Why Jose Mourinho Converted Mikel Obi From Attacking To Defensive Midfielder
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By Our Correspondent With Agency Report
In 2006, former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi joined English Premier League giants, Chelsea Football Club from Norwagian side, Lyn Oslo
Mikel’s move to the EPL was not without controversy after he shone like a star at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Holland where I played in the atta king midfield but was later converted to a defensive midfielder by Mourinho.
The midfielder, who retired last week at the age of 35, was the subject of a bitter dispute between the Manchester United and the Chelsea in 2005, before signing for the latter the following year.
After winning the Silver Ball at that tournament in the Netherlands, Mikel completed his protracted switch to Chelsea a year later.
BBC reports that the then Blues Boss Jose Mourinho converted the Nigerian into a holding midfielder – a role he played throughout his stay at the West London club but one which much to the disdain of football fans at home.
They watched Mikel thrive as an attacking midfielder, with many critical of his new role at Chelsea, but Mikel insists he had no issues with the switch to becoming a defensive player.
“Mourinho decided that he wanted me to play the defensive midfield position. At the end of the day, he is the coach and made the decision,” Mikel recalled.
“We discussed and he felt that because of the big midfield players he had in his squad at Chelsea that I should play the defensive midfield role.
“[Claude] Makelele was just finishing his career at Chelsea, so Mourinho wanted me to take over from Makelele.”