Him, Herrera and Rooney looked class tonight, also Welbeck. They look very sharp. Probably going to get better. Van Gaal has said it could be 3 months before it really clicks, I think that's more defensively though.
He needs pace around him though. Playing wide in a 433 is a lot different than the wide role he's played so far with us. Played in a midfield 3 or wide in a 433 for Chelsea under Villas Boas and Di Matteo I believe.
Stats only tell so much for me. In my view Mata, so far, has been underwhelming both at 10 and out wide. It's early days in his career and he arrived at a bad time last season, but if we don't see an improvement I wouldn't be surprised if Januzaj overtook him as number 10 if we stick with this formation.
Maybe team took foot off gas but thought we looked weaker with him off the field. 3 strikers fighting it out for 2 places in my opinion. They all need to work together though and not try and 1 up against each other. Hopefully it'll be healthy competition.
Disagree. Mata more intelligent in where he operates, did a good job off the ball against Barry and Besic, Rooney tends to be all over the shop, and drops too deep for my liking which means the strikers have to drop deeper too. One of the reasons, Welbeck was preferred to him in the role against Real Madrid, was because he wasn't positionally disciplined to sit on Xabi Alonso and would have allowed him to dictate.
I thought Mata played too high and needed to drop deeper yesterday, there is less need for him to be as high when two 9s are playing. The 10 in a diamond needs to be a bit more all over the shop. He has been disappointing this season bar the performance against QPR. Rooney has been considerably better in the position. I don't think Mata will start against Chelsea and wouldn't be surprised if he didn't start against West Brom, if we stick with the diamond formation. He doesn't impose himself (he's a bit like Ozil in that respect), he will get assists and goals, but he won't dictate play or be as influential as the likes of Silva or Rooney.
I didn't see much difference in the way Mata was positioned and how Rooney has been, they have both played quite forward with the front two going wide. Rooney has had umpteen games where he he has done zero yet delivered a goal or an assist a bit like Mata recently.
I would prefer him behind one striker, playing 3 up top is just a way to keep everyone happy.