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Mikel ready to dump Chelsea

Posted by By ONYEWUCHI NWACHUKWU on 2006/04/10 | Views: 1826 |

Mikel ready to dump Chelsea


Nigerian youth prodigy, John Mikel Obi, might be prevailed upon to go back to his vomit in the protracted transfer saga, which has seen two English Premiership giants, Manchester United and Chelsea battle for his services.

Nigerian youth prodigy, John Mikel Obi, might be prevailed upon to go back to his vomit in the protracted transfer saga, which has seen two English Premiership giants, Manchester United and Chelsea battle for his services.

The Egypt 2006 Nations Cup star signed for Manchester United from Lyn last year, but in a sudden twist, declared that he did that under duress and instead, re-declared his preference for Chelsea.

However, speaking to Sunday Sunsport in an exclusive interview in Lagos, Mikelís elder brother, Ebere Obi, who is the goalkeeper of Premier League side, Rangers International of Enugu, revealed that the former Flying Eagle would be prevailed upon to shift ground if that would salvage his career.

"If going to Man U will stop all these mess, we would appeal to Mikel to do what would save his career from early destruction," stated Ebere, who joined Rangers last season from Mighty Jets of Jos.
"If Mikel says he wants to play for Man U today, Shittu canít stop him from doing whatever he wants."

The Rangers goalkeeper confessed that his younger brotherís inactivity after doing so well at the World Youth Championship (WYC) in Holland last year and Egypt 2006 Nations Cup has been giving their family sleepless nights.

"We are very worried. I would be lying if I tell you we are not perturbed. Iíve been having sleepless nights over this issue.
"Mikel is too young for the kind of controversy he is facing at the moment. In fact, my parents and siblings are sad that he has remained inactive for so long," Ebere said.


You joined Rangers last season from Mighty Jets, how has it been with you?
It has been a different ballgame altogether. You can imagine how different it was for me to join a big team like Rangers International of Enugu all the way from Mighty Jets of Jos. I had no other option than to work very hard and the technical crew also worked on me to improve my game. Looking at it critically, I would say my experience with Rangers has been really splendid.

Having lived in Jos with your family since you were born, didnít you feel homesick the first
day you arrived Enugu?

Honestly, it was extremely difficult for me to cope the first day I arrived Enugu. At first, I wanted to run back to Jos the following day, but I came to realise that this is my career and that was how I summoned up courage to remain in Enugu. I had to adapt to the weather and start making friends, who helped me to settle down. Now, I am enjoying my stay in Enugu.

Rangers have been struggling of late. Even at home, you labour to win matches. Is it that the team are not comfortable playing at home any longer?
We are comfortable playing before our home fans, but I think we play under little or no pressure during away matches.

Because of your close resemblance to your younger brother, John Mikel Obi, how do you feel when people call you Mikel?
I feel very excited when people call me Mikel, because itís not easy for him to have made the kind of name he has made in a short period of time. Ever since he took part in the World Youth Championship (WYC) last year, the name Mikel Obi has become internationally recognised. For me, itís a thing of pride to be called Mikel.

Are you not jealous that your younger brother is more popular and successful than you are?
I donít see it that way. I canít be jealous of my own blood brother. I always give God the glory when people call me Mikel. In fact, when Mikelís fans greet me, I usually reciprocate by greeting them back. Iím not jealous of him because I believe itís a question of time before my own time to shine will come. God gave him the opportunity to get to where he is today and I know that by His special grace, I will get there too.

And how do your parents feel about the two of you?
They are very proud of us. They feel we have made the family proud. They have not stopped thanking God at every church service for the progress we have made in Nigerian football.

Is Mikel your immediate junior?
The twins, Chioma and Chima are in between Mikel and I; they are older than Mikel.

So, how was growing up in Jos like?

It was very difficult for us when we were kids. We struggled to feed and train. To even kit ourselves during training was extremely difficult. Life was hard for us, I must confess.

Personally, which club do you want Mikel to play for, Manchester United or Chelsea?
Well, I feel my brother has his own life to live. I am Ebere, he is Mikel. He has gone on trials in those two clubs. He has trained with Manchester United at Old Trafford as well as Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He knows the club he wants, besides, he has said it a number of times that he would want to play for Chelsea. So, I think the best thing for us to do for him is to respect his wishes. And I think Chelsea are better for him. I donít think going to Manchester United would help his career.

Is your family not worried that Mikelís continued inactivity could ruin his career?
We are very worried. I would be lying if I tell you we are not perturbed about his transfer problems. Iíve been having sleepless nights over the issue, because Mikel is too young for the kind of controversy he is facing at the moment. In fact, my parents and siblings are not happy that he has remained clubless after doing so well at the WYC last year and the Egypt 2006 Nations Cup.

What is your familyís stand on the transfer saga, are you going to appeal to John Shittu to allow him play for Man U or are you going to appeal to Mikel to rescind his decision?
We are not going to appeal to Shittu. If Mikel says he wants to play for Man U today, so be it. He knows what is good for him and his career, if he decides that he wants to play for Man U, Shittu canít stop him from doing whatever he wants. We donít have any plans to appeal to Shittu, we can only appeal to Mikel to allow superior reasoning to prevail. If going to Man U will stop all these mess, we can only appeal to Mikel to save his career from early destruction.

Are you insinuating that Shittu is not forcing Mikel to play for Chelsea?
I donít think Shittu is imposing Chelsea on Mikel because what most people donít know is that Mikel has been a staunch fan of Chelsea right from the outset. In our family, while I am a Man U fan, Mikel supports Chelsea to a fault.

Letís go back to your base. Enugu is well known for its beautiful girls. How do you manage to get along with them?
I agree with you totally. There are very beautiful girls in Enugu and thereíre so many of them that can lead one into temptation. But as for me, I know what brought me to Enugu, and that is my focus. Everybody likes women, but my career comes first more than anything else does.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.