John Obi Mikel has been talking about how pleased he is that Chelsea have given him a contract extension that will keep him tied to the club until 2014, and is looking forward to the new season under Ancelotti.
He said yesterday: “I think I am very pleased with the way things have gone for me since I have got here, every season I am improving and I am very pleased with the new contract and hope things go like last season, even better,”
“It is a good thing for me if the team goes well with the new manager. I have worked with him for two weeks and we are trying to get to know the formation he wants to play. Before the season starts we are all going to be mentally focused and we’re going to get the system right. The team wants to win titles and this is why he is here.”
Ancelotti echoed his statement, and emphasised his importance to the team: “Obi is a young player, he has great quality, technical, tactical, for the present and for the future he is a very important player for us,”
“We are very happy he has signed a new contract, and I hope that he stays at Chelsea for a lot of years and I would like that he puts for the team his great quality.”
It is worth remembering that Mikel is still only 22, so although he is a regular fixture in the team, he still has lots of improvement to come. He seems to have overcome his recklessness that earned him many yellow and red cards early in his Chelsea career and it looks like he is going to become a kingpin of the Chelsea midfield.
The Chelsea match against Milan is going to be played in front of a sell-out crowd of 71,000 and Mikel praised the attitude of the fans in America. He said: “I think the fans have been great, they welcomed us very well and we have been very pleased with the way they welcomed us. We have to go out tomorrow and make sure we give them a good game.”
Ancelotti felt the same as he stated: “For us it is fantastic to have sold out the stadium, because there are a lot of fans that come to see the match. We want to do the best to give enjoyment and make a difference in the USA,”
It certainly is amazing the way that soccer has taken off in America at last, and Chelsea have played every game in front of a full house. I’m not sure that David Beckham has caused all this leap of interest in the USA, but at least the fans are now coming out in droves to boo him when he is on the pitch!