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The case of the mysterious, disappearing Nigerian


ethicalstrategy

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Since the CC Final and the revelation that JT and Ten Cate's bust was over him, what has happened to Mikel?

He made it on to the bench against Barnsley but otherwise seems to have disappeared in to obscurity.

I would be very disappointed if he doesn't feature in the run in as last season he was exceptional for us.

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Maka is the guvnor - while fit and not creeking he should get the nod.

I'm not so sure I agree with that. There are some games where playing Maka is a no brainer - Arsenal, Man U etc - but games like last night cried out for someone who was better on the ball than Maka. He had so much time on the ball and very little defending to do and I don't think he made the most of it. He is tidy and comfortable but if he needs to do more than that he is inconsistent. He played a lovely ball for Anelka but more often than not his attempts a through ball were poor.

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I think the answer is simple. We're now at the crucial run in stage and you must play your best starting 11 - players in form. At the moment, Mikel does not make the best starting 11 - neither does Essien for that matter.

Maka, with Lamps & Ballack and then Joe and Kalou providing the width has looked good every time recently, so why change it?

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I agree with that in principle. The formation and the players you named. But realistically, we will tinker around the edges. Drogba or Anelka, Essien or Maka. Maybe swap the fullbacks etc. I would have thought that Mikel ought to be involved in that. Not even to be in the squad suggests that all is not well.

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Being up in Scotland, I seldom manage to get to games. I am reluctant to criticise players based solely on TV viewing but am totally unimpressed by Mikel. He seems slow, cannot tackle, cannot shoot, poor in the air for his height, shows little creativity going forward and on too many occasions has let the team down by reckless challenges, leading to sending offs. He also disappointed in the African Cup of Nations. It seems to me that he only gets games because Chelsea have spent (wasted?) so much money on him.

Can those of you who actually manage to attend games and see him play live, convince me that he is a "star" and worth a regular place in the team? I personally would have kept Diarra as a better replacement in the holding role for the ageing Maka.

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Being up in Scotland, I seldom manage to get to games. I am reluctant to criticise players based solely on TV viewing but am totally unimpressed by Mikel. He seems slow, cannot tackle, cannot shoot, poor in the air for his height, shows little creativity going forward and on too many occasions has let the team down by reckless challenges, leading to sending offs. He also disappointed in the African Cup of Nations. It seems to me that he only gets games because Chelsea have spent (wasted?) so much money on him.

Can those of you who actually manage to attend games and see him play live, convince me that he is a "star" and worth a regular place in the team? I personally would have kept Diarra as a better replacement in the holding role for the ageing Maka.

I think we have your point.

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I remember seeing an episode of Saint and Greavsie when Ian Saint John read out a letter the show had received which said something along the lines of:

Dear Jimmy,

I am too young to have seen you play but my Dad told me you were useless in the air, had a terrible first touch and had a weak shot with both feet.

To which Greavsie replied 'That's absolutely right, what I used to do was stuff the ball under my shirt and run over the line into the goal'

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