Chelsea fans are divided over the performance of Super Eagles midfielder, Mikel Obi in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Newcastle which effectively ended their unbeaten run to the season.
While some echoed former Newcastle and England striker,Allan Shearer’s sentiments,blaming the Nigerian for not measuring up to the standard set by suspended Serb,Nemanja Matic,others hailed the former Lyn Oslo star for putting up one of his best performances in the colours of Chelsea.
Some of the fans were apprehensive before the match following Matic’s absence and they thought without his influence from midfield Chelsea would not be able to get the desire result.
Some others believed Jose Mourinho has an extremely experienced replacement in the form of Mikel, even if he has not played on a regular basis in recent weeks and months.
It was the Nigerian’s first start of the Premier League season and his first since May, so his performance was always going to come under the microscope.
The fans on Shearer’s side like a certain Daniel Sloss believes Mikel did not influence the game quite like Matic has done for Chelsea this season. The main reason is the speed in his transition.
Mikel takes three languid touches when Matic takes two to get Chelsea on the move in a more crisp and ferocious fashion.
The fact is Matic was bought as an upgrade on Mikel because he is simply that, an upgrade. So when Mikel plays something will be taken away from Chelsea’s performance.
’14 game unbeaten streak ended the second Mikel starts a game. And I refuse to believe that’s a coincidence,’ tweeted Sloss @Daniel_Sloss.
To some others like Frank Lampard UK and Adam Wojtkowiak,Mikel did not have a bad game.To them and many others on twitter,he was one of the least to blame players out on the pitch.
He got stuck in, made some great tackles and toward the end of the game his howitzer passes were causing endless trouble in the Newcastle area.
‘Brilliant game from Mikel so far, looks so calm in possession,’ tweeted Frank Lampard UK @FrankLampardUK,who spoke the m ind of many others.