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Mikel John Obi


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x lol

I'm not crying 

What does he do? attacking wise he offers next to nothing, defensively he's lazy, hardly ever tracks his man, rarely wins back the ball... when he does it takes him 30 seconds to actually release the

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I said I'm not getting into a debate in this thread, but I'm going to answer only you because I know you can debate open-mindedly.
Now I'm not saying that Mikel does not have his flaws, because he certainly does. For me his biggest flaw is that he is slow to react at times, and like said there are better defensive midfielders than him out there. But he also isn't an average or below average player; in fact in the league right now, bar Carrick, you can't find a holding midfielder who is better than Mikel. he is a good player who is very good at what he does. He's not world-class, but he is certainly not our biggest problem at the moment. But unfortunately, with the type of non-glamorous role he has (and with Kalou gone), he's often going to be the scapegoat for the million other problem that team is having.

He's the 2nd best DM in the EPL right now? I'm guessing you don't watch many EPL games.

As for being very good at what he does...if that was the case, we'd be struggling to win games without Mikel in the team...he's a passenger in the team.

He's part of the reason why we have so many issues in midfield...

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I said I'm not getting into a debate in this thread, but I'm going to answer only you because I know you can debate open-mindedly.
Mikel is NOT a ball winning midfielder, he is a holding midfielder. First of all, ball winning midfielders are a species that is nearing extinction. They just don't belong in today's game. Why? Well, take Luiz in midfield for instance, he tries to be a ball winning midfielder, always attempting to intercept, tackle and nick the ball off the opposition. Result? More often than not, he fails to win the ball and the player gets past him and can run at our back four with no one shielding them. If the opposition are a good organized team, we're likely to concede in that situation. You can still see ball winning midfielders in the championship and lower levels, but in the PL, the game is just much more dynamic and fast paced than what it used to be in the days of Roy Keane. Defenders don't tackle as much as they used to and CMs almost never go to ground anymore, in fact, tackles in midfield are so out of fashion that if you see a player go to ground and not get it 100% right, you directly think he could be off or at least get a yellow card.
Instead, ball winning midfielders have been largely replaced by holding midfielders like Mikel. The first thing they teach kids in academies about defending nowadays is "Stay on your feet" "Do NOT commit to the challenge" because when a player commits to a tackle, he's giving the attacker a chance to get past him. There is a quote by Xabi Alonso that I like to use where he says tackling is not something that, as a holding midfielder, you look or try to do, but rather something you have to resort to sometimes if your man gets away from you or to correct a certain mistake. But in normal circumstances, a central midfielder should never go to ground. Instead, what holding midfielders do, is that they stay on their feet and just block the channels and passing angles and either force the man on the ball to a less dangerous area or force him to make a mistake or at least take the difficult option.
As for the comparisons, half of the ones you mentioned are only there because they are "trending" now (Btw, Fernandinho and Vidal are more b2b; Vidal is basically a more dynamic Ramires with better technique). They had a a few good games this season and got a good reputation that they'd probably lose next season if they don't perform as they did this season. And of course, there are players that are better than Mikel. But that applies to every single position in our team bar GK and probably LB. Why doesn't anyone else say that we are "settling" for Luiz or Iva or Azpi or Rami or Oscar..etc? Because Mikel is just the 'easy' target because what he does, i.e. his role in the team, is not glamorous, it is not evident in particular incidents but rather the overall play. When you're arguing for Iva you can say: "Did you see that tackle he made in that game?" or for Rami: "Did you see that run?" but you can't say: "Did you see Mikel's 95% passing accuracy or the tactical discipline he showed to not leave gaps between himself and the back four during the whole 90 mins?" because you simply can't 'see' that in individual incidents.
Now I'm not saying that Mikel does not have his flaws, because he certainly does. For me his biggest flaw is that he is slow to react at times, and like said there are better defensive midfielders than him out there. But he also isn't an average or below average player; in fact in the league right now, bar Carrick, you can't find a holding midfielder who is better than Mikel. he is a good player who is very good at what he does. He's not world-class, but he is certainly not our biggest problem at the moment. But unfortunately, with the type of non-glamorous role he has (and with Kalou gone), he's often going to be the scapegoat for the million other problem that team is having.

1. You talk about Luiz leaving the defense open and vulnerable when he plays in midfield. Here is something for you:

Luiz started 15 games in midfield. We won 12, drew 1 and lost 2 of those. The 2 we lost with Luiz in midfield were against QPR (when Rafa had a brainfart and rested Ramires, Mata and Hazard) and against Swansea in CoCup (Ivanovic back passes anyone?). So clearly him leaving the defense open and vulnerable has worked well for our results. OR alternatively you are just making stuff up and the ground reality is completely different.

2. Somebody needs to tell you that going to ground and not staying on your feet is not the only way to win tackles. You can stay on your feet and still win tackles. If the job of holding midfielder is to block channels an divert traffic towards lesser dangerous positions, then mind explaining why Chelsea conceded 1.53 goals per game when Mikel started the game vs 0.89 goals per game when Mikel did not start. Clearly this blocking channels strategy of Mikel is not working. OR alternatively you are just making stuff up and the ground reality is completely different.

3. People dont say that we area settling for Luiz, Iva, Azpi, Rami or Oscar because they actually contribute to the team. Regarding your proposition that Mikel is easy to single out because he does an unnoticeable job, mind sharing with us why the same things are not said about other players like Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Schweinstiger, Martinez, Carrick etc. OR alternatively you are just making stuff up and the ground reality is completely different.

Finally you lost all credibility with this statement

in fact in the league right now, bar Carrick, you can't find a holding midfielder who is better than Mikel.
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Anyways now that the season is over, here is a look at Chelsea's results in Premier League with Mikel starting vs Mikel not starting

With Mikel starting

Games: 19

Wins: 9

Draws: 5

Defeats: 5

Points: 32

Goals For: 31

Goals against: 23

Goal Difference: 8

Win %age: 47.3%

Loss%age: 26.3%

points per game: 1.68

goals scored per game: 1.63

goals conceded per game: 1.21

Without Mikel

Games: 19

Wins: 13

Draws: 4

Defeats: 2

Points: 43

Goals for: 44

Goals against: 16

Goal difference: 28

Win %age: 68.4%

Loss %age: 10.5%

Points per game: 2.26

goals scored per game: 2.31

goals conceded per game:0.84

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Anyways now that the season is over, here is a look at Chelsea's results in Premier League with Mikel starting vs Mikel not starting

With Mikel starting

Games: 19

Wins: 9

Draws: 5

Defeats: 5

Points: 32

Goals For: 31

Goals against: 23

Goal Difference: 8

Win %age: 47.3%

Loss%age: 26.3%

points per game: 1.68

goals scored per game: 1.63

goals conceded per game: 1.21

Without Mikel

Games: 19

Wins: 13

Draws: 4

Defeats: 2

Points: 43

Goals for: 44

Goals against: 16

Goal difference: 28

Win %age: 68.4%

Loss %age: 10.5%

Points per game: 2.26

goals scored per game: 2.31

goals conceded per game:0.84

I know you're just posting up the stats, but its not as simple as Mikel being the underlying factor as to why we won more games when he didn't play. There are a lot of other intangibles and non-statistical factors as to why we've won more when Mikel hasn't played.

He's off form and been injured and therefore hasn't featured as many times as he should've, but no doubt people will obviously use these to condemn Mikel even further though. Mikel's had a rough season, but he's still a good player in my books, and I'm interested to see how he'll perform next season under a new manager. I won't write him off just yet because he's shown on numerous occasions that he can be a good player here.

Just did some quick research as I think your stats aren't accurate as you're choosing to omit games where Mikel was subbed in, which is unfair in my opinion.

Out of the 38 games we've played, Mikel has only been named in the squad 24 times.

Out of those 24, he's started 19 and been subbed in 3 times and out of those 22 games, our record during those games stands at 12W/6D/5L which brings the overall win percentage to when we have played Mikel to 54.5% - which isn't as bad as your initial stats suggest.

As I've said anyway, I wouldn't look at the stats simply because there are many other intangibles to them e.g. the team hitting good form in recent weeks. But like I said, people (not you per se) will still use it as a case against him.

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I know you're just posting up the stats, but its not as simple as Mikel being the underlying factor as to why we won more games when he didn't play. There are a lot of other intangibles and non-statistical factors as to why we've won more when Mikel hasn't played.

He's off form and been injured and therefore hasn't featured as many times as he should've, but no doubt people will obviously use these to condemn Mikel even further though. Mikel's had a rough season, but he's still a good player in my books, and I'm interested to see how he'll perform next season under a new manager. I won't write him off just yet because he's shown on numerous occasions that he can be a good player here.

Just did some quick research as I think your stats aren't accurate as you're choosing to omit games where Mikel was subbed in, which is unfair in my opinion.

Out of the 38 games we've played, Mikel has only been named in the squad 24 times.

Out of those 24, he's started 19 and been subbed in 3 times and out of those 22 games, our record during those games stands at 12W/6D/5L which brings the overall win percentage to when we have played Mikel to 54.5% - which isn't as bad as your initial stats suggest.

As I've said anyway, I wouldn't look at the stats simply because there are many other intangibles to them e.g. the team hitting good form in recent weeks. But like I said, people (not you per se) will still use it as a case against him.

Let us talk about being unfair.

The games in which Mikel was subbed in

1. vs. West Brom at home: we were winning the game 1-0 when he came on for the final 30 seconds of injury time and the score stayed the same.

2. vs West Ham at home: we were winning the game 2-0 when he came on for final 4 minutes and the score stayed the same

3. vs Fulham away: we were winning the game 3-0 when he came on for the final 14 minutes and the score stayed the same.

It is completely wrong to add these games under Mikel's name.

Infact I have been lenient to him. Here are some of the games where he was subbed out and the games changed

1. vs Reading at home: We were losing 1-2 when he was subbed off after 68 minutes and then we ended up winning the game 4-2

2. vs Stoke at home: we were drawing the game 0-0 when he was subbed off after 81 minutes and we ended up winning the game 1-0

So by your method it would have been 19 games started, 7W/6D/6L. That makes an even more depressing reading, 36.8% winning percentage.

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Let us talk about being unfair.

The games in which Mikel was subbed in

1. vs. West Brom at home: we were winning the game 1-0 when he came on for the final 30 seconds of injury time and the score stayed the same.

2. vs West Ham at home: we were winning the game 2-0 when he came on for final 4 minutes and the score stayed the same

3. vs Fulham away: we were winning the game 3-0 when he came on for the final 14 minutes and the score stayed the same.

It is completely wrong to add these games under Mikel's name.

Infact I have been lenient to him. Here are some of the games where he was subbed out and the games changed

1. vs Reading at home: We were losing 1-2 when he was subbed off after 68 minutes and then we ended up winning the game 4-2

2. vs Stoke at home: we were drawing the game 0-0 when he was subbed off after 81 minutes and we ended up winning the game 1-0

So by your method it would have been 19 games started, 7W/6D/6L. That makes an even more depressing reading.

Fair enough. But like I said before in the same post, for me anyway, stats don't tell the whole story.

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@CHOULO19,

I understand that sometimes committing to a tackle can give the opponent an opportunity to get past but I think ball-winning or atleast interceptions count under a holding-midfielders job description. Vidal and Fernandinho get stuck into 50-50's and come away with the ball. Mikel doesn't have that ability nor the tendency to go for the ball. He's a holding midfielder - who doesn't recover possession.

Chelsea are settling for Mikel in DM. He's not mobile enough,(that's also a reason why he doesn't win or intercept the ball) and also, he backs off instead of cutting off the angles as you said. Very often he backs off all the way into the penalty box to slot in as a 3rd CB, which is one more reason why Chelsea lose control of the games

btw, Arteta, Lucas, Yacob, Schneiderlein, Sandro all better for me this season

I've only watched Fernandinho in the CL, so I will comment on Vidal only since I've watched every Juve game this season. Vidal has many many qualities, but his defensive ability is not one of them. He is too aggressive and even though he sometimes does get the ball, other times he does not and that often puts Juve in trouble. Again people just judge Vidal based on a couple of great games he had in the CL while forgetting a couple of horror games he had as well like against Bayern. And just to put an end to the myth, Mikel has a higher interception per game ratio than Vidal; check whoscored.com. Mikel has the ability to go to ground, but just like Alonso said, it's only something you resort to when you make a mistake.

I disagree that Mikel is not dynamic, just watch his matches with Nigeria where he is given a more free role and you can see him all over the pitch in a more of a box to box style. But at Chelsea his role requires discipline. He is the midfielder that is supposed to shield the back 4 and he shows great discipline to stay in position and not leave gaps behind him. Naturally, when your opposition are in control and are committing men into the box, your DM should get into the box because 2 CBs to defend the area wouldn't be enough.

Finally, regarding the comparisons you made, I couldn't disagree more. I mean Arteta who can't pass for his life, Yacob who spends more time out of position that actually in it, and Sandro the head-less chicken?! Also, none of those players have Mikel's distribution and ball retention abilities. We've been talking about the defensive part of the holding midfielders role because that is what you criticized in you original post, but for me Mikel's biggest assets are on the ball. He always provides an outlet for the back four because they know that they can give Mikel the ball in almost any situation and he has the ball retention skills to keep it under immense pressure and then play a safe pass. He also has incredible pass completion percentage meaning that when Mikel plays, our distribution of the ball is more accurate and we lose the ball less often. That's why you see when Mikel does not start, our CBs tend to lump the ball forward much more often.

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Mikel has the ability to go to ground, but just like Alonso said, it's only something you resort to when you make a mistake.

Have you learnt nothing from watching Mikel play? When you make a mistake, the last thing you do is go to ground.

What you do is stand there for a few seconds and do nothing.

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@CHOULO19,

"Naturally, when your opposition are in control and are committing men into the box, your DM should get into the box because 2 CBs to defend the area wouldn't be enough"

This is where you're wrong. Defending Mikel's contribution as the starting point of attacks is fine but there isn't an excuse for a defensive midfielder slotting in between the CB's that often. that mentality puts us under more pressure because as soon as the CB's get the ball away, the opponents will regain control of it. Unless we are playing Bayern/Barcelona OR defending a lead very late in the game, that is not acceptable. It rounds back to your initial point of gaining control of the midfield - Mikel unbalances the double pivot by falling too far back.

Won't stand for Vidal with you being a Juve follower, I'll assume you know more.

Yacob started of brilliantly and then went unnoticed a bit but about the "out-of-position" argument against Yacob - he has Mulumbu next to him - another defense-minded midfielder. Mikel doesn't have that security.

I am quite bemused by the Sandro criticism. He had a great season up until the injury

As for "Cant pass to save his life" Arteta - He has a 91.5% Pass-Completion rate this season in the Premier League (whoscored)

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I don't know but the reason Benitez didn't like him must be because in the Benitez system, the dm must help the fullback in the trap triangle on the side and harass the opponent to make him lose the ball.

The winger is there to close the passing lanes, inviting the player in a trap zone were the fullback and dm crowd him, Mikel was too lethargic to his liking I guess and that's why he was putting Luiz in midfield.

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I've only watched Fernandinho in the CL, so I will comment on Vidal only since I've watched every Juve game this season. Vidal has many many qualities, but his defensive ability is not one of them. He is too aggressive and even though he sometimes does get the ball, other times he does not and that often puts Juve in trouble. Again people just judge Vidal based on a couple of great games he had in the CL while forgetting a couple of horror games he had as well like against Bayern. And just to put an end to the myth, Mikel has a higher interception per game ratio than Vidal; check whoscored.com. Mikel has the ability to go to ground, but just like Alonso said, it's only something you resort to when you make a mistake.

I disagree that Mikel is not dynamic, just watch his matches with Nigeria where he is given a more free role and you can see him all over the pitch in a more of a box to box style. But at Chelsea his role requires discipline. He is the midfielder that is supposed to shield the back 4 and he shows great discipline to stay in position and not leave gaps behind him. Naturally, when your opposition are in control and are committing men into the box, your DM should get into the box because 2 CBs to defend the area wouldn't be enough.

Finally, regarding the comparisons you made, I couldn't disagree more. I mean Arteta who can't pass for his life, Yacob who spends more time out of position that actually in it, and Sandro the head-less chicken?! Also, none of those players have Mikel's distribution and ball retention abilities. We've been talking about the defensive part of the holding midfielders role because that is what you criticized in you original post, but for me Mikel's biggest assets are on the ball. He always provides an outlet for the back four because they know that they can give Mikel the ball in almost any situation and he has the ball retention skills to keep it under immense pressure and then play a safe pass. He also has incredible pass completion percentage meaning that when Mikel plays, our distribution of the ball is more accurate and we lose the ball less often. That's why you see when Mikel does not start, our CBs tend to lump the ball forward much more often.

I wasn't quite sure you could top your "Mikel is the 2nd best holding midfielder in England after Carrik" line but I was wrong.

How can someone say this with a straight face?

"I mean Arteta who can't pass for his life"

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Not sure what is the debate. Can we have better midfield then mikel, yes of course

but that is not really important what important is who is the passer that we can get. Prime lamp and Mikel will be a damn good partnership but lamp is 34/35.

I am more interested getting a passer next to rami/Mikel/romeu. Once he play with these guys then we can start talking about replacement

Damn I hate typing using tablet, so many typo.

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Mikel went lost there with Benitez time at the club.

Now that Benitez is gone, Mikel must be happy....

But do you guys think Mourinho will bench him as well?

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He was awful even in the friendly ,did you see how deep we were in the second half and City dominated posession (I thought with Mikel in the team we were sure to dominate posession with his safe passing) and he is so unfit he was literally getting in the way of the two centre halves when we need someone in that position driving us forward and getting us as high up the pitch as possibe.

Most goals are scored when you nick posession high up the pitch and counter quickly not by plugging imaginary gaps and playing safe sideways/backward passes that are oh so slow.

I will be amazed if Jose does not replace Mikel as a priority and the waiter was dead right to even play Ake in front of Mikel,Jose will not have missed that,will he?

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He was awful even in the friendly ,did you see how deep we were in the second half and City dominated posession (I thought with Mikel in the team we were sure to dominate posession with his safe passing) and he is so unfit he was literally getting in the way of the two centre halves when we need someone in that position driving us forward and getting us as high up the pitch as possibe.

Most goals are scored when you nick posession high up the pitch and counter quickly not by plugging imaginary gaps and playing safe sideways/backward passes that are oh so slow.

I will be amazed if Jose does not replace Mikel as a priority and the waiter was dead right to even play Ake in front of Mikel,Jose will not have missed that,will he?

Mikel was our best player on Saturday..

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