Mikel - Rate him or hate him - Whats your opinion?

I am getting the impression that alot of Chelsea fans do not rate Mikel judging posts and opinions being put on here today and in the past...

Chelsea v Spartak Moscow, Champions League Group F 3/11/2010 John Obi Mikel of Chelsea during the lineup  Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

I am getting the impression that alot of Chelsea fans do not rate Mikel judging posts and opinions being put on here today and in the past and I have to say I am slightly shocked by it.

A regular poster on here compared him to Claude Makelele and I have to say that's harsh to be honest. They are very different players. Makelele was that good in the holding role the position has been named after him. His defensive instinct and positional sense was first rate and we are yet to see anyone of the same mould appear in world football. Some may argue one or two names but you would be hard pushed to state they are on the same level as Claude in his prime.

Mikel for me is a different player and we have to remember he wasn't a defensive midfielder when he was growing up and starting out in football. For me anyway the job he does in the side is for the majority first rate. Don't get me wrong I am not saying he is in the same class as Maka but he offers Chelsea with a very different option.

A regular poster on here stated earlier about Mikel:
"relatively lethargic, one-paced luxury player Mikel. There is no comparison whatsoever, defensively, between these players. Makelele set out to destroy opponents' attacks with non-stop tigerish play whereas Mikel is satisfied to limit his contribution to some relaxed, almost walking-speed mopping up. And for all Mikel's undoubted silky skills, his creative end product is virtually as negligible as Makelele's and he has even managed to score FEWER GOALS THAN MAKELELE"
I do find his comments harsh so am wondering if you agree with me. Let me just make a case for Mikel here. He hasn't been asked to produce an end product that refers to how many times he puts the ball in the back of the net as that isn't his job. His job is to be a shield in front of the back four first of all, break up the opponents attacks and then start off our forward play.

I said before when I posted my reply to the poster that I have lost count how many times Mikel has put a foot in and won the ball, broke up and attack and started off a counter attack this and last season.

Also, he mentions that he plays at walking pace, well in response to that he is asked to play "within the width of the penalty box" and not drift from side to side. The likes of Ramires, Malouda, Lampard and Essien have that job. When you sit in your defensive position I wouldn't expect him to be running all over the pitch at full pace like a headless chicken.

What we need to remember here is the important role that Mikel plays ONLY when we play the 4-3-3 formation. Mikel was sacrificed in order for Chelsea to make the switch to 4-4-2 yesterday.

I personally rate Mikel and feel that the role he plays for Chelsea in that formation is a very important one. One that he is growing into more and more as the season's go by and feel as though he sounds to be undervalued.

So do the rest of you agree? Answer the following question with an argument for your comments:
Does Mikel do a good enough job to warrant being in the team?

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