Former Tottenham star Jamie Redknapp criticises Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel, lavishes praise on Arsenal’s Johan Djourou

John Mikel ObiIn the aftermath of Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates, several Blues players have come under heavy criticism.

Former Tottenham and England star Jamie Redknapp has pointed to Chelsea’s midfield as the problematic area in the team, particularly singling John Obi Mikel as an under-performer.

In his column for the Daily Mail, Redknapp blames Obi Mikel for allowing Arsenal to dominate the middle of the park during last night’s league match, and suggests Carlo Ancelotti should reinforce his squad with a player in the mold of former Chelsea stalwart Claude Makelele.

“John Mikel Obi was taken off at halftime. His deep midfield role should be a dream position. You should boss the game, touch the ball 100 times and put out fires whenever there’s danger. Mikel rarely passes the ball forward and is a weak link.

“Chelsea have lacked a player there since the master, Claude Makelele, had the position named after him. Michael Essien could go there, but it would curb his instincts. They may have to buy in January.”, commented Redknapp.

The pundit also went on to praise the selection and performance of Swiss international Johan Djourou, who made a surprising start for Arsenal yesterday and proved successful in negating the threat of Chelsea ace Didier Drogba.

“You have to praise Arsene Wenger’s gamble with his team sheet. No Andrey Arshavin, who doesn’t do enough of the hard stuff and switches off without the ball, and Johan Djourou was terrific against Didier Drogba.”

“Eyebrows would have been raised with the selection of the Swiss defender against Arsenal’s nemesis, but he matched the Chelsea forward for power and strength. Drogba wants to bully opponents; Djourou won all the big duels. A top display.”, he wrote.

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