Mikel searching for balance

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi is trying to find a balance between his offensive and defensive play

Posted: 28 June 2013 Time: 11:11 am

Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi says he is searching for a balance between his offensive and defensive play.

In Chelsea's blue strip, Mikel strikes the pose of a most unimaginable holding player, hitting repetitive sideways and backwards passes.

But in Nigeria colours, he has sparkled in a free, offensive role in Stephen Keshi's expansive 4-3-3, showing a repertoire of incisive passing, outrageous skill and even a goal that puts his Chelsea photocopy to shame.

Mikel told KickOffNigeria.com that he would now need to strike a balance between the two, "I always try to do what my coaches tell me. At Chelsea, I have to play for the team and be more defensive.

"But in Nigeria, the coach allows me to express myself and I enjoy myself.

"Now, I have to find a balance between the two because it is important for my future."

Mikel was particularly impressive against Uruguay and Spain, dominating a midfield that included Spanish greats Xavi and Iniesta and popping up to score a quite magnificent goal of breathtaking skill against Uruguay.

Now he says he wants more. "I was very happy to score the goal," Mikel said with some modesty.

"When Ideye passed the ball to me, I knew I just needed to beat the defender, and as soon as I did that, I just needed to be calm and put the ball where I wanted it.

"It felt great to score a goal after so long. Now maybe I can score more," he added.

Article by: Colin Udoh

Previous comments on this story...

Chase_Khosified
posted: 11:28 am
He should leave Chelsea if he wants to play an offensive role, at Chelsea they wont give him such role..... his role at Chlease its tooo boring!!!!
Sir eeemzaa-walikhosi
posted: 11:29 am
Irvin Khoza searching for his teeth

K4L : let's hear
Good luck
posted: 11:41 am
My brother keep it on God is on your side you are totally a good world class player as I always told some people that always critizising you. It was Jose Morinho that changed your partern of playing because I saw what you proof during the under 20 world cup 2005. Had it been that you accept Man U offer that time then I believe you will never finds yourself in those mess. But now you have proofs yourself to the world what you are. God bless you for future carrier. Up Naija! Up Super Eagles! Up Goodluck Jonathan!
Good luck
posted: 11:42 am
My brother keep it on God is on your side you are totally a good world class player as I always told some people that always critizising you. It was Jose Morinho that changed your partern of playing because I saw what you proof during the under 20 world cup 2005. Had it been that you accept Man U offer that time then I believe you will never finds yourself in those mess. But now you have proofs yourself to the world what you are. God bless you for future carrier. Up Naija! Up Super Eagles! Up Goodluck Jonathan!
soccerized
posted: 11:45 am
Thanks to Keshi for rediscovering Mikel. ...All credits must go to him
Santi Santi
posted: 11:48 am
We all know Mikel is an offensive player despite the regression he has had at Chelsea playing as a CDM those attacking sparks has refused to dim, now he is much older, he needs to make a big decision whether to hone his offensive skills or not, at his age he got alot more chance to improve his football and maybe he needs to leave Chelsea first to realise those potentials
TeellThemm
posted: 12:12 pm
Mikel issue in Chelsea has to do with the mentality of the European towards Africans, it is simply, they believe African don't have foresight of been creative, so every African creative players is either converted to defensive one. This happens in a major league not may be Denmark or Norway. Even when you are Jay Jay Okocha, you will be pushed to the wings.
TeellThemm
posted: 12:13 pm
Nevertheless, good luck bro, you have always been a talent.
Football Fanatic
posted: 12:23 pm
Mikel issue in Chelsea has to do with the mentality of the European towards Africans, it is simply, they believe African don't have foresight of been creative, so every African creative players is either converted to defensive one. This happens in a major league not may be Denmark or Norway. Even when you are Jay Jay Okocha, you will be pushed to the wings.
________________________________________________________________________________________
A good observation, Mikel in the junior teams was a skillful attacking player but Mourinho turned him into a workhorse.Just look at what he did to Essien at Madrid,a jack of all trades,running from one position to another under the "versatile" tag.Essien left nothing to write home about in Spain except workaholic.

Personally i was impressed with Mikel against Spain,he was the best player on the pitch.
The Phefeni Boy
posted: 12:36 pm
John Mikel Obi ...What a genius...an African football legend in the making.....Keshi must hand him the captain's armband.....
Zico wa le Downs
posted: 12:39 pm
Nyawana's right foot is meant for balance only!
blackpanther187
posted: 12:50 pm
I know we would like to see him play more offensive. But I am telling you this: His role at Chelsea is very very very important. I hope they will keep him! Mikel shouldnt listen to what other people says.

He should never forget that his role at Chelsea brought him CL, EPL and Uefa Cup Trophies plus FACs
It's a promise in all Africa, Eagles must reign
posted: 01:03 pm
If only Arsenal could be Mikel, he will be able to keep in touch with his offensive side. Anyway, he is still an all-round good player.
blackpanther187
posted: 01:17 pm
Wow Arsenal would be really great for Mikel.... playin really attractive football with NO titles!

@Mikel: Hope you read this! Keep playin for your team instead of for yourself. You are are doin a damm good Job at Chelsea!
Marop wa le Downs
posted: 01:24 pm
Zico wa le Downsposted: 12:39 pm  |  Report
Nyawana's right foot is meant for balance only!----------------------------------------- zico come on. You are a dawana. That beautiful team from Pta. Don't adopt the senseless zebra blogging my man. That's zebra and pirates style, being irrelevant. Come now, Dawana!
Game147
posted: 01:47 pm
That Morinho guy have destroyed lots of talent. He is a great Coach, but if any young player wants to develope , he should stay miles away from Morinho. Personally, I will be the happpiest man the day Mikel leaves Chelsea. In some reports, Benitez is trying to bring him to Napoli, i don't know the authenticity of the news anyway. Mikel is a big game player.
Dodostar
posted: 02:13 pm
Mikel... for long u have stayed unnoticed and un-brided by the many greater clubs in the world... reason... dat singular error of going to play for Chelsea....... if u had gone d way of Sir Alex... trust me... u wud be courted by allll d high and mighty clubs. See where d only man better than u in 2005 is...!!!.... well it finlayy boils down to your career and continued play.... and of course the MEGA BUCKS!!!... Enjoy... Mikel... biko Gbawa ball>
Spoton
posted: 02:35 pm
Mikel has got great ball control, bags of skills and great vision. He is quite similar to Andreas Pirlo but a lot more skill full but the problem is that he is playing to instruction in Chelsea and he becomes too defensive. It is like he is being caged and not being allowed to be expressive and offensive.
Italian or Spanish league will suit Mikel. The only teams that will suit him in EPL are Arsenal and Swansea.
Game147
posted: 03:00 pm
@Spoton, Agreed, Arsenal will suit Mikel Obi style of soccer, not that 'patternless-'nkwatankwa-team' called Chelsea. Even Barca's tiki-taka style could favor Mikel.
Ebimocliff
posted: 03:22 pm
@blackpanther187, Mikel has won it all with Chelsea and at this point I believe a move to another club in Italy, Spain or eve in England will not be a bad idea. He is obviously a class act and will blossom where ever he goes. He is that good.
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