It says something about our season that it made the ever quiet John Obi Mikel unusually talkative. The Chelsea veteran has normally been discribed as one of the un-flashiest players to have played for Chelsea since Abramovic bought the club- both on, and off the pitch.
But recently, Mikel has been more than glad to give the press his two cents, one could even say that he has been one of the most vocal members of our club this term.
For reasons not known to many, Mikel seems to resent Mourinho’s tenure at our club, even though one would think that Mikel is everything Jose seeks in a player. But let’s leave our former manager’s bizarre player choices this season and see what Mikel has had to say:
“People change in any walk of life, maybe he [Mourinho] decided he wanted to do better in a different way and he didn’t need me anymore. He didn’t have the belief that he had in me before, which is fine because every manager has the player that they have trust in.”
Mourinho was undisputedly the man who influenced Mikel’s career the most, having converted him from an attacking midfielder- and the second best young player in the world after Messi at the time- to one of the least exciting and most pragmatic defensive midfielders in the world.
The change of play style at the time corresponded with a change of mentality for Mikel, who reportedly became a lot more composed and less party-loving in his private life. So all that influence makes Mikel’s comments all the more weird:
“I think confidence is everything, if a manager doesn’t believe in you, trust me there’s no way you can succeed. Even if you do things right he would always make sure he finds fault.”
“It is a tough business, football, so when a manager comes in he wants to have people he believes in. If he doesn’t believe in you he doesn’t play you. And I think it’s all about a manager giving a player confidence.”
“Hiddink came in, he spoke to me, he gave me the confidence and now I have played 20 games and we’re in the best position – where we haven’t been all season.”
Mikel’s words are possibly the strongest we’ve ever heard from the 28 year-old, which obviously tells plenty about how bad things have gotten between him and Mourinho before Hiddink came along.
It also supports the theory that The Special One had lost what used to be his best trait in man-management, as many reported that a number of the players became unmotivated under than man who used to build his teams around his own confidence and father-like love for his players.
The details of what exactly has happened to Mourinho towards the end of the past season will probably never be 100% known by the public, but we will hopefully learn more once a little time passes by and once Mourinho gets another job.