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Mata

With Manchester United’s top four ambitions mathematically torpedoed by a mediocre 1-1 draw against Huddersfield on Saturday, poor old Juan Mata was left to sift through the rubble of a campaign gone belly up.

Posting on his personal blog “One Hour Behind” — usually a welcome oasis of positivity in a desert of cynicism — Mata managed to encapsulate the feelings of United’s entire fan base with three brief but rather devastating words.

Addressing the supporters directly, the Spanish forward shared his review of what has proved to be a rather underwhelming season at Old Trafford.

The blog post simply reads: “You deserve better. No more words needed.” That is all. Not a single syllable wasted.

The sentiment is all the more jarring when you factor in that Mata tends to look on the bright side when it comes to pretty much everything — upcoming fixtures, charity work, his teammates, training, the love he receives from fans, etc.

Only very rarely does he lapse into melancholy, so when he does, you know things really aren’t going too well at work.

For example, back in October, in the wake of United’s 3-1 defeat against West Ham, Mata cancelled his blog entirely, simply informing fans that “now is not the time for posting.”

A month or two later, in the wake of Liverpool dishing out a hefty thrashing to United at Anfield in mid-December, Mata again kept things short and sullen, stating “I have nothing to share today” in the cold light of morning.

The shock 4-0 loss against Everton last month elicited a similar response, with the 31-year-old lamenting he had “no motivation to write anything” in a pointed blog entitled “Honouring the shirt”. Ouch.

As a barometer of United’s ludicrously topsy-turvy fortunes over the past five years, Mata’s blog posts should probably be preserved by the National Football Museum as documents of historical importance.

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