After 185 games John Obi Mikel has finally scored for Chelsea in the west London derby against Fulham; his well-timed and well-struck side volley from six yards has ended the seven-year drought for his club in terms of goals. But why has it taken so long?
Well, Mikel's role for Chelsea is winning the first ball in the air and retaining possession in the middle of the pitch, something he does with success on a consistent basis.
Maybe you'd expect from a 6ft 2in man that he would score more headers. Well, no. When Chelsea have an attacking free-kick or corner, he covers the defence where John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic push forward to attack the ball. Mikel sits back and readies himself to clear any counter-attacking threat.
The real type of player where you don't actually see how much he does for his team on the pitch until you fully watch him the whole match - now why would you watch one player for the whole match?
Well, watch him to give him the respect of what he does for his team. Constantly dominating the midfield against all forms of opposition. Personally he doesn't get the recognition he deserves around the Premier League and even with the Chelsea fans, but as a Blues fan myself, he gets my greatest praise.
Mikel has scored four times in his 51 appearances for Nigeria, which is a lot better than one in 185 for Chelsea. Sure he snatches at his shots and he's no Frank Lampard in scoring goals from midfield positions, but he's your ultimate defensive midfielder and it's time people respect him for who he is.
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