John Obi Mikel might have missed out on a Premier League winners’ medal after signing for us in the summer of 2006 but after finally picking one up last season, the Chelsea player has talked up his commitment to the club and the role he could have in defending our title.
Coincidentally, he’s done so just as our new signing Ramires – who plays in the holding role – has arrived at the club, stating “I feel at home at Chelsea. When I signed I was only 19 and looking back I have really enjoyed my four years at the club. In that time I have learned a lot, gained more experience and I know how to read the game better. After all that time playing for a team like this in a League like this, you’ll always be better for it. I’m very happy playing under Carlo Ancelotti. After a season together I feel I know him well. He’s a manager I can speak to, in many ways he’s like a father. He gives me great confidence.”
On the title, 23 year old Mikel says “Winning the Premier League was the big one to add to my list. I had won every other domestic trophy since arriving at Chelsea in the summer of 2006 — the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Community Shield. But it took until May this year to get my first Premier League winners’ medal. It’s fantastic to have been able to win all those things by the age of 23 but I suppose that is the benefit of starting your career early. I know there are a lot of great players out there who haven’t won any of those things. I feel very happy and very blessed. The next one to add is the Champions League.”
And on this season, a season where clearly his holding role between Lampard and Essien in a 4-3-3 is likely to be under threat from Ramires, Mikel says “It’s going to be another very tough season. United will be hungry to win the title back. I think City will be up there but we want it just as much, if not more, and it will be our job to try to keep it. For me, once I’ve won something, I want to keep it. We only won the Premier League a couple of months ago but already I feel like it didn’t happen. Just because you have won something it doesn’t mean you lose that hunger. I still have a desire to win all the competitions in which we play. It’s the only way to be in my opinion. Truly great teams win things multiple times and that’s what I want Chelsea to do.”
He’s actually come on really well in spite of varying amounts of use under different managers in the last 4 years and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Ramires in the squad now.