Jose Mourinho shed light on his decision to convert John Mikel Obi from an attacking midfielder to a defensive midfielder during their time together at Chelsea. Speaking on the ObiOne Podcast, Mourinho emphasized the crucial elements he sought in his defensive midfielders.
Mourinho highlighted specific traits he valued in players occupying that role, mentioning attributes such as physical strength, tactical positioning, and a selfless attitude toward the team’s needs. He emphasized the importance of simplicity in the player’s game, favoring quick, one or two-touch plays that contributed to the team’s fluidity.
The former Chelsea manager appreciated Mikel’s qualities, noting his ability to occupy space effectively and make quick decisions on the field. He emphasized the significance of balance in a team, both in possession and without the ball, and how a defensive midfielder plays a pivotal role in maintaining that equilibrium.
Under Mourinho’s guidance, Mikel evolved into a fantastic positional midfielder, demonstrating swift decision-making, simplicity in play, and a team-first mentality. Mourinho’s strategic move saw Mikel thrive in his role, contributing significantly to Chelsea’s success during their time together.
Mikel’s tenure at Chelsea under Mourinho’s guidance saw him amass impressive achievements, winning multiple league titles, FA Cups, and prestigious European trophies.