Ex-Chelsea coach speaks out on United flop: 'It's been a very difficult time for him'

Ray Wilkins has given his views on Manchester United duo Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata.

When it comes to reputable coaches in this country, very few hold a candle to former Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins. He didn't stop for a breather when he retired from playing football as he quickly found himself in management and coaching positions at various clubs around the country.

He has spent a long time at the very top level of football coaching, but can nowadays be seen more as a television pundit, having finished a brief spell with Fulham back in mid-February.

When asked by former Tottenham Hotspur star David Ginola on Talksport what he thought of the '£27 million failure' Fellaini, the former Chelsea coach pulled no punches.

'I think it's been a very difficult time for him hasn't it matey,' said Wilkins.

'He hasn't lived up to the expectation as one would have thought.'

When asked by Alan Brazil whether it was due to him joining a struggling team, he admitted that could have been a factor.

'Yeah very much so, but they're all top pros,' added Wilkins.

'So we've got to be able to expect them to put their head on the block and get out there and play and perform.'

However, in my opinion, the last part doesn't ring true. Unlike Juan Mata, the Belgium international didn't come from a side that was winning every week, where it would be a shock to take some defeats now and again. In fact, the position Manchester United are in now is none too dissimilar to that of Everton last season.

I would argue the case, that out of everyone in the Manchester United team, Fellaini has the least to complain about. He is playing under the same manager, in the same structure and in a similar to position to what he was last season. The difference in his form is purely down to his desire and effort levels, rather than the situation Manchester United find themselves in.

The former Chelsea coach did back his former player to produce the goods at OId Trafford, remarking: 'Juan Mata who I've seen over the last couple of years at Chelsea has been absolutely outstanding for Chelsea and he's just not fitting in at the moment at Manchester United, but that will come because he is a quality player.'

Unlike Fellaini, in my opinion, Mata does have something to feel frustrated about because he simply isn't playing in the role he wants to and therefore struggling to make an impact. I feel, like Wilkins does, that Juan Mata will go on to be a huge player for Manchester United. However, I feel that we may have to wait until after the next pre-season before we see him at his best.

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