he was a footballer capable of playing at the highest level. Being let go didn't surprise him, given the importance Real Madrid placed on superstar signings at the turn of the century rather than looking to promote players from their youth ranks." (Four Four Two)

- "The price may be a little steep but Mata is worth it. The son of a soccer player, he joined Real Oviedo at 12 and Real Madrid at 15. He won the European U-19 Championships with Spain in 2006 and was second top scorer, named Player of the Tournament. The Real Madrid Castilla side he joined in Spain's Second Division included Jordi Codina, Miguel Torres, Sergio Sánchez, Javi García, Estéban Granero, Rubén de la Red (who has been forced to retire with heart trouble), Adrián, and Álvaro Negredo. All of them are First Division players, but only one of those is still at Madrid -- and Esteban Granero returned to the club after a spell at Getafe. Opportunities were limited. So Mata, too, moved on - forcing an exit to join Valencia at 19...

"Fast, skillful, and creative -- dangerous heading up the left wing or inside from the right, dashing from deeper beyond the front two - he has an impeccable touch and swift, precise passing. As he has shown at the European U-21 championships, he can also take a more central, playmaker's role." (Sports Illustrated)

- "You can't help but be impressed by the technical ability of Juan Mata but his durability is also to be noted. For such a small player he rides challenges well is robust enough to keep possession and has pace to get out of trouble.

"He emerged from the shadows of David Villa and David Silva at Valencia when Ronald Koeman put trust in him and gave him the platform to perform. Koeman deserved more credit but didn't last long at Valencia.

"Yet now Mata looks set to follow Silva and Villa out the door. He is being valued at around £21m but looks to be worth it." (Daily Mail)

- "He didn't just excel on the pitch in Madrid, either. While at the club Mata studied journalism at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Presumably this makes him that rare player who can make the headlines on the pitch - and then write them up himself afterwards." (Daily Mirror)

- "He is a clever player who possesses great pace, intelligence and has a good goalscoring ability." (MTN Football)

In his own words:
Mata was 13 when he watched Giggs play in a Champions League game at the Mestalla that ended in a 0-0 draw (the Spanish club reached the Champions League final in 2001, losing to Bayern Munich in Milan)

"That year saw I many games in the Champions League when Hector Cuper's Valencia reached the final in Milan, and remember talking a lot with my friends in class about Giggs," said Mata. "I remember him being left-footed like me and I paid special attention to his movement." (AS via

"I like Nani a lot, Chicharito, who I have played against with Spain. Dimitar Berbatov has a lot of class. Like Giggs, Paul Scholes is one of the greats of Man United's history. He is very complete: he can push up and play behind the strikers scoring a lot of goals, he has a great shot; he can sit deeper and play, he has superb technique and vision and passes brilliantly. I like him a lot. He's one of the best there has been." (The Guardian)

*credit to

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Will the Purchase of Jagielka and Mata Bring Title to Emirates?

Arsène Wenger intends to ease the transfer window frustration of Arsenal supporters with successful moves for the Everton defender Phil Jagielka and the Valencia winger Juan Mata.

The manager has waged a battle throughout the summer to retain his captain, Cesc Fábregas, and the midfielder Samir Nasri, and it has felt, even to a section of the club’s board, that he has done so to the detriment of seeking new signings.

Fábregas looks certain to get his long-touted switch to Barcelona – Wenger wants the issue resolved in the coming days – while Nasri is likely to be held to the terms of his contract, which has 12 months to run. He could then depart on a highly lucrative Bosman free transfer.

The arrivals of Jagielka and Mata, together with the short-term retention of Nasri, would go some way to answering the critics. Wenger has already seen one bid for Jagielka, of around £12m, rejected by Everton but he is preparing a renewed offer that he hopes will force the Merseysiders’ hand.

Mata would not be a like-for-like replacement for Fábregas. The 23-year-old tends to play on the left, although he could play in a central position. He has emerged as one of Europe’s most coveted young players after his starring role for Spain’s Under-21s in their triumphant European Championship campaign last month. He was also a part of the victorious senior squad at the World Cup finals last summer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Arsene, Are We Going To Be A Big Team Sometimes This Century?

Considering the latest football scores, you would say that Arsenal is ready to challenge the title this year. However, Arsene Wenger has other plans…again. Even if the board members allowed a huge budget this year, saying that the manager can spend as long as he wants to create a really strong team, the only new names in the team are Gervinho and Jenkinson, the defender from Charlton. Moreover, with Denilson borrowed to Sao Paulo and with a few other players on the leave, Arsenal will have to rely on the youngsters once more.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of our team. The latest football scores show that our youngsters are the best in the world, as they were last year, and two years ago and so. However, this is not the method to create a strong team. Just look at Liverpool and Manchester City. They are spending tons of millions every year, and they don’t have such great objective like ours. We understand you, Arsene. After twenty years when you had to make a great team with 10 millions a year, is it hard to spend 100. However, if Fabregas leaves for Barcelona, we don’t care about the great latest football scores, we don’t care if we have the best youngsters in the world. We want you to invest some money into a great team that will bring real trophies, not honor and a great game. Please, Wenger, can you do this for us at least one?


A Frustrated Arsenal Fan

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wenger Look at Germany Centre-Back for £7 million

Per Mertesacker is back in Arsenal's transfer plans, as Arsene Wenger continues his efforts to strengthen his defence.

The Gunners were strongly linked with the Germany centre-back in January, but he eventually opted to remain at Werder Bremen.

Mertesacker, who has described the prospect of a move to the Premier League as 'attractive', has just 12 months left on his contract.

Wenger is now considering taking advantage of that situation by making a cut-price £7 million offer for the 26-year-old, reports the People.

As well as the physical presence Arsenal have been missing, Mertesacker has more top-level experience than many of the other central defenders Wenger has been looking at.

The Gunners boss remains keen on Bolton Wanderers' England international Gary Cahill and is also expected to make a bid for Christopher Samba of Blackburn Rovers.

Everton's Phil Jagielka was strongly linked with a move to The Emirates last summer and Wenger has not ruled out renewing his interest in the £15 million-rated England defender