Former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has opened up about his relationship with his former boss at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho bought the diminutive midfielder from Lyn Oslo in 2006 following his sterling performance at the youth World cup in 2005, and converted him from an attacking midfielder to a defensive midfielder.
But two red cards issued against Mikel in 2007, reduced his game time at the club.
Mikel saw only 63 minutes of action in Chelsea’s next fifteen games in the Premier League after he was dismissed against Reading during the 2006-2007 season.
”Jose Mourinho didn’t play me for months after two red cards I saw for the first time. Then we had a great relationship with him. He was the one who brought me to the club,” Mikel said in an interview with Trabzonspor’s official magazine, as quoted via 61 Saat.
Even after all that happened, the former Nigeria captain was full of praise for Mourinho, who he described as the best coach who can control big-name players with high ego.
”Coaching is a very difficult job because you have to deal with a lot of high ego. You should be able to control and fight the big names with high ego.
”Jose Mourinho is one of the best technicians who do this. He is very successful both tactically and in terms of human relations. Even now we have a great relationship with him. You know Jose Mourinho. He’s his own person.”
Mikel spent more than a decade at Chelsea and was part of the squad that won a Champions League crown, the Europa League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups.