Reigning champions Chelsea might be 14th after 20 Premier League games, but following their 3-0 win against Crystal Palace last weekend might finally have something to build upon.
One of the unsung heroes of the game was undoubtedly Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel - a true servant of the club having joined in 2006.
The 28-year-old midfielder produced a display to be proud of in the victory over Alan Pardew's side, and whilst the fans' chants and praise were aimed at the Blues' strikers, Mikel was vital in providing support to all those around him.
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His game in numbers read: 96% passing accuracy, three tackles won, two blocks made and one interception.
Recycling possession is a key element of any defensive midfielder’s game and this is exactly what Mikel done time after time, reading the game well and dominating the centre of the park.
What Chelsea have lacked so far, even despite having Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic at their disposal, is a player capable of providing stability - and it appears Mikel is the man to fill that void, allowing the former Spaniard the freedom to enforce his creative game.
A title bid appears out of the question, but European football remains a realistic goal for Guus Hiddink and his lowly side.
Improvements are gradually being made too, with Chelsea's defence and midfield looking sturdier whilst their strike force seem more in tune with eachother.
In his nine seasons at Stamford Bridge, the club's victory at Selhurst Park was arguably one of Mikel's best. The Nigerian has often come in for criticism during his time in west London, but with consistent playing time and trust could prove vital to Chelsea's season ambitions.
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