One of Chelsea’s longest serving players of the modern era has left after 10 and a half years, he may have been marmite to some but his attitude and what he achieved makes “John Obi Mikel Chelsea Legend” the only way to describe the Nigerian captain.
John Obi Mikel was one of the most frustrating players, he gave us all heart attacks with his questionable control and passing at times. Yet he was at many times exactly what Chelsea needed, a loyal workhorse that did not complain and got on with his job. His period at the club will go down as one of the most exciting, turbulent and successful periods in the clubs history.
Signed as an attacking player he quickly settled into the role of defensive midfielder, scoring just six goals in 372 appearances. Fans would with kind hearted irony scream “Shooooooot!” whenever he had the ball inside the opposition half.
John Obi Mikel Chelsea Legend
Let’s not pretend all was rosy during his career. Mikel arrived under a cloud and was not the most popular player at Stamford Bridge because of his propensity for passing sideways and losing possession.
At times his selection or appearance from the bench would bring groans.
Deep down though Chelsea fans appreciated him. When he was out of the side for long periods he would just knuckle down and do his bit for the team. Whether he started or came on as an 89th-minute substitute he gave everything for the shirt.
He was often the standout player when things were not going well on the pitch. He put in a string of man of the match performances last season. With the fans singing his name on a consistent basis for the first time during his time at the club.
Mikel outlasted Jose Mourinho (TWICE), Avram Grant, Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink (Twice), Andre Villas Boas, the fat Spanish Waiter and Roberto Di Matteo.
He won well everything the Premier League, FA Cup, Charity Shield League Cup, Europa League and of Course Big Ears! I will never forget him chasing Arjen Robben around the pitch as he waited to take a penalty in extra time
“Petr Cech knows where you are going to kick it”.
The arrival of Antonio Conte and a late return due to the Olympics (where Mikel shone on and off the pitch) saw him disappear down the pecking order. Now is the right time but I am sorry to see him go
John Obi Mikel Legacy
John Obi Mikel Chelsea Legend is all I have to say about his legacy. He may have split opinions but with 372 appearances, countless trophies and a positive attitude he has written his name in the annals of history.
This day had to come but I am gutted that it has, the man even left with class!