torsdag den 25. november 2010

Jon Obi Mikel


Central midfielder- Nigeria

2010/2011 Mid-season: 197
End of 2010/11 - Start of 2011/12: 142
2011/2012 Mid-season:  240
End of 2011/12 - Start of 2012/13: 240

End of 2011/12 - Start of 2012/13:

When Roberto Di Matteo took over from Villas Boas, Mikel started to feature more once again and proved valuable in more defensive tactics as the best holding midfielder on the team.

2011/2012 Mid-season:

Mikel was quite simply not someone Villas-Boas saw as part of his plans for Chelsea, so he hasn't featured much so far this season.

I do have to say that this does feel too low for him though and I could see him (being still only 24) rise pretty quickly eventually.
There is a lot you can point at him lacking (see previous writeups below), but he does play a holding midfield role at a high level, is very proven there, and can be valuable to a lot of teams. Including Chelsea, depending of course, on the ideas of a new manager.

End of 2010/11 - Beginning of 2011/12 RANKING


A good sized jump up the list from my 200 list where I was shamefully guilty of focusing on the bad over the good things, so good, it gives him an edge over most of his central midfield colleagues out there.

Now there are even signs that the bad is improving:

Ancelotti in an interview from the beginning of the season:

Last season, he had an average of 18 per cent forward passes and in the three games this season he had 38 per cent. He's trying to put more balls directly to strikers.

It's still not good enough for Chelsea in order to not really miss their better central midfielders at times when the going gets tough but Mikel's physical gifts and general technical ability should ensure him a high spot among central midfielders for years to come.


Speaking of physical ability and good technique we have one here so capable of both that he probably should be way higher.
Unfortunately, like I've written about several times in other entries, Ancelotti's midfield Chelsea diamond and with the other player characteristics in and around it, very much requiring non slow short passing distribution to be very effective, that's just something that has not been a good friend of Mikel and he has really struggled in it:

Again things started of slow with too much short passing going through Mikel resulting in nothing positive except for Hull that is.
I do think Mikel is a good player who when the first few times I saw him thought would become an excellent one. Of that I'm not so sure anymore. But he is very strong and can do the simple things and play an effective holding midfielder role.

What he just isn't though is a really effective distributor in what is clearly meant to be an attacking possession game. He won't make that very good pass to people making runs in front of him and won't make a quick first touch pass to a Bosingwa coming forward. Or be part of a nice one-two or triangle with his colleagues in the diamond.

That unfortunately was his role however so he did look to do those things but the result was turnovers and/or momentum for Hull. He was never comfortable and either took too long on the ball, lost it or both.
Resulting in 1-0 for Hull and Mikel getting substituted at halftime.

It's not like he is a bad passer of the ball, he is very consistent actually, or has bad ball control (definitely not that).
He has just been way too slow at times and when seldomly trying to quicken things has made errors. Not good! And definitely a clear weakness for a player who on the surface at his time at Chelsea (there is that lack of pace and the reckless temper BUT other than that) had looked like he didn't really have any! Well he does, and that's why he is so low I guess, behind several of central midfielders yet to come.

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