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Does Chelsea really need Mikel?


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I think we have a gem in our squad, however, it wont be discovered here at Chelsea. I think Mikel needs to move to a different league, maybe Italy. I feel that Inter could do very well with Obi and he would develop and grow much more over there. We are searching for another Midfielder this window, pushing Mikel even further down the pecking order, its not fair to have such a driven and hard working player on the side of the pitch. We could make a shiny penny off of him and use it to fund another more vital player for this squad. I think Hamsik or a skilled winger would be far more effective in our team at this point.

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We play with one holding midfielder and two attacking players in midfield. In the hold we have only two options, Essien and Mikel. In the attack we have the possibility of Ramires, Lampard and Essien. I what way would getting rid of Mikel will we gain? We need as much options as we have, and to say he is one of the best players we have and at such a young age, it would be a HUGE mistake to let him go, especially after all the trouble to get him here.

If any other midfeilder came into the squad it would be an attacking player like Hamsik rather then a defensive one. Ramires has started to get use to the play, and the only other options is the experienced Lampard, putting Malouda in the centre rather then the wing, playing Kakuta in the role. And even Yossi Benayoun can play the role.

Options is what we need, we need to build the squad not reduce it. We have already felt the force of our thin squad, why should we make it even smaller? Mikel is regarded as one of the first teamers, and not matter what will be in the squad.

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We play with one holding midfielder and two attacking players in midfield. In the hold we have only two options, Essien and Mikel. In the attack we have the possibility of Ramires, Lampard and Essien. I what way would getting rid of Mikel will we gain? We need as much options as we have, and to say he is one of the best players we have and at such a young age, it would be a HUGE mistake to let him go, especially after all the trouble to get him here.

If any other midfeilder came into the squad it would be an attacking player like Hamsik rather then a defensive one. Ramires has started to get use to the play, and the only other options is the experienced Lampard, putting Malouda in the centre rather then the wing, playing Kakuta in the role. And even Yossi Benayoun can play the role.

Options is what we need, we need to build the squad not reduce it. We have already felt the force of our thin squad, why should we make it even smaller? Mikel is regarded as one of the first teamers, and not matter what will be in the squad.

Very true, but he isnt even a natural Holding Midfielder, we just twisted and molded him into it due to his physical stature. He has said himself on many occasions that he likes moving further up and creating plays, he cant do that here, we have a god damn firing squad backing our front line. This isnt a plea to sell Mikel in the next transfer window, but we should be looking for true holding player and let Mikel play where his is comfortable or move on.

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Very true, but he isnt even a natural Holding Midfielder, we just twisted and molded him into it due to his physical stature. He has said himself on many occasions that he likes moving further up and creating plays, he cant do that here, we have a god damn firing squad backing our front line. This isnt a plea to sell Mikel in the next transfer window, but we should be looking for true holding player and let Mikel play where his is comfortable or move on.

Whose is to say he can't move up the feild when we have possesion or when he has the ball?

He just needs to be disciplined enough to make sure that everytime he does go forward he can backtrack enough to break down any counter attacks.

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I think we have a gem in our squad, however, it wont be discovered here at Chelsea. I think Mikel needs to move to a different league, maybe Italy. I feel that Inter could do very well with Obi and he would develop and grow much more over there. We are searching for another Midfielder this window, pushing Mikel even further down the pecking order, its not fair to have such a driven and hard working player on the side of the pitch. We could make a shiny penny off of him and use it to fund another more vital player for this squad. I think Hamsik or a skilled winger would be far more effective in our team at this point.

I see your point and agree with you on a number of points. I think that a move to Italy would see Mikel blossom, but similarly we have a 23 year old midfielder who could develop over the next five years into a player as good as Claude Makelele. Because Mikel has been around for such a long period of time, people forget just how young he is. This is a player who can play potentially for another 12 or 13 years and become a true great for this club, and as such there is still a long way to go before the player can tap into his full potential. Mikel still has a lot to offer and whilst a move to Italy (where the football is slower-paced and the space is greater) could speed up his development, we have (as you quite rightly say) a true gem who can become a star for this club.

I actually agree with your second point, however. At this moment he almost seems a spare part because of Essien, who since moving to Chelsea has been converted to a holding player. Mikel has experienced the same, whereas both are naturally more attacking-minded. Whilst I believe there is a lovely discipline about Mikel - like Makelele he will never over-commit to an attack - Essien is, in my eyes, no longer the same player in terms of making lung-bursting runs up the pitch. Its as if he has become more conservative in his style of play since his two serious injuries over the past two years.

In my eyes, our midfield should be Frank, Ramires, and then either Mikel OR Essien. Possibly both against the likes of United, City, and Arsenal where we require midfield discipline. However when we are playing against Stoke at home, for instance, we do not need two holding midfielders and as such our attacks are becoming undermined by a lack of midfield support. So yes, at this point, someone like Hamsik or a winger like Michel Bastos could be a great acquisition, but I find that the only change we need to make right now is to play either Mikel OR Essien, and at this moment in time it has to be the latter since Mikel is nursing an injury.

We play with one holding midfielder and two attacking players in midfield. In the hold we have only two options, Essien and Mikel. In the attack we have the possibility of Ramires, Lampard and Essien. I what way would getting rid of Mikel will we gain? We need as much options as we have, and to say he is one of the best players we have and at such a young age, it would be a HUGE mistake to let him go, especially after all the trouble to get him here.

If any other midfeilder came into the squad it would be an attacking player like Hamsik rather then a defensive one. Ramires has started to get use to the play, and the only other options is the experienced Lampard, putting Malouda in the centre rather then the wing, playing Kakuta in the role. And even Yossi Benayoun can play the role.

Options is what we need, we need to build the squad not reduce it. We have already felt the force of our thin squad, why should we make it even smaller? Mikel is regarded as one of the first teamers, and not matter what will be in the squad.

Agreed on the three highlighted parts. People seem to forget that as attacking options we can drop Malouda back one, and I don't think some people remember Benayoun plays for Chelsea - although Terminator X some people seem to choose to forget he is our number 10.

We do need to bring in players this January, agreed. But my point is, as opposed to an attacking midfielder, we need a winger more so! At this moment our options on the wing are very limited. We have Malouda and Zhirkov as our only out-and-out wingers, but Yury is injured and whenever he is fit Ancelotti seems to believe he can offer more in the left-centre midfield role. However, he's won the Champions League twice so I'll trust his judgement. Anelka, Kalou and Kakuta are only make-shift options in my opinion, though I think Kalou does very well in the role.

As such I think our priority should be bringing a winger to the club. You may laugh but I genuinely believe Ashley Young is the most-viable, cost-effective option we have. We don't have the money to sign Gareth Bale or Bastian Schweinsteiger, whereas Young would appear to be inside Abramovich's new maximum price range. A bit of genuine pace would galvanise our attack big time.

Very true, but he isnt even a natural Holding Midfielder, we just twisted and molded him into it due to his physical stature. He has said himself on many occasions that he likes moving further up and creating plays, he cant do that here, we have a god damn firing squad backing our front line. This isnt a plea to sell Mikel in the next transfer window, but we should be looking for true holding player and let Mikel play where his is comfortable or move on.

Possibly. I say possibly because I don't think there are any viable options we can bring in to play that position. Fact of the matter is he will just have to get used to playing there. If José Mourinho, in my opinion the best manager in club football, thinks he has the capabilities to be a great defensive midfielder, then he must have some qualities for the position! Don't get me wrong, I don't think Mikel is anywhere close to the finished article but as I said earlier, he is only 23 and has years to develop. Makelele did not become the player he was overnight at the age of 20. I would go as far as saying that until his second season with Celta Vigo (1999/2000) that he showed signs of his true quality, by which time he was 27. Obviously every player doesn't show their true potential at the same age, but because this is still a new position for him.

Whose is to say he can't move up the feild when we have possesion or when he has the ball?

He just needs to be disciplined enough to make sure that everytime he does go forward he can backtrack enough to break down any counter attacks.

Agreed. Even Makelele went forward every now and again :lol:

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In answer to the main question, damn right we need Mikel.

I don't know if this is a cycle of attacking the players, I guess Ivanovic is next. But Mikel has been vital this season & last. His role is clear "deep lying play maker" which is exactly what he does, he'll sit deep, covering for the bombing wing backs, and when he gets the ball, he'll hold it. He'll allow the attackers to get in good positions before delivering an exquisite long pass. He can also slow the tempo of a game down, if ask to, when we're suffering waves of attack, it will be Mikel who will receive the ball and with composure, get it into the opposition half.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but does Mikel currently have the most touches on the ball for us this entire season? Mikel is a better DM than Essien, he's more disciplined & smarter, not that I'm taking anything away from Essien's football. But when you have a team where all the midfielder players are focused on attack, you need the extra man to help with the defence. Some may argue that's Ramires's role, to be the link between attack and defence, but I wouldn't agree, because I like Ramires' attacking flare more than his defensive one.

The problem I find with Essien at DM is, he goes on those long, forward runs, he's famous for. But when the opposing team is on the counter he leaves that huge gap at the back, the full backs have already bombed forward so if the opposition is smart they can counter a 3/4 vs 2.

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Does Chelsea still need Mikel?

My answer: yes.

(Posted this before the Tottenham game)

I would switch some things in midfield. These last months we've lost the midfield battle countless times and that's where you really lose the game, especially in big games. With Modric The Spurs have a player who can really dominate midfield and the key will be to make sure he doesn't get the time of day. We will need Essien to transform in The Bison again and do his 'I'm your shadow for the day'' thing. That's why he should be started in the DM role, staying in front of the back four the whole game. Tottenham's counter-attacks will be deadly with Bale, Lennon and Defoe. We will need Essien's pace, power, fantastic determination, tackling and great ability to read the game to deal with them. Mikel doesn't have the pace and determination, or simply put is sometimes too damn lazy, to deal with their (pacy) players and often ends up too late because of those things.

That leaves us with Obi. He is by far the best passerof the three (Obi, Ess, Ramires) and has the best vision. He also has the best touch and ball control, which can be vital in a tight midfield battle. He should be the man to dictate play and picking the (effective) passes. He plays this role in his national team and could be vital for us today in that role, we really miss that type of player.

I still think this should be Mikel's role. A player like Mikel should help out in defense but not be one of the main men dealing with threatning attacks. Like I said before the Spurs game, Mikel lacks the discipline in defensive duties (for a topside), much like the man CA tried/tries to transform him into (Pirlo).

It's a underappreciated role but a very effective one, especially in teams that play possession football. Ballack had that role last season but because of his age, he no longer had the consistency to reach the needed level week in, week out.

With Frank back in the team, I really think it could work. For years Frank combined two roles, the playmaker role/dictating play and being one of the main goal-scorers. And for years he managed to combine the two roles (still amazed about how underrated he is as a player). But last season it became clear that he can no longer combine the two roles. It simply became too much for him and it's fully understandable. He is 32 years old and like it or not but he is starting to decline, nowhere near finished though.

Words can't describe his 08/09 season, he was a football-god for me that season. Even though he broke his goal-scoring records last season, his overall play was (a lot) weaker compared to his 08/09 season.

That's why i think someone should take over one his duties in this team, like Ballack did last season. Obi's my pick, neither Ramires or Essien posses a true goal-scoring threat or the ability to dictate play. Let Frank focus on the attacking and let Essien focus on the defending (Essien seriously needs to find his form again though).

Ball retention, passing, off-the-ball movement in team moves/build-up, reading the game, helping out in defense, these things are Mikel's main strengths. The things he needs to improve is to pass the ball quicker, playing more incisive passes, joining the attack more and of course his shooting. Working on his weak foot would also help his game a lot and also make him that much harder to disposses.

Funny you posted that article LDN since i was about to the post the same thing, well the Carrick video in that article.

This is Mikel for me.

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off course we do but only as a back up for essien , i would love to have a midfield of essien , lamps and a creative midfielder (hamsik-pastore) with mikel amd ramires as back ups ,

let's face it mikel may be is not the best DM right now but as blue lion said he is 23 , he can improve and he will have loads of experience in 5 years when there will be no essien .

we should keep him but that doesn't neglect the fact that we desperately need hamsik / pastore .

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Blue Heart already said what I wanted to so there's not use in posting the same things.

But I'd like to ask how and why did this whole Mikel discussion start.

I don't remember any doubts about him or his position last year when we were cruising, earlier in the season when everyone was on top form, or back in November when he was holding our midfield by himself.

This whole thing started when everyone noticed that we weren't scoring goals, I'd say that trying to fix a potential midfield problem doesn't make much sense when it's your attackers that are letting you down.

However, I think I remember some journo last season claiming that we started free-scoring just after Mikel got injured.

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Blue Heart already said what I wanted to so there's not use in posting the same things.

But I'd like to ask how and why did this whole Mikel discussion start.

I don't remember any doubts about him or his position last year when we were cruising, earlier in the season when everyone was on top form, or back in November when he was holding our midfield by himself.

This whole thing started when everyone noticed that we weren't scoring goals, I'd say that trying to fix a potential midfield problem doesn't make much sense when it's your attackers that are letting you down.

However, I think I remember some journo claiming that we started free-scoring just after Mikel got injured.

Because for some people it is a lot easier to blame Mikel than it is to criticise Malouda, Anelka, Drogba etc. If only Mikel scored goals eh, that would solve everything!

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Mikel is not the reason we are falling. But he is garbage. Mikel, Kalou and Ferreira are players who should have left Chelsea years ago. If he was on the bench, playing few matches, that would be fine. But when I saw that Mikel is one of our starting XI, and some guys even said he was our midfield maestro, I just realized that something really wrong was going on.

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In a nutshell, NO!

For me he is far too slow in speed and in getting rid of the ball, he doesn't get involved enough in the business end either, good squad player but thats as far as my praise for him will go i'm afraid!

Ballack showed us all how to play in that role and i couldn't believe we let him go as we finally found a home for his ability, it was no coincidence that we were destroying teams in the last 10/15 games of last season, i would like to of seen Ballack being given a 2 year contract and that way we could of blended in Ramires instead of throwing him at the deep end so to speak.

I agree though that Mikel's game would be better suited in Italy and would let him go for decent fee so we could use that to buy a couple of quality players to re-invigorate our lack of confidence squad.

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If Ashley and Bosingwa go forward, who do you expect to cover for them? Only two CBs?

His passing is great, only thing that I would like him to do is to be much more involved in direct actions, not indirect.

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