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Diarra


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Some "ITK's" on other forums are claiming he may be leaving Real having fallen out of favour in the first 11. Said to be attainable for around £15m if you believe these people. I'm not sold on Mikel being the replacement for Makelele, and Essien on form is sort of wasted there - but this guy has impressed me a lot and only left here because he couldn't get into the first team with Maka around.

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Some "ITK's" on other forums are claiming he may be leaving Real having fallen out of favour in the first 11. Said to be attainable for around £15m if you believe these people. I'm not sold on Mikel being the replacement for Makelele, and Essien on form is sort of wasted there - but this guy has impressed me a lot and only left here because he couldn't get into the first team with Maka around.

Would welcome him back with open arms - one of the best at his position about at the moment - only 26 as well. £15m seems a reasonable price to me, and he'd almost certainly get first team action.

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Overrated

Seriously if he was overrated then why would he be shipped out of a multitude of big clubs with alarming regularity? Hargreaves is/was overrated, Diarra is anything but.

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We have Essien and Ramires, we don't need another clone of them.

Possible of even greater importance, was the he WAS a Chelsea player. Who was sold. And therefore should NEVER be re-bought.

I can see your argument about not needing him because of Essien and Ramires (although I disagree because IMO his playing style is different enough to both of them) but I really don't understand your second point. Why should we not re-buy players that we sold on? The only reason (that I can think of) for Diarra leaving is that we had the best player that ever lived at his position in front of him and so he wasn't getting any games. In fact, in a lot of his games here, he was played out of position because of injuries etc.

I can understand that there are a lot of players that we've sold on that we wouldn't want to have back, but to dismiss the idea on principle seems a little strange.

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I can see your argument about not needing him because of Essien and Ramires (although I disagree because IMO his playing style is different enough to both of them) but I really don't understand your second point. Why should we not re-buy players that we sold on? The only reason (that I can think of) for Diarra leaving is that we had the best player that ever lived at his position in front of him and so he wasn't getting any games. In fact, in a lot of his games here, he was played out of position because of injuries etc.

I can understand that there are a lot of players that we've sold on that we wouldn't want to have back, but to dismiss the idea on principle seems a little strange.

Agree with this entirely. I'd have Robben back in a heart beat too. We didn't need Diarra at the time, but Mikel hasn't exactly lived up to his expectations (once rated 2nd to Messi) and now we lack a nailed on solution to our holding midfielder needs.

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Agree with this entirely. I'd have Robben back in a heart beat too. We didn't need Diarra at the time, but Mikel hasn't exactly lived up to his expectations (once rated 2nd to Messi) and now we lack a nailed on solution to our holding midfielder needs.

WHAT??? :shok:

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Its true, when Mikel and Messi were youth players, Mikel was considered 2nd to Messi.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4838b288-5b20-11db-8f80-0000779e2340.html

^ Proof :P

That link is broken - need a subscription to FT to read it. Have heard the comparison before though - all started after the World Youth Championship back in 2005 where Messi won the 'Golden Ball' (Player of the tournament) and Mikel won the 'Silver Ball' (2nd best player of the tournament).

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We don't really need him. We need a creative midfielder and if we get that we will have Essien, Mikel and Ramires fighting over the defensive position on the midfield. Do we really need to throw in Diarra as well?

Besides, I can't say I'm that impressed of what I've seen lately of him. He's better than when he was here, but still not good enough.

Also, he whined when he was here and not only do I don't want him here, I also doubt he'd want to come back.

Would be a bad business as well. Sell him for little and buy him back for more than three times as much.

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I take my hat off to you - that's a great find.

It also underlines how some "prospects" turn out so much better than others!

D'you think how we've used him has something to do with it? I wonder whether he would have turned out differently if Mourinho had played him in his natural, Messi-esque role rather than as a holding midfielder.

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For people who can't read that Article:

Rejoice as the world's two best teens remind us how to dribble

By Simon Kuper

Published: October 14 2006 03:00 | Last updated: October 14 2006 03:00

Anyone hoping to see the future should catch the latest instalment of Chelsea v Barcelona. On Wednesday, with a bit of luck, the world's two best teenage footballers will meet.

Chelsea's Nigerian John Obi Mikel and Barcelona's Argentine Lionel Messi are a new model of footballer, an advance on anything seen before.

We have still barely glimpsed Mikel. He has yet to play a full game for Chelsea. His fellow 19-year-old Messi has also played less than he should have. To understand their significance we must therefore return to their first meeting, in the Dutch town of Utrecht one July afternoon last year. Argentina and Nigeria were playing the World Youth Championship final. I watched with the perfect guide: sitting beside me in the stands was Piet de Visser, who scouts for Chelsea, though he tries to keep that secret.

"Are we going to pray? They always pray," says the birdlike Dutchman. On cue, the Nigerian team huddle for a pre-match prayer. Nobody knows youth football like De Visser. He is in his 70s, cancer has robbed him of his stomach and gullet, and he has had five bypasses, but he still travels the world cataloguing teenagers. Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, understands his worth. When the chef on Abramovich's yacht served soup that was too thick for De Visser's insides, the oligarch summoned a new dish. De Visser thanked him in his own brand of English: "I scout you another Ronaldo before I die."

Even before the final, Chelsea had signed Mikel. So, however, had Manchester United. The Nigerian could hardly pass a contract without signing it. Earlier he had joined the Norwegian club Lyn, where his team-mates couldn't understand what such a prodigy was doing in suburban Oslo. Chelsea would eventually capture Mikel, paying £4m to Lyn and £12m to United.

Going into the final, Messi was the surprise of the cup. A muppet with a flowerpot haircut, he looked like a child who had won a competition to train with Argentina. Inevitably he had begun the tournament on the bench. But allowed on to the field, he had swiftly scored four goals.

At first Mikel dominated the final. There are refined playmakers and bionic men, but the Nigerian is both. "Boy oh boy, how that boy can play football," squeals De Visser as Mikel liberates himself from amid four Argentines. Like most great players, Mikel accelerates on receiving the ball, whereupon he simply strides past opponents. He is so big that it is hard even to foul him. De Visser notes that Mikel can dribble past an opponent on either side, a rare gift. He also controls Nigeria's passing.

At first glance, Mikel and Messi look like members of different species. Mikel could probably eat Messi for his pre-match meal. Yet they are from the same mould: the 21st-century global footballer.

Good players from outside Europe can usually dribble, an art form stamped out of European kids in favour of teamwork. Mikel and Messi learned to dribble at home. But both came to Europe young enough - Mikel at 17, Messi at 13 - to learn when not to. Great individuals, in Europe they became great collective footballers too.

The combination distinguishes them from their predecessors. Pelé never played for a European club. Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho were both 21 and already shaped by the time they reached Europe. Mikel and Messi are the first generation of greats to be formed on two continents. Messi dribbles, passes perfectly, and frequently robs Nigerian defenders of the ball. "One of the few strikers who can press," comments De Visser.

Argentina get a penalty. Messi takes it. He waits until the keeper dives, then rolls the ball past him.

"Yes, he is so good," exclaims De Visser. Then Argentina get another penalty. Again Messi takes it. De Visser commentates: "A cool frog. He waits for the keeper. If the keeper stands still, Messi has a problem." This time the keeper knows not to dive. But when he fractionally shifts his weight on to his right leg, it's enough: Messi taps the ball into the other corner.

Late in the game the neutral crowd begins clapping in unison to the beat of the action. People sense they are present at something special.

Argentina win 2-1. Mikel shouts at the referee and quarrels with a Nigerian official. If Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho is watching, he must be proud. The awards ceremony is comical: Messi is crowned as the tournament's highest scorer, and pops up again seconds later as best player. Mikel is named second-best.

A month later Messi made his senior debut for Argentina. So quickly did he rise that the destiny of the World Cup was possibly decided one night in March, during his last encounter with Chelsea, when he tore a thigh muscle. His season was over.

In May, he joined the Argentine squad preparing for the World Cup as a titchy teenager recovering from injury. Inevitably he began the tournament on the bench. But Argentina paid for under-using Messi. Had they unleashed him upon Germany's lumbering central defenders in the quarter-final, everything might have been different.

Or as De Visser observed that day in Utrecht: "Not normal, huh?"

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D'you think how we've used him has something to do with it? I wonder whether he would have turned out differently if Mourinho had played him in his natural, Messi-esque role rather than as a holding midfielder.

No.

And that's the first and, I expect, the last time I will see Mikel and the term "Messi-esque" used in the same sentence!!

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Overrated

At what ? Being a goalkeeper ?

Very good player, should never have been sold.

See the old worn out 'but Mikel was 2nd best player in the World Youth Championships' is doing the rounds again...C'mon wheres the video ....?

Actually, the idea of Mikel in his 'natural Messi-esque' role amuses me no end.

His pace, dribbling and shooting skills would really benefit him up that end of the pitch id say.

Edited by bjd
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I can see your argument about not needing him because of Essien and Ramires (although I disagree because IMO his playing style is different enough to both of them) but I really don't understand your second point. Why should we not re-buy players that we sold on? The only reason (that I can think of) for Diarra leaving is that we had the best player that ever lived at his position in front of him and so he wasn't getting any games. In fact, in a lot of his games here, he was played out of position because of injuries etc.

I can understand that there are a lot of players that we've sold on that we wouldn't want to have back, but to dismiss the idea on principle seems a little strange.

Its like this: If a club sell a player, it means that the player has been deemed not good enough for the first team squad. To take him back would be like admitting, publicly, to a rather large error in judgement. I for one, do not believe in U-turns. We had the guy, we sold the guy, move on. In modern football, with agents all over the world, finding new players isn't as hard as it used to be. Why re-buy someone we sold? We'd only be paying MORE the second time around, compared to the first, and be made to look like fools in the process. This would also give the player more leverage in contract negotiations etc.

On the case of Diarra himself, I believe one of the reasons why he was sold was his reluctance to play out of position, ie @ right back and right midfield. That and his insistance on first-team football at a time where Maka and Essien were the bosses of everyone meant that a kid like him was never going to play every time, in his favoured position. This alone tells me that his attitude is rather suspect, bit too much ego for a kid that age. I also get the feeling he's liable to be turned by big money from glamourous clubs. Would he say no to Barca? Prolly not.

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No.

And that's the first and, I expect, the last time I will see Mikel and the term "Messi-esque" used in the same sentence!!

Have to say mate, disagree with you here, when mikel first came on the scene he seemed to spot that killer pass so natrualy. A few of his goals for nigeria involved some very fancy footwork as well. The player he should have become is the player we where missing so badly last season, and the player we all now hope Josh will turn in to.

Unfortunatly I think he has been badly miss-managed in his time with us and played far to deep.

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Have to say mate, disagree with you here, when mikel first came on the scene he seemed to spot that killer pass so natrualy. A few of his goals for nigeria involved some very fancy footwork as well. The player he should have become is the player we where missing so badly last season, and the player we all now hope Josh will turn in to.

Unfortunatly I think he has been badly miss-managed in his time with us and played far to deep.

I don't often disagree with you but this is the exception!

I just can't accept this theory that it's down to mis-management that Mikel has turned out the way he is. That's an easy excuse. If a player has skill and ability, he can show it no matter where he plays on the pitch or what his role is. That sort of skill doesn't just get lost or coached out of a player. If anyone thought Mikel was the real deal, creative playmaker type he would have been given a chance to develop that. When Joey was with us, he had to play a far more disciplined role and we all know the bollockings he got from Mourinho if he didn't stick to the script, but he still showed skill and had the ability to go past players at will when he was on form.

To label Mikel "Messi-esgue" is just laughable.

Edited by Nibs
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I don't often disagree with you but this is the exception!

I just can't accept this theory that it's down to mis-management that Mikel has turned out the way he is. That's an easy excuse. If a player has skill and ability, he can show it no matter where he plays on the pitch or what his role is. That sort of skill doesn't just get lost or coached out of a player. If anyone thought Mikel was the real deal, creative playmaker type he would have been given a chance to develop that. When Joey was with us, he had to play a far more disciplined role and we all know the bollockings he got from Mourinho if he didn't stick to the script, but he still showed skill and had the ability to go past players at will when he was on form.

To label Mikel "Messi-esgue" is just laughable.

Its just a case of what you said earlier, sometimes youth potential translates great into the senior level, and sometimes it doesn't. Sadly Mikel didn't live up to the heights Messi reached, but when it comes to talent; in anything from Football to Music, Messi is the exception. For every Messi there are a thousand Mikels. Thats not to say Mikel isn't a good player, because he is; but comparing him to Messi now is utterly ridiculous.

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I thought we we're trying to get rid of our moody, sulky, frogs without bringing in another - no thanks.

-------------------------------------------------

We don't need a holding midfielder we need a creative midfielder who can tackle like they used to make 'em (D. Luiz)

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