“Fact Or Fiction” is a series that will be run every Friday. In this series, an assertion will be made regarding an impacting topic in the Premier League. EPL Talk writers Matt Hackenmiller and Earl Reed each offer their views on whether the statement is “Fact or Fiction.”
Fact or Fiction: Juan Mata is now Chelsea’s most important player.
MH: Fact. There are a few reasons for this. First, his tempo and pace has caused havoc for opposing backlines. Chelsea currently has no other player that offers these skills. Secondly, Mata has provided width to an attack that has run centrally through Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba for so long. Lastly, and probably most importantly for Chelsea fans, Mata’s creativity has rejuvenated fellow Spaniard, Fernando Torres. Ever since Mata has joined the club, Torres has looked like he has regained his Athletic Madrid form. It will be interesting to see how Mata holds up over the course of his first season in England. But if he continues to find himself in the starting eleven for Chelsea, there could be more hardware heading to Stamford Bridge.
ER: Fiction. At this point, Chelsea has a pretty formidable attack, and it can come from many talented players. In my mind, the one area that can be overlooked is their defending. So for me, I think Petr Cech is as important as any player on their squad. You look at the early fixtures of this season, and the two matches where Cech was injured, there was a lot of unease for Chelsea supporters. Hilario was not particularly effective in matches against West Bromwich and Norwich City, and allowed those two teams to hang around until the latter portions of the match. The offense ended up bailing him out in those matches, but the great thing is that Cech is a stabilizing force who allows the team to be more aggressive, knowing that they have a top-class keeper to hold the fort. While Mata may be a strong catalyst for the attack, Cech’s presence is even more important to Chelsea’s success.
What do you think, is it fact or fiction that Juan Mata is now Chelsea’s most important player?