MIKEL HAS LOST CREATIVE SPARK -SIASIA
Nigeria's Head Coach, Samson Siasia, has expressed concern that Chelsea's midfielder, John Mikel Obi, has lost the creativity that catapulted him to the world stage six years ago in Holland during the FIFA Under-20 World Championships.
The 43-year-old Nigerian coach told SuperSport.com that the FC Lyn-Oslo's former midfielder is no longer the same player he handled at the 2005 edition of the FIFA Under-20 World Championships when the Nigerian Under-20s finished in second place behind their Argentine counterparts.
Siasia, who has coached the Nigerian Under-20 and Under-23s, said he was ready to talk to the 23-year-old midfielder to help him rediscover that creative flash that saw two English Premier League clubs, Chelsea and Manchester United, battle for his signature before the former got him into its fold.
But Siasia said that the situation is not all gloom, as he acknowledged that the defensive ability of the Plateau United's former man has improved a great deal. 'Sincerely, Mikel is not the same player that I knew in 2005 when we finished second behind Argentina in the Under-20 World Cup.
He has lost his creative spark but defensively, he is a better player. But as coach of the national team, I will do everything in my disposal to help him get back to his creative best. 'Don't get me wrong here. I am not saying that he is no longer a good player. But what I am saying is that there is need to see Mikel get to the goal area of the opponents and shoot more.
Also, I will like to see him score a couple of goals and that will make him an all-round player defensively and offensively,' said the Nigerian manager. Siasia also said that Mikel would remain part of the rebuilding process of the Nigerian men's national team, as he is young and has years ahead of him in his career.