18 March 2011
Samson Siasia says he won’t ‘confuse’ John Mikel Obi by making him play in an advanced midfield position for Nigeria.
The Chelsea midfielder played as a teenager under Siasia in an attacking midfield role as Nigeria’s Under-20s reached the Final of the 2005 World Youth Championship.
Upon joining Chelsea in a fractious transfer involving Manchester United and Lyn Oslo, Mikel was shunted to defensive midfield by Jose Mourinho.
While subsequent Chelsea coaches have continued from where Mourinho left off, previous Nigeria coaches have insisted on deploying him as the Super Eagles offensive midfield general, a position Siasia has now said he would not take.
“We’ll keep him where he is right now. He’s doing well there, why confuse him? The boy has a lot in his head already. All we have to do is get someone in front of him.
“He’ll play for us in the same position that he plays for Chelsea,” Siasia told KickOffNigeria.com. “He has a lot on his mind and there is no need to confuse him.”
Despite ruling Mikel out of the attacking midfield role, Siasia remains confident he will have no shortage of options, especially with the emergence of Inter Milan’s Joel Obi.
“We have Joel can play as a creative player, and we also have Kalu Uche who can play in a number of positions, including that one so there is no problem,” Siasia said.
AllAfrica – All the Time
Nigeria: I Won’t Change Mikel’s Position – Siasia