SUPER EAGLES midfielder, John Obi Mikel, appears not to be a vital part of Chelsea’s plan for the 2012/13 English Premier League campaign, if words coming out of the Blues’ pre-season training camp in the United States are anything to go by.
The Nigeria international contributed immensely to Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich last May but club boss, Roberto Di Matteo does not consider Mikel an important member of the squad as he plans to close the 25-point chasm that opened up between Chelsea and champions, Manchester City, in the Premier League last season.
“The spine of this team remains absolutely crucial. Petr Cech, John Terry, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard — they will be vital in the integration of the new players coming in.
“It’s all about getting the right balance between being physically strong and technically able.”
“City have done what we did in 2004 — exploded on to the scene, signed a lot of players and tried to build a foundation.
“The challenge for us is to make up 25 points on them and that is going to be very difficult. We have to be much more consistent.
“My job now is to motivate the players and find the right team to challenge in every league game.
“The fact that we’re going to have some hungry, new young players will help.
“We are bringing in younger, established players like Eden Hazard and Marko Marin to become the foundation of the club over the years.