Jose Mourinho: 'If somebody tells me that Oscar is not Chelsea's best player since the beginning of the season, I'd have to disagree'

Blues boss sees the Brazilian youngster as his future No 10 leaving Juan Mata out in the cold

Oscar, and not Juan Mata, is to be Chelsea's attacking fulcrum under Jose Mourinho.

After four matches without a win ahead of tonight's west London derby in the Barclays Premier League, Mourinho's methods have been scrutinised, particularly his omission of Mata.

The Spain playmaker, Chelsea's player of the year in each of the last two seasons, his first at the club, has been told to adapt his game to have a future with the Blues.

"It's part of a process with him (Mata)," Mourinho said. "One thing is to play with Ramires and Oscar in the side, them closing (down) each side, and Mata as a number 10 behind a striker, to have clever assists and to have clever passes; fantastic actions because he has great talent.

"Another thing is to adapt to the way we want to play. In this moment, Oscar is my number 10 and, if somebody tells me that Oscar is not Chelsea's best player since the beginning of the season, I'd have to disagree.

"I want to build with Oscar as my number 10. I want the other two players, from the side (wings), to adapt to that reality and to learn how to do things that they were not ready to do before."

Although he would not elaborate on his reasons for leaving Mata on the periphery, Mourinho's initial thoughts appear clear.

The World Cup winner, who signed a five-year contract when he joined from Valencia in 2011, has made three appearances this term, but was hauled off after 65 minutes against Aston Villa, 57 minutes in last weekend's defeat at Everton and featured for 23 minutes against Basle, who inflicted Chelsea's first home Champions League group stage loss in nearly 10 years.

In World Cup year he is unlikely to be content with being marginalised, a decision which fans and pundits alike have questioned.

"There are things I cannot speak with you about," Mourinho said.

"But he played against Everton from the beginning and you can analyse his performance.

"And he played against Basle, not like (Demba) Ba or (John Obi) Mikel, coming in to rescue the game, but he came on when the team was winning 1-0 and when he had specific tasks to do."

Hard work is something Mourinho requires of his players and he is leading by example as he seeks to overhaul Chelsea's style of play.

The challenge is balancing the overhaul - a style of play which Mourinho says is not a directive from owner Roman Abramovich, but one the whole Chelsea hierarchy agrees with - with achieving results.

After losses to Everton and Basle in the last two games, Mourinho is determined his 62-match unbeaten run at home in the Premier League does not end against Fulham.

He added: "The project is beautiful. We had two very ugly results - we don't like, we are not used to them... it's a problem for us."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
science
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried