Paul Parker

Man United not good enough for Juan Mata

I have to agree with Gary Neville's comments on Juan Mata and where he is coming from regarding the subject of what Manchester United need to bring in this January.

A Juan Mata joining the United side of three or four years ago when they were attacking and embracing free-flowing football would have been an ideal destination for the Spanish player, but this is maybe not an area of the team that is the priority for David Moyes at the moment.

They need to strengthen, but he is not the main signing they need. If it was him and three or four other new quality players arriving to go with him, I would say yes.

But if we are talking about Mata as the solitary January signing, then no...United are not going to get the best out of a very good player. The quality around him is just not good enough.

There is going to be so much onus on him to produce opportunities, but it could end up as a negative move because he is having to fight for everything. Even though he is not wanted at Chelsea, he has players there who will enhance him and enjoy playing with him.

As we know, there is only one person there who doesn't want him and doesn't like the way he plays. Unfortunately for Mata, that is his coach.

At United there will be huge expectations on him. And I think United are in desperate need of committed players rather than over-talented, luxury players.

It might not be the right time if arrives on his own while it could yet be a mistake by Chelsea to let him go. As long as they don't get any injuries or suspensions over January, maybe it won't be.

He is a very talented player. All the Chelsea players will tell you how much they rate him. In private at least. Perhaps not in public.

A lot of those players at Chelsea enjoy his style. When you've been twice player of the year at a club, there is a reason why that is the case.

That says a lot about his character. It doesn't matter how many awards you get, the best vote to get is the players' vote. In any industry, getting the vote from your fellow workers is the biggest thing you can ever have.

Mata earns space because he has a reputation for dramatically high levels of skill. Players are worried about him going past them too easy.

I remember Glenn Hoddle was afforded similar respect, but you only get that through time. And you only get it when you are helped out by other great players around you.

A lot of people cannot work out why Mata is not been giving more of an opportunity to prove himself. United do need him, but they do not need him at the present moment.

Moyes needs players who want to play for the manager and United. United will have to pay top dollar for Mata as Chelsea are not going to let him go on the cheap.

That is the only bonus for Chelsea. But is Jose Mourinho really going to sell Mata to Manchester United?

Mourinho worked on the philosophy that loaning Romelu Lukaku to Everton would enable him to damage Chelsea's title rivals, but that doesn't make sense to me because you would still rather have him at your club scoring goals.

You look at United defensively and in midfield. Defensively, United are as poor as they have been for the past 15 years. Very, very poor.

They need two defenders, two midfielders, at least one wide player and possibly a striker. If Moyes is not going to play Wilfried Zaha then they need somebody to replace him.

Adnan Januzaj is a good young player, but at the moment he is too light. He needs more experienced players around him to help him and a bit more strength alongside him.

You can't rely on him until the end of the season.

When we look back, I think Sir Alex Ferguson did the right thing for himself by leaving Manchester United last summer.

Did he get the chance to buy for another manager? I'm not sure. He probably decided to leave it for the other man.

He left on the right note. When Fergie arrived at United, it was a different era, but he had to make big strong decisions when he came into the job.

Two of them were in letting Norman Whiteside and Paul McGrath leave the club. McGrath went on to do really well. But Sir Alex made the right decision because United went onto win their first Premier League followed by the double.

David Moyes may have to follow suit and do it his own way too because Alex wasn't left anything by big Ron (Atkinson). He had to deal with what big Ron left for him.

If David Moyes is any kind of man, and he comes across as one, then he will know nothing is left on a plate for you.

If you want dinner on the table, you have to earn the right to have dinner there for you. You have to get out and get your own dinner.