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Frank Lampard says fellow Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi is underrated by outsiders

Posted: 30 July 2012 Time: 09:50

Frank Lampard says fellow midfielder John Mikel Obi is underrated by outsiders, but valued by his Chelsea team-mates.

Critics of the Nigeria midfielder point to his uninspiring, simplistic style of football and question his contribution to the Chelsea team, but Lampard says the 25-year-old is given flak unfairly.

"He's a brilliant player. I think he's improved a lot over the last few years. He's at a level now where he's playing some great football," Lampard told exclusively.

"Maybe the reason people say that is because he's playing a position that is really underrated.

"He's not a player that's going to score you goals in a season but his value to the team is measured by how his team mates talk about him and we all have nothing but high praise for him."

Lampard goes on to explain why Mikel is such an asset for Chelsea.

"He does a lot of work for us in the holding role, keeps the ball moving for us. He's great at tackling, intercepting balls, winning balls, and has great feet."

Mikel arrived at Chelsea as an 18-year-old in 2005 burdened with a £16million price tag and Lampard suggests that this may have played a art in piling up the pressure.

"I think he had a lot of pressure on him as a young player. He came with a big responsibility because of the way we brought him into the club, but I think in the last two or three years he has improved greatly. He's a top top player now."

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 10:30 am
I didn't like him in previous seasons, but i fully agree with Lampard. Mikel has improved so much in way that I question when he's not on the pitch
posted: 10:48 am
I concur with you Lamps even though i am a Pool fan.....YWNA

"He does a lot of work for us in the holding role, keeps the ball moving for us. He's great at tackling, intercepting balls, winning balls, and has great feet."

And this the type that is missing at Zebras hence they dream of winning silverware.....Even devine intervention is not enough.
Remarkable Prince (DTC)
posted: 11:00 am
Mikel is a great player, I agree with Lampard.. His ball distribution is top notch. I've always loved his style of play. Being a good player is not always about scoring goals but contributing to the team's success. John Obi Mikel is the man
Bofolla Safety Belt Reja Joy Makhosi
posted: 11:08 am
Truthfully a player we currently lack at Kaizer Chiefs.
posted: 11:15 am
To me , his is still not a complete player. Footbal has changed drastically to modern. In Arsenal you find song(17) who can defend and score crucial goals. In Man City you find Yaya , who does the same. In Pirates they have Jali.Lol

To me Esien is far better than him.
posted: 11:21 am
yeah he is great. but people have a problem with him because they know he can do far more better...
posted: 12:00 pm

What about Sergio Bisquets at Barcelona and Spain? Players have different roles in the field.
posted: 12:49 pm
Essien WAS better than Mikel, perhaps 3 or 4 seasons ago. But definitely NOT now !!!!!!!
posted: 02:43 pm
Chekwube is a great player since he led the flying Eagles to Holland 2005 Tourney. I came to this site then and demanded his inclusion to that team after that moron Siasia threatened to drop him. By then i never watched the young lad play, but after that tourney i was convinced that nigeria is actually a blessed nation to have a kid like him among us, let alone having him to represent our nation. Folks, believe me that young man has not been used properly by any coach in stampford Bridge that is why he's so underrated by those who have no clue what the game is all about. Given the chance to move up, he can score goals if needed but the club has other ideas what he can do for them. The bottomline is that he's one of the best midfielders around the world today and we really need him in our Super Eagles now.
posted: 02:59 pm
posted: 04:55 pm
The guy should get some credit. He is top!! But he can still do more, thats my only problem with him.
posted: 06:23 pm
Perhaps Lampard assessment of Mikel is correct in that he fits well into his role. Where I find fault with Mikel in that he is content to stay put in the holding position which means his work rate is lower as opposed to making occasional forrays into the attacking third. There are times when the flow of the game will allow Mikel to move into the attacking third but he rarely take that option. I saw him do that this preseason and hope he does it more during the regular season
posted: 07:23 pm
@ola2014, I agree with you 100%. Sometimes I feel Mikel should have gone to Man U, apparently he would have been a bigger player by now. Morinho converted him to defensive midfielder because Chelsea already had established midfielders like Ballack, Lampard and Essien. I do agree with fair criticisms such as yours (ola2014). If Pep Guardiola gets the Chelsea Job in future , Mikel will be an automatic starter because he's a 'born-tiki-taka-player'.I think Mikel's game pattern which was altered by Morinho affected Super Eagles, if he had gone to Man U and established himself, SE could have gone far in most tournaments. In the Pre-season friendlies, Mikel moved forward sometimes and always tried to play tiki-taka with his team-mates but they always hurried the passes away. I love Morinho very much but dislike him for stuttering Mikel's game. I predicted that Chelsea will triumph in Champions league, here's another prediction : Mikel Obi will become Chelsea captain soon...... it sounds funny isn't it ???? Hey guys ! stay tuned and don't touch that dial.
posted: 09:01 pm
I agree with most comments made thus far, Mikel was boxed into the defensive midfielder role by Morinho and as such he is stuck with that position. I remember when he came on the scene with Messi, in the world cup, his name was mentioned in the same breath with Messi. Now, the name of the game is Goals and sadly Mikel is not in that league and this directly affects his play with the Eagles. It will take a coach with good technical abilities to use Mikel's strong suites as Chelsea did in the champions league in playing defensive minded football but the draw back is Nigerians want goals and entertainment hence the song, "all we are saying, give us more goals" is ingrained in the fabric of Nigerian football. As a Long time Barcelona fan, tiki taka football is great if you have a strong defence and creative midfielders. Mikel cannot do it alone in the midfield. We already have some good strikers.
posted: 12:30 am
All the coaches that handled Chelsea confirmed the ability of this guy. Name all the coaches that have coached the team since Mikel came to Chelsea, all always use him, that's to confirmed that is great player indeed. A king is not always useful in his own land.
posted: 12:36 am
I hope Keshi has read Lampard's comments well. One more advice to coaches like Keshi and Siasia.......whenever you pick up conflicts with star players people love to see playing, the coaches loose in the end, so much as to affect their future job prospects, like Samson Siasia is facing now(Rejected in South Africa, now Kenya). Football fans/officials all over the world watch and follow news of these events and many conclude that coaches like Keshi,Siasia are BAD because they picked up fights with their idols. A word of advice is enough for the wise.
posted: 01:17 am
posted: 01:23 am
good player but no goal makes him a minus
he should improve on that
football is all about goals not how you defend or play if john terry a defender can score
i don't see why mikel a midfielder cannot score
goals makes some midfielder to be different from others no matter how u rate him but no goals makes him a minus compare to others
no hard feelings
posted: 10:01 am
It is good to read positive comments about mikel and at the same time some fair criticism. Yes he doesn't score goals but what he does he does well. I totally agree that he needs to venture forward more often than he does but Let's not sound as if defensive midfield is not an important department on the pitch. What Mikel does MESSI CAN NOT DO AND THAT IS TO DEFEND!!!!
posted: 10:08 am
@lius-hero, Andrea Pirlo created the first goal for Italy against Spain in Euro 2012 group stage, scored a fantastic freekick against Croatia , was the pivot of Italian midfield against England and dictated the rythm in semi-final clash with Germany but in the end Andreas Iniesta won the player of the tornerment...why ???. Record shows that Mikel is a big-game-player for Chelsea from 2007 fa cup finals with Man U till date. How many goals did Fabio Cannavaro score in 2006 when he won the Ballon D'or ???. No doubt Mikel needs goals to make his game complete. I prefer Mikel not scoring while Chelsea wins Epl,world club,super cup and fa cup than Mikel scoring 2billion goals and Chelsea being trophyless. Comparing Essien to Mikel is like comparing Yaya toure to Sergio Buskets, while Yaya and Essien are robust and goal-scoring Dms, Mikel and Buskets believe in football beauty,team protection,retain possession and 'sacrificial-lamb-soccer ' style. Na my mind i talk sha.
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