Friday, August 2, 2019

John Mikel Obi

"Perfection isn't a characteristic of humans, notwithstanding the fact we strive towards it!" Cyril C. Nwokeji

he retirement of Skipper John Mikel Obi from the Super Eagles of Nigeria, after the 2019 AFCON competition, wasn't surprising. It was clear during the competition, the skipper, didn't fit any more into the young team built by Coach Rohr. He apparently saw the hand writing on the wall, notwithstanding his apparent intrinsic desire to continue with the Super Eagles, decided it was time to let the younger ones continue to develop. It was a case of taking a bow, when the ovation is loudest!

What kind of a player was Skipper John Obi Mikel for the Super Eagles of Nigeria? Most of the sentiments yours sincerely has about Skipper John Mikel Obi, have earlier been expressed in an earlier article titled: "Celebrating John Mikel Obi: The Super Eagles' mid-field maestro and Skipper, at twenty-nine!"

URL: https://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/nwokeji/051416.html

Yours sincerely will however add to the earlier stated sentiments, that, he was a player who cut his teeth in the game quite earlier on. With appearances for Nigeria at all World cup competitions: Under-17, Under-20 and the senior World cup competitions.

His most memorable World cup was the 2005 Under-20 World cup competition in the Netherlands, where he was voted the second best player of the tournament behind the great Lionel Messi!

His metamorphosis to the Super Eagles was only natural after the 2005 Under-20 World cup competition. He made his debut against Libya, in 2005, and within a short time, established himself as a key player in the Super Eagles. He was as a matter of fact, even as a young player, the star of the Super Eagles' mid-field. And just in time to take over in mid-field, from the legendary: Skipper Austin "Jay Jay" Okocha, the then skipper of the Super Eagles of Nigeria!

Even as a young player, he played his role well in the Super Eagles. It was clear a Super Eagles' mid-field without John Mikel Obi, was incomplete! Some coaches who tried to do without him, soon noticed this reality! He was for a period of fourteen years, the absolute supremo in the Super Eagles' mid-field!!!!

He had sometimes a controversial time in the Super Eagles. But this was not quite abnormal for a young man of that age.

At club level, he was a big player, who featured for a top club like Chelsea FC, even at a young age. His talent was noticed easily and apparently contributed to the tussle between Manchester United and Chelsea FC, for his services. A tussle which Chelsea FC won, after digging deep into their pocket to get him!

He won virtually all major titles at club level with Chelsea FC and is till date one of the most decorated Nigerian, nay African players!

Yours sincerely describes him as the "tactically erudite" player, because of his strict disciplinary adherence to tactics! A characteristic which makes him the darling of many top coaches. This characteristic sometimes makes him fall out of favour with many a soccer fan. Who prefer players that usually engage in "show boating", during the course of play: a la "Jay Jay" Okocha! But John Mikel Obi, is rather "economic" in his playing style, and would rather conserve energy by playing strictly to instructions! This may be the secret behind his long, successful and illustrious career so far!

Yours sincerely believes he will do well at his new club: Trabsonspor FC of Turkey. It is a new challenge that will further prickle his talent and ability!

However for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, he has reached the end of the road, and has subsequently recognised it!

In conclusion, here is wishing Skipper John Mikel Obi, the best in his further career at club level. He was by no means the perfect mid-fielder, but was certainly one of the very best produced by Nigeria!


Also at the link below, one can come into contact with a number of items, needed to support the Super Eagles at "EGYPT 2019" !!!!!


The book "Super Eagles of Nigeria : Pride of Africa", can also be gotten through the author. One can contact the author through : nwokeji.cyril@gmail.com Please note in this case, payment of postage costs will be necessary