Who Is Better: Juan Mata or Mesut Ozil?
The Portuguese boss's anger stems from his side having played just 48 hours previously in the Premier League, but Mourinho is, of course, blessed with a squad of depth that most managers could only dream of.
The result is that Chelsea will head into the encounter with the likes of Juan Mata and Kevin de Bruyne almost certain to feature—players who would walk into nearly any side in the Premier League.
As a consequence, the game is likely to present the first opportunity to see Mata come face to face with another leading No. 10 in Mesut Ozil since the German's arrival in England.
But which of the two players is the better attacking midfielder?
|NAME||Juan Mata||Mesut Ozil|
|Last season (appearances/goals)||35/12||32/9|
Chelsea's Spanish attacking midfielder was voted the club's Player of the Season over both of the past two campaigns, prompting indignation when incoming manager Mourinho chose to omit the player from his first-choice lineup at the start of the season.
His substitute, though, happens to be established Brazil international Oscar, whose excellent early season form has made it incredibly difficult for Mata to regain his regular starting berth.
Mata is, though, an exceptional player who cannot afford to be sitting on a substitute's bench with regularity ahead of next summer's World Cup.
Per WhoScored, Mata provided both 12 goals and 12 assists in the Premier League alone last season, creating 107 goalscoring chances for his side in the competition.
Playing predominantly from a central role, his speed over short distances and wonderful control of a football with his left foot allow him to both evade defenders and bring teammates into play around the penalty area.
He has also, over the course of his time in England, developed a habit of arriving late into the area to score important goals for his side.
He has always been a decent finisher, as shown by his goalscoring totals at former side Valencia, but has improved on the timing of his arrival into the penalty area to become an ever-more decisive figure on the biggest occasions—as shown by goals against Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Everton last season.
He may not be enjoying the best of times in the 2013-14 campaign, but he is a tremendous player and will recover a first-team place either at Chelsea or elsewhere.
Germany star Ozil has been in terrific form since arriving at Arsenal this summer, providing three goals and four assists for his side in just 11 appearances for the English side.
For Ozil, it is just more of the same. In his final season in La Liga, he contributed nine goals and 13 assists, despite making just 23 starts, per WhoScored.
Indeed, given the significance of his contribution to the Los Merengues effort over the past couple of seasons, it was little surprise to see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly annoyed at his departure, per the Mirror.
At his best, Ozil drifts around the pitch in an almost untouchable manner, collecting the ball off teammates, spreading play and moving into space once more.
However, as soon as he is afforded too much room, the German pounces, looking to find that one special pass that will unlock the defence for his side or to burst past his man before picking out a better positioned colleague.
He can be simply devastating and has been the leading source of goals at every team in which he has played over recent seasons—including the Germany national side.
Ozil has not always been a major contributor of goals, but he has improved greatly as a finisher over the past year to register his career-best tally last season. Per former Gunner Cesc Fabregas, that goalscoring habit will only improve in English football.
One of the best technical players in England and, indeed, in Europe, Ozil will be a major figure for Arsenal moving forward and, also, for the German national team at next summer's World Cup.
Indeed, there is not a side worldwide that would not benefit from his presence.
First of all, it must be stated that both Ozil and Mata are phenomenal footballers who add real value to their clubs and also to the Premier League as a whole.
Watching them play live is a highly pleasurable experience, with both players' levels of intelligence and technical excellence placing them among the very best in their position worldwide.
To call one player as better than another when they are both of such similar levels of ability is a very difficult judgement that can seem unfair on both players, who should be regarded as the unique talents that they are.
Mata is both a Champions League and Europa League winner at club level, as well as a World Cup and European champion with his national side. Ozil, often forced to accept second best at international level, has played a major role in helping Real Madrid to a La Liga title in a period of Barcelona dominance.
If forced to make a judgement call, Ozil would come out on top in most people's books, having established himself as a true world leader in his position.
Had Mata played for Real Madrid, though, the situation may have been reversed. After all, the fashionable nature of the club tends to influence perceptions of its players.
His inability, also, to forge a regular berth in the Spanish national side must count against him, albeit somewhat unfairly. Both players deserve to be credited as the fine individual performers that they have now been for some time.
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