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Essien V Mikel


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I would choose Mikel without even having to give it much thought. He brings a lot more balance to the centre as he is comfortable on either feet and has a way of making things look calm the way Desailly used to. With Essien I feel we tend to play down the right hand side a little too much and it all seems a little more hurried and less controlled.

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id keep mikel in the makelele role, i think its perfect for him although he does have more to offer than makelele with his range of passing and attacking play id have essien ballack and lampard infront of him on the central midfield spot. and IMO its one of ballack, essien and lamps missing out in midfield rather than mikel

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Personally, I don't think that should be the question to ask.

What we have seen in the first few games of the season shows that we are a much better side with Mikel on the pitch AND playing the Makelele role (Portsmouth, Man City and Bordeaux) and decidedly unconvincing when he is not (Wigan, Tottenham).

IMO, he is perfect exactly where he is. I understand why many would think he is wasted there, but I think you mistake his rare flairs of attacking prowess for genuine ability to perform well further upfront. Composure, physical strength and excellent short passing is precisely the makings of a holding midfielder and he lacks a lot of things to play a more advanced role - he doesn't possess the attacking vision of neither Ballack or Lamps, nor the technical exquisiteness of Deco, nor the explosiveness of Essien.

The big question is who from Ballack, Lamps, Deco, J. Cole and Malouda to leave out.

Our midfield is very balanced as it is and I can only be happy that Scolari figured out Mikel's best role in the team.

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Personally, I don't think that should be the question to ask.

What we have seen in the first few games of the season shows that we are a much better side with Mikel on the pitch AND playing the Makelele role (Portsmouth, Man City and Bordeaux) and decidedly unconvincing when he is not (Wigan, Tottenham).

IMO, he is perfect exactly where he is. I understand why many would think he is wasted there, but I think you mistake his rare flairs of attacking prowess for genuine ability to perform well further upfront. Composure, physical strength and excellent short passing is precisely the makings of a holding midfielder and he lacks a lot of things to play a more advanced role - he doesn't possess the attacking vision of neither Ballack or Lamps, nor the technical exquisiteness of Deco, nor the explosiveness of Essien.

The big question is who from Ballack, Lamps, Deco, J. Cole and Malouda to leave out.

Our midfield is very balanced as it is and I can only be happy that Scolari figured out Mikel's best role in the team.

I'm pretty sure he started out as an attacking midfielder. I remember him playing there for Nigeria in a youth tournment about 2 or 3 years ago, when the row between us and United first started.

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Yes, Mikel was an attacking midfielder before he was turned into a holding midfielder at Chelsea, but as has been mentioned he offers more than Makelele did and he's not as defensive player as Maka was. This is not critique towards Maka, just stating that they're different sort of players, even though people still like to say he's playing the Maka role.

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If Mikel is a true attacking midfielder, he would've scored more than just 1 goal in a chelsea shirt, and even that was against Macclsfield, albeit a good goal.

Mikel, I feel, is perfectly at home in the defensive position. Essien is more at home bombing forward.

But to have Mikel and Essien in the team will be difficult, this season at least. Mikel. Essien. Lampard. Deco. Ballack. Malouda. Kalou. Joey. And, now, the possibility of Mineiro.

Which 5 do you pick out of that?

Cech, Bosingwa, JT, Carvalho, Ash and Drogba/Anelka. They're all certainties. But, if Scolari chooses 2 up front, which 4 do you pick?

With everyone fit, the 5 would be: Essien, Lampard, Deco, Mikel and Joey.

With everyone fit, the 4 would be: Essien, Lampard, Deco and Joey.

But as Virosh said, without Mikel, we haven't had convincing games. This is now Mikel's chance so cement his place in the team with Essien out. Mikel must take this chance if he wants to succeed. So far, he's doing a damn good job.

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Yes, Mikel was an attacking midfielder before he was turned into a holding midfielder at Chelsea, but as has been mentioned he offers more than Makelele did and he's not as defensive player as Maka was. This is not critique towards Maka, just stating that they're different sort of players, even though people still like to say he's playing the Maka role.

He isn't much of an attacking midfielder, unless you count sideways and backward passing as being attacking passes.

He is good enough in the holding role.

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Whether he started out as an attacking midfielder or not, if he's playing the best football of his career in a defensive role, then that's where he should stay.

a lot of players started out as something else, i seem to remember JT was a striker as a junior. sometimes a player sort of falls into his best position, and i think thats whats happened to mikel. hes fantastic defensively, his tactical intelligence and positional discipline is exceptional, learned from maka no doubt. the hardest thing for a defesive minded midfielder is to stay disciplined, to hold when your instinct tells you to go forward. what mikel does very well is cover the full backs, and i think with scolaris methods thats a very important job. if bosingwa or cole bomb on, and they do that a lot, then mikel has to move to cover that space. maka was a master at it, mikel looks like hes learned of the master...

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a lot of players started out as something else, i seem to remember JT was a striker as a junior. sometimes a player sort of falls into his best position, and i think thats whats happened to mikel. hes fantastic defensively, his tactical intelligence and positional discipline is exceptional, learned from maka no doubt. the hardest thing for a defesive minded midfielder is to stay disciplined, to hold when your instinct tells you to go forward. what mikel does very well is cover the full backs, and i think with scolaris methods thats a very important job. if bosingwa or cole bomb on, and they do that a lot, then mikel has to move to cover that space. maka was a master at it, mikel looks like hes learned of the master...

I think JT was a midfielder at first in the youth team, then he was asked to play CB one game and did so well he's played there ever since.

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People say he's not much of an attacking midfielder and there is probably a good reason why he's being turned into a holding midfielder, but it was as an attacking midfielder that he made his name early on. I think he should continue as a holding midfielder, but having seen him play before he came to Chelsea, I reckon it wasn't Mikel's reputation as a holding midfielder that convinced us to sign him and ManU probably weren't after a holding midfielder either when they joined the race for his signature. Old Red Nose himself has said the player is wasted as a defensive midfielder. Although I must say it seems to be working great for us and Mikel at the moment so long may it continue.

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If Mikel is a true attacking midfielder, he would've scored more than just 1 goal in a chelsea shirt, and even that was against Macclsfield, albeit a good goal.

Mikel, I feel, is perfectly at home in the defensive position. Essien is more at home bombing forward.

But to have Mikel and Essien in the team will be difficult, this season at least. Mikel. Essien. Lampard. Deco. Ballack. Malouda. Kalou. Joey. And, now, the possibility of Mineiro.

Which 5 do you pick out of that?

Cech, Bosingwa, JT, Carvalho, Ash and Drogba/Anelka. They're all certainties. But, if Scolari chooses 2 up front, which 4 do you pick?

With everyone fit, the 5 would be: Essien, Lampard, Deco, Mikel and Joey.

With everyone fit, the 4 would be: Essien, Lampard, Deco and Joey.

But as Virosh said, without Mikel, we haven't had convincing games. This is now Mikel's chance so cement his place in the team with Essien out. Mikel must take this chance if he wants to succeed. So far, he's doing a damn good job.

At the risk of sounding picky im pretty sure Mikel has actually scored two goals for Chelsea (Forest, the other ?)

Agree with the rest though!

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At the risk of sounding picky im pretty sure Mikel has actually scored two goals for Chelsea (Forest, the other ?)

Agree with the rest though!

Mikel

This is his Wikipedia, and it says he's scored 3...?

But you're right, he did score against Forest. But my point still remains, 3 goals in 3 years for a supposed attacking midfielder?

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From what I have seen, Mikel doesn't really have the close control skills of a Deco or a Zola, and doesn't quite have the driving/shooting ability of a Lampard or a Ballack - so I currently don't really see him as an attacking midfielder at all. His shooting is actually quite woeful on occaisons.

Maybe that will change as he matures as a player over the next 4 or 5 years - but at the moment he is doing wonderfully well in the role he has been given, so why change it?

What he does have is a very good range of passing, a good positional sense and a coolness on the ball beyond his years. That, and given his size, he is a lot more of a physical presence in the centre of the park (especially in the air) than what we had with Makalele - giving him that extra dimension of being able to slot into a back three under Scolari's system, when the fullbacks are caught further up the pitch.

As others have said - just because he WAS a good attacking midfielder at youth level, doesn't mean that will be his best position when he is a mature player. One look at "central midfielder" John Terry and "right back" Didier Drogba will show you that.

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From what I have seen, Mikel doesn't really have the close control skills of a Deco or a Zola, and doesn't quite have the driving/shooting ability of a Lampard or a Ballack - so I currently don't really see him as an attacking midfielder at all. His shooting is actually quite woeful on occaisons.

I don't really agree with that.

Recently he's shown shown some silky dribbling skills (when he occasionally got the bottle to defy Big Phil and raid forward). Pretty unfair to compare anyone to Zola!

If we're comparing him to Essien, then his shooting is also in the woeful category at times.

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If we're comparing him to Essien, then his shooting is also in the woeful category at times.

Sorry - couldn't help myself :D

I agree with you in general though - Essien's shooting isn't in the same class as Lampard and Ballack. He doesn't have the consistancy.

I just don't think that 2 or 3 good forays forward from Mikel in the last few matches turn him into someone like Deco. JT looks pretty good when he bursts forward from the back - iv'e seen him go around two or three defenders before - but I would play him as an attacking midfielder.

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