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John Obi Mikel has plenty of miles left on his clock at Chelsea yet

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To say it was a transfer mired in controversy is probably understating the convoluted process by which John Obi Mikel ended up at Stamford Bridge, finally signing for Chelsea after Manchester United thought that they had secured a deal to take the Nigerian teenager to Old Trafford from Lynn Oslo. Nevertheless, after that strange arrival the Nigerian has proven to a formidable presence patrolling in front of the Chelsea back four assuming what became universally known as the Makelele position.

mikel John Obi Mikel has plenty of miles left on his clock at Chelsea yet

His time in Chelsea blue has seen a stream of titles and truimphs, including the’double’ under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010, together with a three further FA Cup wins, the Champions League in 2012 and the Europa League the following season. Now however, with the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, Mikel is taking on the appearance as a lost man. The purchase of Nemanja Matic in January, coupled with the Mourinho penchant for playing Lampard, Ramires and even centre-back David Luiz as one of his two holding midfield players has squeezed much of the life out of Mikel’s career at the Bridge, relegating him to the less important cup games and substitute appearances. The player who also won the African Cup of Nations in 2013 should not be written off so easily however. This is a player who shows a strong determination and dedication to the club.

In the early days of the 2011-12 season, reports arose that Mikel’s father had been kidnapped back in his native Nigeria. Two days later Mikel insisted on turning out for the club against Stoke City in a league game. In an impassioned plea for help to his fellow countrymen, he declared how he had worked for Nigeria and asked for help to find his father. It’s not clear what effect the plea had, his father was found alive ten days after the announcement of his disappearance.

In his time at the club Mikel has received much criticism for being one-paced and not positive enough when in possession. It’s a strong characteristic of the player however that he has experienced such things previously and still returned to play his role when called upon. perhaps his est performance being that night in Munich when he was arguably Man of the Match when Chelsea wrested the Champions’ League trophy from Bayern Munich in their own backyard.

Although he plays a far more adventurous ‘play-maker’ role for Nigeria, at Chelsea his role is of the unassuming artisan – what Eric Cantona once famously descried as a ‘water carrier’ but no-one should confuse this with lack of ambition. As mentioned, writing off John Obi Mikel’s Chelsea career could be premature in the extreme, at 26 he’ll be keen to prove that there’s many more years ahead of him yet.

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Comments (6)

  1. Yeah u are on point he has got to prove many of us wrong.i believe heaven is his limit.he has done a lot for CFC.his over-all work rate shld nt be underrate.i appreciate him,u can not played a number of game he has had with CFC if u are nt gud enof.

  2. I fink mikel hv done pretty well for cfc n he deserves sum credits he is really a gud player sum tyms wen he is nt playing u notice sumtin is lacking in dt midfeild so he shuld nt b looked over

  3. Mikel is a nice player n he is still very important @ cfc he shuld nt b ova looked.

  4. Mikel is a nice player,what he needs is to change or rather improve on his play. He possesses the ball well,wins tackles,avoids booking many of the times and is about the passer of the ball in England if not Europe. He needs to and must be seen to play with ambition,he should be buissines like in his play,learn to surge forward from the middle of the park and notch some goals as well as being fast with the ball and on the ball then he would hit the headlines for the right reasons.

  5. Mikel is good player what he needs now is to put more effort,put more effort faith back for me don’t see anything wrong in him.

  6. Mike is a every good player,what he needs now is to put more effort to fight back.