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Chelsea Killed Mikel's Creativity - Odemwingie


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Nigerian International Osaze Odemwingie is of the opinion that English Premiership side Chelsea FC have caused damage to the career of his Super Eagles team mate John Mikel Obi...

The view expressed by the Lokomotiv Moscow striker is one shared by several Nigeria sports journalists, who believe thats , John's creativity that so impressed the footballing world at the 2005 World Youth Championships, has been destroyed by the holding midfield position he has been given at Chelsea.

"I think Chelsea has changed his game. He is not the same player he was and it’s difficult for him because he can’t play against what the coach tells him to," Odemwingie was quoted as saying by kickoffnigeria.com.

Nonetheless the ex-Lille man thinks that his countryman can recover that creative spark if given the opportunity to do so.

"Mikel is a very talented young man and he can adapt his game when he needs to. I believe that when he has more freedom, he will express himself more," concluded Odemwingie

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There is an element of truth in that comment. I don't believe Mikel is ideally suited to the holding role. However i do think that him playing there has been a very good learning curve for him and will enable him to be a better player in the long term. But i would like to see the more creative side of Mikel come out.

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I agree when i first saw mikel he had great vision, and he was very creative at Chelsea he has not

got that role sadly.

If Scolari does play as we think he will the 4-2-3-1 formation then with an actual holding midfielder it may give Mikel more licence to be more of the player that he was before.

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Yep, you're right. I'm a big fan of Mikel too, he looks the part already but at the moment those players I mentioned are better so it will be difficult for him. He's indicated his willingness to stay though, which is good. I hope he doesn't become another Diarra.

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I agree to some extent. When we signed Mikel, he showed ability and desire to attack, but Mourinho molded him into a more disciplined, defensive player in his first season. He has matured greatly as a footballer and remains an important member of the squad, but I do believe his creative instincts in an attacking sense have been somewhat neutralised by his defensive position. Despite this, because of his strength, skill and simplicity on the ball, I think he is more suited to the holding role and his athleticism allows him to keep on running for 90 minutes.

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I agree to some extent. When we signed Mikel, he showed ability and desire to attack, but Mourinho molded him into a more disciplined, defensive player in his first season. He has matured greatly as a footballer and remains an important member of the squad, but I do believe his creative instincts in an attacking sense have been somewhat neutralised by his defensive position. Despite this, because of his strength, skill and simplicity on the ball, I think he is more suited to the holding role and his athleticism allows him to keep on running for 90 minutes.

It will be interesting to see how Scolari will use him, obviously he won't play the attacking midfield spot but he could certainly be given more licence to get forward. I can see him being a very similar player to Ballack, their styles are similar and if Mikel can carry on the way he is going then he will certainly be just as good one day.

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Well Mourinho played a more defensive system, so it is likely whatever way Scolari plays that everyone will have their opportunity to get forward. However I think it will take a while for us to play fluid football as Arsenal or Barcelona do, and our system may appear just as rustic-yet-efficient as it was last season, there will be many minor changes to our game over the first few weeks of the season.

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Well Mourinho played a more defensive system, so it is likely whatever way Scolari plays that everyone will have their opportunity to get forward. However I think it will take a while for us to play fluid football as Arsenal or Barcelona do, and our system may appear just as rustic-yet-efficient as it was last season, there will be many minor changes to our game over the first few weeks of the season.

Yes it will be interesting to see how Scolari impliments his ideas to the team and how the players adapt to that. We have a few players who are capable of much more than they are given at the moment, like Mikel, Kalou or Joe Cole....

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Joe Cole is more effective as an out-and-out attacking midfield player in my position. Whilst he is excellent on the wing as well, he is at his best running the midfield, pinging balls up to the strikers, I can imagine him being played in almost a second striker position. The same is with Kalou, he seems to benefit more from playing in a 4-4-2 with a strike partner. He is a talented dribbler but he is ultimately a striker and they are assessed on their goalscoring abililty. I know Kalou has improved his attacking game and now has 20 Chelsea goals to his name, but a system featuring two strikers would suit him moreso. Mikel is complicated, because no matter how excellent he already is, he must prove himself on the training field to be better than Ballack, Lampard, Deco, Essien and Makelele in order to get his place.

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Joe Cole is more effective as an out-and-out attacking midfield player in my position. Whilst he is excellent on the wing as well, he is at his best running the midfield, pinging balls up to the strikers, I can imagine him being played in almost a second striker position. The same is with Kalou, he seems to benefit more from playing in a 4-4-2 with a strike partner. He is a talented dribbler but he is ultimately a striker and they are assessed on their goalscoring abililty. I know Kalou has improved his attacking game and now has 20 Chelsea goals to his name, but a system featuring two strikers would suit him moreso. Mikel is complicated, because no matter how excellent he already is, he must prove himself on the training field to be better than Ballack, Lampard, Deco, Essien and Makelele in order to get his place.

Agree with all of that, Kalou and Cole in particular could do with playing in their more natural positions. Cole could possibly be used more in that position, but i can't see us playing with 2 strikers this season.

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