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Did Mourinho Kill John Obi Mikel’s Game By Changing His Role? - Sports - Nairaland

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Did Mourinho Kill John Obi Mikel’s Game By Changing His Role? by Dainnif(m): 3:27pm On Sep 12, 2014
Taken from the Pepsi football academy by
Plateau united, one of Nigeria’s top flight clubs,
John Michael Nchekwube Obinna was one of
Nigeria’s brightest young talents. His immense
capabilities however, ensured that he was well
sought after by clubs outside the countries
shores. Trials at Ajax Cape town of South
Africa and a subsequent move to Norwegian
club Lynn Oslo, meant that his career was
moving at a pace that footballers his age only
dreamed about.
Things got even better for the Nigerian, who
got an unexpected name change when the
Nigerian football association submitted his
name as ‘Mikel’ instead of Michael for the
tournament in Finland. A name he kept and
has now made famous. An amazing
tournament at the 2005 world youth
championship, in which he was second only to
Lionel Messi, saw his stock rise and he’s
signature courted by two of England’s elite
clubs in Manchester United and Chelsea. A
public tussle for his signature and a drawn out
legal battle saw Chelsea football club finally
win the race to sign the highly rated Nigerian
Mikel was rated at this time, as having the
potential to be amongst the playmakers in the
game of football. It was whispered in some
quarters that the Manchester United manager,
Sir Alex Ferguson had chosen Mikel Obi to
eventually be Paul Scholes successor at the
club (Scholes eventually retired in 2013).
John Mikel Obi was a natural No.10. His long
and short range of passing was impressive to
say the least, and when in a tight corner could
beat his man and take the ball forward into
space. Every Nigerian was optimistic of having
found the natural successor to the midfield
maestro Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. No one, not
even the best scouts in the world saw any
potential in the young lad as a defensive
This perception was not improved by the red
card Obi was given in one of his earlier
matches for Chelsea against Reading in the
premiership for two ill advised tackles.
Due to certain absences in the squad, Jose
Mourinho tried out the Nigerian in the
defensive midfield holding role against
Tottenham hotspur in their FA cup sixth round
replay in which he impresses greatly.
Displaying competence in his defensive
positioning, ability to track or mark his man in
a zonal system, and an above average
strength. His long range of passing also proved
surprisingly useful, in recycling possession to
the attacking players. His ability to also slow
down the tempo, when his team needed a
break from attacking pressure was praised
very highly. More impressive defensive
displays in subsequent games, led to his being
assigned the role full time, when Makalele left
for Paris.
Subsequently, John Obi’s attacking impetus
seemed to have suddenly disappeared. Except
for the few times he appeared for Nigeria.
Rumor had it that Chelsea boss, Jose
Mourinho eliciting the help of Claude Makalele,
had given the Nigerian certain tips about how
to effectively play his new position.

1. Rarely ever give a risky pass or Gallop

A defensive midfielder is supposed to be the
defensive anchor. And with fullbacks usually
overlapping, the anchor man should always be
ready to slot into central defense were one of
original center backs goes to cover a full back.
Where he isn’t a hundred percent sure that a
pass he’s about to give will get to its
destination, the rule is never to give it. This
was rumored to have been the reason Mikel
rarely made forward runs and rarely gave a
risky pass.

2. Rarely ever shoot

Every time an outfield player shoots the ball,
there’s always a possibility of a block from the
opposition team. The only exception to this
rule in football is a penalty shoot out. Now if a
player who’s supposed to be a defensive
shield, breaks the second rule and gallops
forward, he should rarely shoot at goal as a
block could rebound of a defender and a
counter attack could be in full flow, with an out
of position Anchorman to compound things.
Evidently Mikel listened and adapted to his
situation and has been at Chelsea for 10years
and counting and making over 400
appearances for Chelsea, in an Era were
supposedly better players have been replaced
by someone better. Jose Mourinho might have
deprived Nigeria of a potentially lethal,
attacking juggernaut. But in a club that are
known for purchasing a host of attacking
players that they rarely ever need, would Mikel
still had been at Chelsea, if he was an attacker?
Would he have beaten out the likes of Frank
Lampard, Juan Mata and Oscar?
At the end of the day Mikel’s career has been
well served by Jose Mourinho’s decision to
switch his position. He’s not one of the best
players in the world and in my humble opinion
he was never going to be. Coming 2 in a
youth tournament was never a guarantee of
that. At the end of the day, John Mikel Obi
would if given a choice before hand,have settle
for being one of the best and most decorated
players in African football history.
To further portray my point;

John Mikel Obi Honours:

Premier league (1)
FA cup (4)
League Cup (1)
Community shield (1)`
Uefa Champions League (1)
Uefa Europa League (1)
Africa Cup of Nations (1)
African young player of the year (2)
2 best player of the world youth
championship 2005.
So to answer the question; Did Jose Mourinho
kill Mikel’s game by changing his role?

The answer is a resounding No. he brought
about its evolution.

Re: Did Mourinho Kill John Obi Mikel’s Game By Changing His Role? by Unionised(m): 3:31pm On Sep 12, 2014
You can't Give what you don't have...
Re: Did Mourinho Kill John Obi Mikel’s Game By Changing His Role? by Harmthe(m): 3:43pm On Sep 12, 2014
d guy sabi noting, he loves money pass his great grandpa. dnt wory mikel, new trend is out


(1) (Reply)

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