What is the nicest thing you could possibly say about a defensively-minded midfielder at Chelsea? You guessed it: compare him to Claude Makelele, a man so good at his job he had the whole position renamed in his honour. And while Nemanja Matic isn't entirely a Makelele-style player, he's close enough that John Terry himself sees shades of the former France international in his play:
You look at the exciting days when the manager first came, and Claude Makelele was the master in that position where Matic plays and Matic is very close to that. We missed him at Newcastle.
I think Matic has some way to go before he reaches Makelele's level as a pure holder, but he's shown that he's capable of giving more going forward than his legendary predecessor, so we really can't complain to much. When the Serbian is on top of his game, he seems to materialise out of nowhere to block off opposition attacks, winning the ball and ensuring Chelsea hold it.
It's not as though Matic has been a revelation this year -- we knew what he was capable of from his brilliance in the second half of last season. But that doesn't make it any less fun to watch him shut other teams down.