Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday, 26 April 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 1 - 0 Man Utd

Saturday, 18 April 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Mata omission surprises AVB

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas admits he is surprised Juan Mata is not a first-team regular for Chelsea this season.

Last Updated: 28/09/13 at 12:34 Post Comment

Villas-Boas signed the Spain international when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge but Mata has struggled to convince current boss Jose Mourinho he is worth a starting berth.

Spurs face Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Saturday and after playing the whole of their 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Swindon in midweek, Mata has admitted he is hoping to feature more regularly.

But Villas-Boas was quick to deny speculation he may make a bid for the player and instead backed him to rediscover his form in west London.

"It's not my decision to pick or not pick Mata, it was before," he said.

"He was always involved in my starting XI, I have always enjoyed a great personal and professional relationship with Juan Mata but it's not my decision anymore.

"I suppose the time that he's not being given now, with the talent that he has he will overcome it and jump back into the team because he is that player, that special."

But when asked if he was interested in signing Mata, Vilas-Boas simply said: "No, I don't think so."

The Portuguese also spoke about how he felt after being sacked by Chelsea in 2012 and looked ahead to this weekend's meeting with his former employers.

"The emptiness is not related to Chelsea, it's completely related to the game and the adrenalin the game gives you," he added.

"The emptiness is more related to the fact you come away from your job, a 24-hour relationship with your profession and with football that gives you so much adrenalin and motivation.

"So after that Chelsea experience it was a time for me to reflect and with my staff to try to sort things that we have done wrong and to do it better in the future.

"It's important for everybody I think we are enjoying our ride at the moment, the start of the season has been excellent.

"It would be good to build on this, particularly in such an important game. Arsenal have a difficult game at Swansea and we'd like to keep ourselves in the top."

Villas-Boas also had some positive team news, with Aaron Lennon closing on a return to action after a foot injury.

"He is due to come back hopefully tomorrow (Friday) to training. He is making great progress and we should see him back to first team training next week.

"The rest, (Nacer) Chadli has come back very strong so he's in with a chance, Younes is not yet 100% so is in doubt. Danny Rose is a 90% possibility that he will play."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

I

like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

sensiblepoolfan
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

N

ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

uncle monty
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

Footer 365

Liverpool stay silent on rumours Jordan Henderson has signed five-year contract at club

Liverpool have declined to comment on reports midfielder Jordan Henderson has signed a new five-year deal at the club.

Chelsea's Kurt Zouma explains 'job' on Marouane Fellaini

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has given an insight into his Marouane Fellaini mission in the 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Tom Cleverley credits Tim Sherwood for turning around Villa's fortunes

Tom Cleverley says Aston Villa have been transformed by Tim Sherwood's attacking mentality.

Mail Box

Klopp Over Rodgers? Not On Your Nelly

Liverpool fans have short memories and should give Rodgers more time, while Jose's tactics and claims are getting many more in a stew. It's the afternoon Mailbox...

Thank You And Goodbye, Mr Rodgers

The genius of Tactics Tim, time is up for Rodgers, the curious case of Eric Lamela, and the flaws of tactical voting - today's Mailbox is bursting at the seams...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company