We've heard plenty about which players fit Jose Mourinho's style -- or the journalists' interpretation of Jose Mourinho's style -- since the return of the Special One to Stamford Bridge last summer. But, surprisingly, we haven't heard much about Nemanja Matic being Mourinho's kind of player. Which is funny, because that's exactly what he is. The manager himself said so earlier today:
His profile as a player is, for me, the perfect one.
And it makes sense. Matic is powerful and energetic but also has good technical skills and great vision in the centre of the pitch. Mourinho's always tried to build his sides around the midfield, and Matic is already the most complete player we have there. As my friend Dominic Viera says on A Football Report...
He’s equally effective attacking as defending, a tower in the air and a confident player who’s never afraid to carry the ball up the field. He’s not a [Michael] Carrick nor a [Javi] Martinez or a [Yohan] Cabaye, but a player who embraces the qualities of all three.
...which might be a little over-exuberant, but Matic is the sort of player who inspires exuberance in those who following Portuguese football closely. And the point still stands: Matic (who, Mourinho confirmed, will not be starting against Manchester United out of respect for the other players in the squad) can do it all and is expected to do it all. Under the manager's guidance, who would bet on that not happening?