John Mikel Obi may have lost his automatic shirt in Chelsea’s first team with the arrival of Nemanja Matic in January, but the Super Eagles midfielder says he has seen the good and the bad times at Stamford Bridge to know there’s always a probable turnaround.
Mikel has now become an elder’s statesman at Chelsea, as only just John Terry and Petr Cech have spent longer time with the Blues.
Though the re-signed Didier Drogba joined the club two years before Mikel but, having been away after the Blues won the UEFA Champions League in Munich in 2012, the West African pair will both be beginning their ninth campaign at SW6.
“I’ve been in this team for a long time now. I came when I was 18 and I’m 27 now. Time flies,” he told the club’s official website.
“I’ve seen the good times and I’ve enjoyed the good times with this team. At the same time, I’ve shared bad times with the likes of John Terry and Petr Cech. There have been lots of good times in the nine years I’ve been here. Whenever there was a bad one, we’ve always come together as a team and we’ve always managed to turn it around.”
Cesc Fabregas, Felipe Luis and Diego Costa have been bought to bolster the team’s chance of silverware this season and Mikel is looking forward to integrating them in the team.
“The character and the belief that we have in this team, from the players that have been here a long time, I’m sure that will transform into the new players. It’s always a big pressure playing for this club. You always expect to win trophies every year so I’m sure the new players that have come in will help us win more trophies.
“They will know what representing this team is all about. Wearing the blue shirt and representing Chelsea is a privilege. I’m sure they will learn from us and we will be able to teach them one or two things.”
The new season starts for Chelsea in August 18 with a trip to Burnley, and the midfielder is already hoping for a successful campaign with trophies to boot.
“It’s been five or six days now I’ve been training. I’m getting back up to speed. Training is going very well. It’s been tough but you need this to have a good pre-season, and then we can look forward to the season.
“Hopefully it will be a very successful one for the team. Everyone wants to achieve something. We want to win trophies. We didn’t do that last season but this season we are all hoping we can have a good season and win some trophies.”
Mikel made his first appearance for Chelsea as a second half substitute in the 3-0 loss to Werder Bremen in a pre-season game at Weserstadion on Sunday.