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Has Mikel made himself Indispensable?


Elliott
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With his performances of late, i think this kid has been nothing short of amazing. No other word can describe it.

We have parted with the best part of ?16m for him, which has been shared between Man Utd, and Lyn Oslo, and i think it's fair to say that everyone had serious doubts, myself included, as to why we had decided to fight so hard for his services, and as to why we were only too ready to part with such a large sum of cash for someone so young and unknown. Not only that, but this cash was heading straight into the pockets of one of our closest rivals.

Well we are now seeing why.

With his latest performance coming at the intimidating Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Mourinho entrusted him yet again to play the holding role, in a must win Champions League Quarter Final for Chelsea, and Mikel repaid his manager's faith once more.

He was one of the outstanding performers, and considering this was within a midfield area consisting of Valencia Captain David Albelda (who has a reputation in Spanish football for being a 'no nonsense' midfielder), regular England International Frank Lampard, and Germany Captain Michael Ballack, whilst managing to keep France's Claude Makelele, who has mastered this particular art, on the bench, Mikel's achievement's have been nothing short of exceptional.

A couple of Chelsea players, have also not failed to notice how impressive his start has been:

John Terry - "He is in a different class. He is growing into a man now."

"It is not a case of him coming in and us thinking of him as a young player; he has to come in like he did at Valencia and he is doing it. All credit to him."

Frank Lampard - "The stages like Valencia are the ones which matter and he did very well. He is very mature for a young player. People at the start of the season didn`t see enough of him to see what he can do but now he is getting a chance.

"He is very comfortable on the ball and plays with the maturity of a much older pro. He has been great for us, gives us a great physical presence and is never rushed in possession."

"He was not even fazed by a night like Tuesday. It takes a lot for somebody of his age to go out there into that sort of atmosphere."

Claude has been a brilliant servant to us. I am not writing him off. Makelele will feature in some very important games for us and still has a future with Chelsea. No-one is better at 'Shielding' the back four than he is. However, i feel that Mikel gives the team a greater balance, and 'something different'. He plays that holding role in his own way. His physical presence, and height, also give him an obvious advantage over the French veteran.

I really do think that Mikel has now made himself 'A Key' player in our side, and is one of the first names on the team sheet.

If he manages to control his discipline, given a season or two more whilst learning his trade, then you may not be able to put a price on this boy?

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He has looked superb in the past month or so. The only thing I would say is that I hope he is not over played next season. I would like to see him given plenty of games but also enough intermittent rest. You only need ot look to Arsenal and see that Fabregas has, this season, been ridiculously overplayed for a kid of his age and had far too much repsonsibility thrust on him. He is a currently a shadow of the player he can be and looks to be physically burnt out and emotionally exhausted (although that could be partly to do with lack of succss as well).

I don't think the physical side of it is as much of a problem with Mikel as he appears to be smarter than Fabregas at preserving energy however I still think he needs to be eased in more gradually than Fabregas was.

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i got stick of plenty of manyoo fans when we signed him. now there all gutted we got him. hes been incredible the last 3/4 weeks. very strong. very athletic. very composed. and sees a pass. doesnt get much better than that really.

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He seems to give himself so much time on the ball!!

I have really enjoyed watching him come into form recently.

He reminds me of Ruud Gullit........

Rangey,Stong,Great touch,good passer.........he looks a class act!!

I think he's the most skillfull player the club has signed since Jose has been in charge!!

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He seems to give himself so much time on the ball!!

I have really enjoyed watching him come into form recently.

He reminds me of Ruud Gullit........

Rangey,Stong,Great touch,good passer.........he looks a class act!!

I think he's the most skillfull player the club has signed since Jose has been in charge!!

I was thinking more Marcel than Ruud (purely in terms of the time he guves himself on the ball) - I have rarely seen a player better than Marcel at finding himself in a tight situation and within a second or two creaitng a few yards of space for himself with a simple turn and move.

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We have parted with the best part of ?16m for him, which has been shared between Man Utd, and Lyn Oslo, and i think it's fair to say that everyone had serious doubts, myself included, as to why we had decided to fight so hard for his services, and as to why we were only too ready to part with such a large sum of cash for someone so young and unknown. Not only that, but this cash was heading straight into the pockets of one of our closest rivals.

Well we are now seeing why.

Indeed we are. Last season I think most of us wondered what all the fuss was about, questioned (to put it politely) the club/Jose's buying policy - did we buy him just to spite the Mancs after all? The big factor that almost everyone overlooked was his extreme lack of fitness last season, largely as a result prolonged and enforced idleness, sitting in limbo waiting for his transfer to get sorted out. Add that to his youth and the pressure of the situation and it's quite understandable that his performances of last season weren't exactly what was hoped for.

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I have been on mikel's side from day one...he was inexperienced at this level and fact he hadn't played footy for 12 months was bound to make him a slow starter...but he showed enough in his early appearances to hint at his talent...maka's recent demise has actually worked in the club's favour as jose has had to play mikel more and he hasn't disappointed...the game where he really showed he is the man for the occasion right now was his appearance as a sub in the win over porto...cool, composed, great passing and shielding of back four and he's maintained that level ever since...I think maka's days as a regular starter are over and he will now be to Mikel what bridge appears to be to ashley cole.

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...I think maka's days as a regular starter are over and he will now be to Mikel what bridge appears to be to ashley cole.

The difference being that there is an arguable case for Mikel starting ahead of Maka however there is none whatsoever for Cole ahead of Bridge.

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he certainly adds more of an attacking option. Also, I now fully realise why we went after him so hard. Him and Kalou could be great players in the future, albeit more is needed from Kalou

Scott

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I was thinking more Marcel than Ruud (purely in terms of the time he guves himself on the ball) - I have rarely seen a player better than Marcel at finding himself in a tight situation and within a second or two creaitng a few yards of space for himself with a simple turn and move.

Disagree- I think Makelele left them both for dead.

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...I think maka's days as a regular starter are over and he will now be to Mikel what bridge appears to be to ashley cole.

The difference being that there is an arguable case for Mikel starting ahead of Maka however there is none whatsoever for Cole ahead of Bridge.

Can't agree with you there Loz. Bridge does have an edge going forward but defensively Cole is better. Both games against Valencia he has been excellent.

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Fair point Sydney although I wouldn't go as far as leaft them for dead- all three were superb at it but I would agree Maka is probably the best of the three.

icon_lol.gif Ok maybe a bit of hyperbole there...

But seriously- the two games against Bayern in the '05 CL were the best examples for me.

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...I think maka's days as a regular starter are over and he will now be to Mikel what bridge appears to be to ashley cole.

The difference being that there is an arguable case for Mikel starting ahead of Maka however there is none whatsoever for Cole ahead of Bridge.

I agree 100 per cent with you over bridge...cole better than bridge defensively...not seen anything this season to prove that...he looks vulnerable every time someone runs at him...I thought Joaquin caused him problems especially in the first leg...the team's dominance at the mestalla ensured he wasn't as exposed...still bridgey's playing the semi tomorrow...cole let it slip on chelsea tv last night

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...I think maka's days as a regular starter are over and he will now be to Mikel what bridge appears to be to ashley cole.

The difference being that there is an arguable case for Mikel starting ahead of Maka however there is none whatsoever for Cole ahead of Bridge.

I agree completely with you Loz! I have always been a huge fan of Bridgey, and was ecstatic to have him come back from loan. I was crushed with the Cole purchase, because it clearly mean he would be preferred over Bridge.

Cole is a great player, no questions, but Bridgey has an edge over him IMO.

And this isn't even a bias because Bridgey clearly loves Chelsea so much.. and Ashely is.. well, Ashley. Hey, I don't call him Cashley anymore!

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