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A necessary win to celebrate the New Year

4 Jan 2016

Hi everyone,

I want to start the first post of the year wishing you a happy 2016 and saying thanks to all for reading this blog every Monday, no matter what the score in the latest game is. It’s been more than four years since I’m here with you week after week (with the exception of the summer holidays) and I keep seeing this as a good habit, although there were weeks when I didn’t feel like writing, and I know that the wound of a bad result can’t be healed just with words… At last I can write a post feeling that we’ve done our duty during the weekend. I was looking forward to it… Luckily, I feel that we have started 2016 with energy and that our negative streak (much longer than it should be) has been left behind…

Many of you have asked about how we felt as the games went by and the team didn’t win. I have to say that our only thought was to work well day after day, stay focused and try to revert this situation. In our last game of 2015, against Chelsea, I think everybody saw what I’m talking about. There was dynamism, courage and energy although we couldn’t win. Finally, we did it on Saturday against Swansea. You could see how tough it was, but I think we deserved the three points. I hope this is going to be the start of a good run of results. It depends on us. They were a difficult opponent with good players who have made things tough for us in the last few seasons, but this time we were able to win so we start 2016 in the best possible way.

The Christmas period is gone now after three games in seven days and we have a full week ahead to prepare the FA Cup game against Sheffield United. It’s a good time to take a break and remain calm after such a busy calendar.

This season, the race for the Premier League title is very open, with a good number of teams in the top side separated by just a few points. Let’s see what happens in January but I think that having so many competitors is good for the show. The differences between the teams in England are not as big as in other leagues, and that’s something we can see this season. You play at a very high pace regardless of who is your rival, and if you don’t give the maximum, then it’s not easy to impose your quality. All the teams are struggling to get easy wins in all the games and that’s why I think that things are still far from being decided.

In Spain, la Liga is getting very interesting. Atletico climbed to the top spot following Barcelona’s draw at Espanyol. Two years ago, Simeone’s team already showed that they can cope with the pressure and be a title contender.

There was a great, thrilling game in Mestalla on Sunday, with goals and a final draw between Valencia and Real Madrid. None of them were too happy with the score.

Lastly, I would like to send my warmest regards to those who show all your support during the toughest moments of the season. Thank you from my heart.

Once again, Happy New Year to all. Have a nice week. Hugs,

Juan Mata

Juan