Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata, has admitted that his side is struggling to cope with the loss of Didier Drogba from their line-up, reports Sky
Drogba left Chelsea in the summer for a move to Shanghai Shenhua and Mata has confessed that he and his fellow Chelsea players have struggled to adapt to the Ivory Coast striker’s absence. Mata said: “We’ve had to learn to cope without him because for many long years, he was Chelsea’s lightning conductor. With Drogba, we were conditioned to play in a certain way.”
Drogba’s absence may be a contributory factor towards Chelsea’s recent poor run of form that recently saw Roberto Di Matteo lose his job, replaced by interim manager Rafael Benitez. And with no wins in their last seven Premier League games, Chelsea find themselves 10 points adrift of league leaders Manchester United, despite an impressive start to the season.
Mata’s compatriot Fernando Torres has been tasked with replacing Drogba, but Torres’ two goals in midweek against FC Nordsjaelland were his first in more than 12 hours of football. Mata, however, refuses to blame Torres for Chelsea’s poor form, insisting that his style of play is different to Drogba’s and that Chelsea need to adapt to that.
“His runs aren’t the same. He’s not a funnel for our play like Drogba could be,” Mata said. “He doesn’t like the holding-it-up role. He prefers finding space and facing the goal. For me, he is still one of the best strikers in the world.”
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