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Oscar’s Performance is a Warning to Mata and the other playmakers

Oscar’s Performance

People who might have wondered why Chelsea fought so hard to secure the signature of Oscar are now getting the answers after his debut start against one of the biggest European (Juventus) clubs and one of the all-time best goalkeepers in the world (Buffon) produced a Man Of The Match performance and with a stunning goal if Messi had scored, it would have been awarded the best goal of the century. After the match, the legendary Buffon spoke about the second goal of Oscar that makes us know the real stature of the goal. Buffon said “it’s not nice to concede a goal but it is nice to be a part of a great goal”.After being in post for several years, the veteran keeper has seen many goals but he is happy to be part of this “great” goal. It is not only the two magnificent and instinctive goals Oscar scored that makes him stake a real claim for the playmaker role in Chelsea; it is his all-round performance that night which should give cause for concern to the Chelsea players who always want to play through the middle as playmakers especially our Number 10, Mata.

Some might think it is too early to think Oscar should be given the playmaker role after just one sensational performance. However, the boy has shown this consistent performance and intelligence for a long time in Brazil and it is no accident that he wears the Brazil number 10 jersey. People who might also think Oscar’s performance might be a flash in the pan might not have watched him play for Brazil so many times as I have. Mano Menezes, Brazil’s head coach meant no joke when he described Oscar as the brain powerhouse of his team who reads games so perfectly on the pitch and solves problems that may arise for his team with his intelligent ball control and sleek passes. If you still doubt the boy Oscar you can still ask yourself why a 20-year old boy would command such a huge price. John Obi Mikel, Cech and Di Matteo are not surprised by Oscar’s performance as they know what he does at training and Mikel in particular says he has seen Oscar score similar stunning goals during training. Brazil’s last friendly match against China where he assisted 3 times and scored a goal, he nearly scored a screamer from more than 35 yards out. He is so confident and intelligent for his age that he believes in his instincts and always chooses the best option within a split-second.
One reason why I will play Oscar in the playmaker role ahead of Mata is that he is a natural playmaker. His quick short one-two passes and through-balls are great and against Juventus his exit was a huge blow to the shape of the team and it spice Juve on to get the equalizer. His working rate is higher than Mata and he does not only stay at the attacking third of the opponents area for supply but he drops deep to collect the ball from Mikel, Lampard and even Luiz which Mata fails to do many times. One huge attribute about Oscar as a playmaker is his ability to chase the ball all the time, unsettle opponents attacking build up from the back and most importantly close in on the opponents at their own half when they have the ball. Against Italy, when Germany decided to unsettle with Pirlo with Toni Kroos, it was a total failure. It is not easy to get the better over Pirlo but Oscar did not only make Pirlo anonymous with his continuous pestering of the Italian legend, he turned him inside-out to score a goal which will live in infamy at the Bridge.

If Oscar finds his feet in the EPL, he would be the surprised package for world football. When I saw Oscar’s name in the starting lineup against Juve ahead of Mata, I tweeted to the doubting Thomases that Oscar’s performance will let us almost forget about Mata and I believe many are beginning to be carried away by the Oscar fever. In my last edition of “Azonto Epistles” I said a lot about Oscar and how he is the linchpin to the transformation of Chelsea’s style of play, I believe RDM might have read the article and taken that bold decision to give him his debut in the Champions League. So never think your comments and suggestions go unnoticed. Therefore feel free and share your views since you don’t know who might be reading.
By Seth Adusei (twitter @sethaadusei)
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