I was watching the GloCaf Award last night and I was really rooting for Mikel to win the African Player of the Year Award but deep down in my heart I knew Yaya Toure deserved it more. Comparing both players, Toure’s work rate is better than Mikel’s and there are some important elements Mikel never realized early in his career which are:
Discipline: No matter how great your talent is, without discipline you will always be an average. Let me cast your mind back to the World youth championship where Messi and Mikel were both picked out as the best player. Fast forward to the present, I don’t think I need to spell out the difference between the two players to you, it’s obvious. While Messi was busy working hard to up his game and he did, Mikel got to Chelsea and felt comfortable, he was showing up late for training session until Mourinho dealt with him.
Improvement: At all success point you attain in your career always tell yourself there is still room for improvement. When Mikel arrived at Chelsea, they had a fantastic line-up of midfield maestros namely; Ballack, Makalele, Deco and Lampard but Mikel never learnt anything from this guys. The attacking sense, the shooting accuracy, the free kick skills, team control and training ethics, Mikel learnt none of this from them. He was just busy feeling on top of the world that he now plays for Chelsea and when his time came to shine (because Age was taking the older guys out of the picture) he was not ready, so Chelsea had to bring in Ramires.
These points stated above have some worth affected his career and I can hear you ask me; in what way?
Salary: Currently Mikel earns between $110,000 and $120,000 per week. This figure is before the cruel UK tax on foreigners is deducted but he could be making a lot more if Chelsea feels threatened by other clubs interest in him which can only happen when he plays at his peak.
Awards: Truthfully Mikel had a good 2013 but his relevance in the team to both country and club can’t be compared to Yaya Toure’s. If Yaya misses any game for both club and country, he is greatly missed but Mikel out of action; the team might necessarily not miss him. Hence, the reason he did not win the African Player of the Tear Award.
Idolized: If Mikel had played his card right, he is meant to be worshiped by both club and country but it saddens me sometimes when you hear rumours of him being on the surplus-to-requirement list.
All this goes without saying that Mikel is a consistent player because every manager that had worked at Chelsea from the 2004/2005 season had him in their plan but if only he could more than just being consistent and be GREAT.
My reason for writing this article is not to castigate Mikel, it is so that all of us will learn from his mistakes which he (Mikel) is also doing now; by not resting on our laurels, by always thinking there is always one more river to cross and by always staying focus, determined to do more and praying hard.
P.S: I am a Mikel fan any day and I love him a lot which is why I always wish he would shine more.