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Mikel on ESPN front page


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There is a nice article on Mikel and the form of the team on the front page of ESPN.

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/6484137/john-obi-mikel-mission-stop-wayne-rooney-old-trafford

Its always good when Mikel gets some credit. He never gets the credit that he deserves. Most of the time I feel his does a great job for us and sometimes will be off form. I think some people forget he is still only 24 years old and will get better. For our team to be successful, I think he is a vital part because he helps the defence out so much.

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Agreed in my eyes he is the most improved player in the last 2 or 3 years whilst others have declined in that period. I never doubted Mikel's ability, it was just his poor disciplinary record and the fact we used to end a number of key matches with 10 men because he was quite hot-headed and immature at times.

I still don't think we need him in home games, but IMO he is our most important player in away games, as important, if not more than Drogba, Lampard, JT etc because he is the one and only anchor we've had since Makelele. If he doesn't start on Sunday we can forget about winning because United will overpower us in midfield. It woill be hard to leave Ramires out but Mikel has been too good of late.

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Agreed in my eyes he is the most improved player in the last 2 or 3 years whilst others have declined in that period. I never doubted Mikel's ability, it was just his poor disciplinary record and the fact we used to end a number of key matches with 10 men because he was quite hot-headed and immature at times.

I still don't think we need him in home games, but IMO he is our most important player in away games, as important, if not more than Drogba, Lampard, JT etc because he is the one and only anchor we've had since Makelele. If he doesn't start on Sunday we can forget about winning because United will overpower us in midfield. It woill be hard to leave Ramires out but Mikel has been too good of late.

I really think Ramires is a guy that was bought to take over for Essien and he has been better than Essien this year so I think he should start over Essien. Ramires brings an attacking presence that Mikel doesn't and, along with his pace, makes him a better fit for that outside midfield role. Mikel, in the holding role make so much more sense.

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Mikel need's to step up if he is to be a part of Chelsea's future,to be fair to him, when Essien has left the pitch he has taken a bigger role in the match and done well, but its still about time he started to show a bit of steel in his mind.Holding the ball is a good part of the modern midfielders game,but what about goal scoring?,in the toughest matches, against the elite opposition,we can't afford any passengers.He has all the ability he needs,i think it's time for Carlo to put much more responsbilty on his shoulders and let him show what he can do...............I think he'll do just fine.

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Mikel need's to step up if he is to be a part of Chelsea's future,to be fair to him, when Essien has left the pitch he has taken a bigger role in the match and done well, but its still about time he started to show a bit of steel in his mind.Holding the ball is a good part of the modern midfielders game,but what about goal scoring?,in the toughest matches, against the elite opposition,we can't afford any passengers.He has all the ability he needs,i think it's time for Carlo to put much more responsbilty on his shoulders and let him show what he can do...............I think he'll do just fine.

His job isn't to score goals. Would you rather him running up the pitch trying to score when we've got 3 forwards and 2 other mid fielders able to play offensively, leaving us wide open for the counter attack and more importantly, Rooney unmarked - or to nullify Rooney and prevent counter attacks? At the moment he's the best holding midfielder we have, and he's improving every time I see him. Leaving him out of this match would cost us dearly.

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Even Sergio Busquets scores goals. Mikel really needs to use his significant aerial threat to better use.

That, and his positioning at times, really needs help.

Its difficult to use his aerial threat if he isnt even in the box at set pieces. He sits deep defensively most of the time so wont get near scoring goals. Mikel is a very under rated player by many, he has a job to do and does it well the majority of the time.

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Mikel is a decent player and has had a number of good games. For me though, these are outweighed by games where he either isn' that good or just doesn't offer us a great deal. That's not really his fault - as others have often pointed out playing him in home matches against teams like Wigan and Blackpool is just a watse of a position.

With Mikel, I would happily accept the complete lack of goals if he was as good a holding midfielder as a player like Maka. But he isn't and never will be. For me he still doesn't give us enough defensively to compensate for what we lose offensively with him in the team. There's the argument that Mikel playing allows others like Lamps and Essien to push on more but it doesn't always happen and it's no surprise the number of times he's been hauled off at half time this season.

He has a place, but he's not a week in, week out player.

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In my opinion he should start every game he's available for. He is very, very good and I hope he has a long Chelsea career.

Sadly people want Mikel to provide the creative difference that the likes of Lampard don't. You never see Busquets derided because he dosen't creat or score goals but at Chelsea we expect our holding midfielder to be Messi.

Mikel keeps possession extremely well, always picks the right pass and most importantly is always aviallable for under pressure teammates to pass to.

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Sadly people want Mikel to provide the creative difference that the likes of Lampard don't. You never see Busquets derided because he dosen't creat or score goals but at Chelsea we expect our holding midfielder to be Messi.

Aw come on, no-one is expecting Mikel to be Messi or anything near.

Barca have the luxury of having three of the very best players in world football, so they can afford to have a Busquets type player in the side and now worry about him not scoring or creating. Unfortunately, we currently do not have that luxury.

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Mikel is a decent player and has had a number of good games. For me though, these are outweighed by games where he either isn' that good or just doesn't offer us a great deal. That's not really his fault - as others have often pointed out playing him in home matches against teams like Wigan and Blackpool is just a watse of a position.

With Mikel, I would happily accept the complete lack of goals if he was as good a holding midfielder as a player like Maka. But he isn't and never will be. For me he still doesn't give us enough defensively to compensate for what we lose offensively with him in the team. There's the argument that Mikel playing allows others like Lamps and Essien to push on more but it doesn't always happen and it's no surprise the number of times he's been hauled off at half time this season.

He has a place, but he's not a week in, week out player.

who elsehas been as good as makelele in the holding role, not talkin about a defensive midfielder, im talkin about anchorman, glued infront of back four?

nobody. ever.

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Funny how people are still on Mikels back,, would love too hear them moanin about makelele not creatin chances and scorin though!!!!

You've obviously missed the previous 100 or so threads which have covered that particular comparison in depth!

To summarise: Maka was in a different class- so much so that the role is named after him. Mikel (nor currently anyone else) is in that same class. Therefore to warrant a regular place in a top side like Chelsea, they have to have a bit more to their game.

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So what your basically saying is because noone is good as maka at it we shouldnt play anyone in that position?

because if they do play that posistion "maka role" they wudnt have anythin else to there game

if you want more out of mikel he'd be played further up

we'd concede more goals

i really cant understand ur logic

so you say dont play him regular?

so play who there instead essien? Not as good there

Noone? Leave gapin holes between defence and midfield get ripped to shreds by a rooney/sneijder/modric/gerrard type player

can't understand ur logic.

what is it u suggest we do not bother playin anyone there unless we have a carbon copy off makelele

we had one, we never gave him chance.. he moved abroad and now has makelele attributes with ramires energy

Lassana Diarra.. he was man of the match easily against barcelona, yes barcelona, messi, villa, iniesta, pedro, xavi,

i think even maka may have struggled against them.

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So what your basically saying is because noone is good as maka at it we shouldnt play anyone in that position?

because if they do play that posistion "maka role" they wudnt have anythin else to there game

if you want more out of mikel he'd be played further up

we'd concede more goals

i really cant understand ur logic

so you say dont play him regular?

so play who there instead essien? Not as good there

Noone? Leave gapin holes between defence and midfield get ripped to shreds by a rooney/sneijder/modric/gerrard type player

can't understand ur logic.

what is it u suggest we do not bother playin anyone there unless we have a carbon copy off makelele

we had one, we never gave him chance.. he moved abroad and now has makelele attributes with ramires energy

Lassana Diarra.. he was man of the match easily against barcelona, yes barcelona, messi, villa, iniesta, pedro, xavi,

i think even maka may have struggled against them.

I'm in TOTAL agreement with you on Diarra. Was always a fan and wish we still had him. I posted on the match thread that he was MOTM on Tuesday- quality player.

But re Mikel - sure, when we play Man Utd or Arsenal or such like away from home, I can see the logic for him playing and he often does well. We stuggle when on the occassions he's too laid back and lacks the discipline required for that role.

As I and others have said MANY times before, when we are at home and playing teams like Wigan and Blackpool then we don't need Mikel or any holding midfielder. That is when I would play a McEachran or a Kakuta to cause teams like that a lot more problems than Mikel is ever going to cause them. Our defence full of internationals should be able to cope against sides like these without a holding midfielder.

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Comparing him to previous players or even players from other teams doesn't seem to make much sense. Comparing him to people on the current team and debating if he should be in the starting 11 makes more sense to me. When it comes to the holding role, in our team, Mikel should be there every time. Essien just isn't as good in that role. Lampard, Ramires, and Essien should be played in the wide midfield spots. Ramires and Lampard bring a lot more offensively. Ramires brings us the pace we need. Lots of people say Essien brings more offensively, but what has he done this year? He hasn't found the net once with a shot outside of the box like he once did more frequently. Essien looks to be on the decline, where Mikel can improve much more with experience. Now, I still think Essien is a solid player for us and gives us great drive and leadership, but he isn't the player he was two years ago and it doesn't look like his health is going to let him get back to that. When it comes to big games we need Mikel in there to stop people like Rooney, Tevez, etc.

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I'm in TOTAL agreement with you on Diarra. Was always a fan and wish we still had him. I posted on the match thread that he was MOTM on Tuesday- quality player.

But re Mikel - sure, when we play Man Utd or Arsenal or such like away from home, I can see the logic for him playing and he often does well. We stuggle when on the occassions he's too laid back and lacks the discipline required for that role.

As I and others have said MANY times before, when we are at home and playing teams like Wigan and Blackpool then we don't need Mikel or any holding midfielder. That is when I would play a McEachran or a Kakuta to cause teams like that a lot more problems than Mikel is ever going to cause them. Our defence full of internationals should be able to cope against sides like these without a holding midfielder.

I agree with you too about blackpool and wigan, but mikel was orignally an attacking midfielder and a good one, a playmaker and a very good one so i've read.

i dont think ive ever seen him play a game for chelsea with license too get forward.. why not play him further forward against them sort of teams and back at the better teams

in a nuitshell i dont think droppin mikel against poor teams is the answer.. i think gettin a young creative midfielder too replace essien or lamps is the real answer

i just think some people and i understand coz i feel same dont wanna admit too themselves that lamps and bison just havent cut it this year so find it easier blamin mikel

im not blinkered into thinkin mikel is a great great player i just think when everyone (myself included) get frustrated with him.. we forget hes actually only 24

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