Welcome again to another segment of one of the famous debate that radiates among football lovers in my favourite viewing centre. This time around, the centre of the topic is John Mikel obi, the current skipper of the Super Eagles of Nigeria and presently a player in Chinese club Tianjin Teda. Mikel came to limelight following the FIFA World Youth Championship under coach Samson Siasia wher Mikel played as an attacking midfielder and was famous for his charismatic movement and sleek passes. Nigeria came second in the competition due to a loss to Argentina and he was rated as the second best player of the tournament with Lionel Messi being the best player of the tournament. Following that was the controversial transfer that saw him make a move to Chelsea after Manchester United's claim of previously signing the young lad. After some court cases, Mikel's choice was finally honoured and he rejected Manchester United to play for Chelsea from Lyn in 2006. Mikel was able to spend a decade in Chelsea from 2006 to January 2017. You may now want to know what causes the argument.
The 2006 transfer to Chelsea has now become the subject of argument, some believed Mikel made the wrong choice then, that if he had opted for United, he would have been at his best probably still competing with Lionel Messi till date. While others in summary, believed he made the right choice in opting for Chelsea because Mourinho saw his future, and he brought the best out in him, allowing the survival of his career till now. At this point you may still be wondering that the argument is baseless, that anybody could have performed better in any other club and could have been worse. But the basis of the argument was the conversion of his playing position.
The Nigerian international shorn brightly at the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2005 as an attacking midfielder who bears the responsibility of initiating and controlling attack. But on his arrival in Chelsea, Jose Mourinho known for his strategic and tactical way of playing the game successfuly converted him from his attacking midfield role to a holding midfielder popularly known as a standing or blocking mifielder, a kind of midfielder that support defense when other midfielders are attacking. This angered some football lovers and fan of the player, and some Nigerians were especially disappointed because they thought he would be the best replacement for the then talented Austin Jay Jay Okocha. So, those not happy with the move and conversion condemns the player even till today, a man in my viewing centre said the position he was converted to made him lazy and somehow useless for the national team. While most Chelsea lovers supports the midfielder and believed the conversion was necessary judging from the calibre of coach that converted him.
My point of view though, as much as I believed both party has a point to prove, I will just base my own point on his success rate. Mikel spent a total of ten years in Chelsea, from my point of view I don't think he could have been retained and valued till this time in Manchester United. Mikel was very successful in the blue shirt, he had trophies in his kitten, the FA cup, Barclay's Premier league trophy, Carling cup, Europa, UEFA Champion's league, Community shield e.t.c. Sometimes I love to compare how his career might have ended like that of Anderson because then, Anderson was used, I belief, as a replacement for Mikel when his transfer didn't click. And come to think of it, then United has very good attacking midfielders that seems hard to replace, players like Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Miller, Darren Fletcher and a host of others, he might probably have been transferred or loan out of the club. But all the same, I think Mikel would look back at his career and cherished the decision he made. He is now leaving Stamford Bridge as one of the player that has the most appearance in the blues shirt.