John Obi Mikel was a regular benchwarmer when Jose Mourinho was at the helm of Chelsea, but Mikel’s fortunes took a U-turn after Mourinho was sacked, before the appointment of interim manager Guus Hiddink. Since then, Mikel has rolled back the years and has found the perfect rhythm of form and luck. After stamping his name on staring sheet these days, the midfielder has criticised Mourinho, pointing to his attitude in the dressing room.
“It is the way he communicates with the players and maybe that is what the players felt they did not get from the previous manager.” he told BBC
“Sometimes players – not just because they are not playing – you need to communicate with them. You need to speak to them and don’t just ignore them because players like to be communicated to.” He added.
The 28-year-old Nigerian also spoke how the present manager, Guus Hiddink differs from Mourinho.
“This is what [Hiddink] has brought into the football club. In some ways you barely know he is in there, he is that calm and relaxed.”
Since Hiddink took charge of Chelsea, the team has not tasted defeat, and has moved to 13th position in the league from 16th, where they were lingering when Guus arrived at Stamford Bridge. The stakes and ignorance were lessened for Mikel as well as he has flourished since returning to the team. He has played 90 minutes in five of his last six games, and was imperative in Chelsea’s revival, with the pick of his performance coming against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium, who are challenging for the Premier League title.
This is Hiddink’s second stint as Chelsea manager, who have already won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2009. He has succeded in injecting a positive mentality to the club, which is evident from the team’s performances.