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Good cop Holland on bad cop Mourinho and the need for the squad to adapt

For my next trick, I'm going to mess with Mata
For my next trick, I'm going to mess with Mata
Clive Brunskill

Word association time!

If I say AVB, you say ... project!  If I say RDM, you say .... legend!  If I say FSW, you say ... interim!  If I say TSO, you say ... adapt?

Certainly since Jose started challenging Juan Mata in public, that's been the word on everyone's mind.  Mata must adapt.  No more free roles!  The squad must adapt.  No more low block!  But with Mata being an unequivocal fan favorite, this whole scenario of perhaps unreasonable expectations and harsh treatment of Chelsea's back-to-back player of the year has quickly turned The Happy One into The Bad Cop One.

"Jose is always pushing the players to the maximum every day, and that is evident not just in the teams but in the individuals he has worked with."

"In [Cristiano] Ronaldo's case he is the best in the world, and whether it is David Luiz, Juan Mata, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Fernando Torres, whoever it is, I am sure on a day-to-day basis Jose will be pushing for signs for improvement, working to progress the individual but ultimately for the benefit of the team."

-Steve Holland; source: Chelsea FC

Good cop Steve Holland meanwhile is propping up any flagging morale.  Although there appears to be no such issues so far, least of all with a "top professional" like Mata:

"An assistant can have a different relationship with the players as opposed to the manager who picks the team and makes the major decisions."

"You are forever communicating with players but in this case you are talking about a professional player with a fantastic attitude. There isn't a great deal that needs to be said to Juan, he knows the score and he is a top professional. He trained well yesterday as you would expect."

-Steve Holland; source: Chelsea FC

Holland also points out something that's been lost a bit in the outrage, I think.  This is hardly the first time Mata - or anyone else in the squad - has had to adapt.  Mourinho spoke of wanting to not simply continue doing what we were doing last year, and while change may take some time, change will happen.  And that change will involve plenty of adapting.  Just like it happened with previous managers.

"Having to adapt is nothing particularly new here [...] and [Mata] has shown here he is more than capable of doing that, and that will be the case this time."

-Steve Holland; source: Chelsea FC

So say we all.

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