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StoryJohn obi Mikel faces Criticism after performance for Chelsea

John obi Mikel has come under criticism recently after his poor performances for Chelsea and Nigeria. However, Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi says that the 27-year-old still continues to have tremendous quality.

Nigeria were expected to be one of the African nations to do well at the World Cup 2014 after having won the Africa Cup of Nations just a year ago. However, losses against France and poor performances in the other group matches meant that they were unable to get past the last 16 round. Mikel has been very ineffective in the qualification matches for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

This has led to calls that he should be dropped from the Nigerian team just as it has been done for Chelsea in recent months. After the arrival of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas in the space of six months, Jose Mourinho has decided to completely do away with Mikel in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield. The 27-year-old is yet to start a league match this season and all of his six appearances have come as a substitute. He has managed only just over 100 minutes of league action this season. Even though there have been no transfer rumours about an impending departure from Chelsea, it would not be surprising if he leaves the West London outfit in January or in the summer.

“Mikel brings a lot of professionalism to the team. He’s a fighter. He hates losing with a passion.In training sessions, it’s the same – always professional and always serious minded.I hate to say this but it seems some Nigerians don’t like thinking about the past because the Mikel that is criticised so much today is the same Mikel that was praised by almost all Nigerians during the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.Has he suddenly become a bad footballer?” said Keshi.