China-based Eagles missing as Rohr lists 25 for Senegal, Burkina Faso friendlies.

Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has listed goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and forwards Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho for this month’s international friendly matches against Senegal and Burkina Faso in London. But Skipper John Obi MIkel is conspiculoous by his absence in the list. Rohr did not give any explanation for the omission of the midfielder, who referred joined Tianjin Teda in the Chinese League.

But home–based goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo and forwards Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon are in the list.

Experienced left back Elderson Echiejile, Portugal–based Chidozie Awaziem, Israel–based John Ogu and Watford FC of England forward, Isaac Success are also called.

The Super Eagles will be up against Senegal’s Teranga Lions on Thursday, 23rd March before taking on the Etalons of Burkina Faso four days later. Both matches will be played at The Hive, home ground of Barnet Football Club.

The full list
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Paul Ekong (KAA Gent, Belgium); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Uche Henry Agbo (Granada FC, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (FC Zeljeznicar, Bosnia Herzegovina); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Gijon, Spain); Kingsley Madu (Zulte Waregem, Belgium); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Noah Joel Bazee (Hannover 96, Germany); Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg FC, Germany).

 

Source: The Guardian

Mikel suffers eighth consecutive loss with Chinese club, Tianjin Teda.

Super Eagles captain, Obi Mikel and his teammates at Chinese out fit, Tianjin Teda continued their dismal performance, after losing 2-1 to South Korean amateur team Gyeongju citizens in their latest friendly yesterday .

The defeat is their eight consecutive loss in pre-season ahead of their Chinese Super League opener against Shandong Luneng on March 4.

During their training camp in Marbella, Tianjin Teda lost all their four games to Borussia Mönchengladbach U23s, St. Pauli, Dinamo Bucure?ti and Dynamo Kiev.

Mikel penned a three-year contract with Tianjin Teda in January, ending his close to eleven years association with Chelsea in the process.

FULL VERSION: Read Mikel Obi’s emotional farewell letter to Chelsea fans

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has bidden Chelsea fans goodbye after 10 years with the London side.

On Thursday, Mikel signed a three-year, £140,000-a-week deal with Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA, and the move was confirmed on Friday by Chelsea.

The 29-year-old is one of a select band of five foreign players in Chelsea’s history to have reached the 300-game landmark, others being  Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic and Gianfranco Zola.

He was a mainstay of the Chelsea squad that won the UEFA Champions League in Munich in 2012, won the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice, and the Premiew League twice.

In total, Mikel played 372 times for Chelsea, scoring six goals.

Ahead of his departure, the Super Eagles captain wrote a moving letter to Chelsea fans

THE FULL LETTER

To my Chelsea family,

After ten years, 374 appearances and eleven trophies, it is time to say goodbye.

Where do I begin? I joined Chelsea as a 19-year-old kid from the Norwegian Premier League, making my debut in the Community Shield. I say goodbye as a champion of England, a champion of Europe, and proud captain of my national team.

To play in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is every professional player’s ambition. But to play for Chelsea, to become part of the Chelsea family, to work with some of the best managers and players in the world, has truly been an honour.

Every achievement I have been part of in my time at Chelsea holds a special memory: my first goal, against Macclesfield in 2007 (even though there were only five more after that!). The nail-biting end of the 2010 season – securing the title on the last day, scoring a record 103 goals in the process, and winning the FA Cup a week later. Didier’s extra time winner against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final. Beating two of our biggest London rivals in League Cup finals. Winning the Europa League in Amsterdam, with one of the last kicks of the game.

Then there was Munich. We were desperate to make up for the disappointment of the 2008 final, but trailing with two minutes to go, against Bayern, in their own stadium, it seemed that once more luck was against us. But that night, with lions on our chest and the fans behind us, we fought. Up popped Didier, the rest is history, and to date we’re still proudly the only team in London with a European Cup.
None of this would have been possible without the wider club’s support. To Mr Abramovich, the club’s staff, coaches, physios, and to the managers I played under at Chelsea, I want to say thank you.

But my biggest thanks must go to the Blues fans. You brought me into the Chelsea family, you sung my name, and were there with us every step of the way. Thanks to your support, on nights like in Munich, you made the impossible possible.

As you will know, I haven’t featured as much this season as I would have liked, and at 29 I still have many years in the game ahead of me. With this in mind, I feel now is the time to seek a new challenge. I’m delighted to be joining Tianjin TEDA in China, at a time that the Chinese Super League is really taking off, and I look forward to helping Tianjin TEDA continue to grow both on and off the pitch in the next few years.

To everyone at Chelea – goodbye, and thank you. You will always be part of who I am, and I wish you the best of luck. I could not be happier to be saying goodbye with the club back where it belongs – top of the league.

Keep the Blue flag flying high!

Mikel John Obi

Mikel ready to leave Chelsea – Siasia

Former Nigeria coach, Samson Siasia, has said he expects John Mikel Obi to leave Chelsea during the January transfer window.

Obi has failed to make an appearance for the Blues since the start of the season and he is likely to receive offers at the turn of the year as his 11-year spell at Stamford Bridge approaches an end.

Siasia, who has worked with Obi during his two spells with Nigeria, has revealed that Obi was already contemplating a departure in August, but feels that the midfielder can be proud of his time in West London.

The 49-year-old said: “He is ready to quit Chelsea because he said this man (Antonio Conte) does not have anything for him and that was what he told me before he came down to the Olympics.

“It will be better for him to leave now because he has done very well after 11 years at Chelsea, not even Didier Drogba did not last that long there. He already has a British passport and two girls, he has done very well and will now leave.”

Obi has made a total of 368 appearances for Chelsea since 2006.

I’m ready to quit Chelsea – Mikel Obi

Nigeria captain Mikel Obi says he is ready to quit Premier League giants Chelsea in January in search of first-team football.

The 29-year-old, who guided the Super Eagles to a 3-1 victory over Algeria’s Desert Foxes in their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier in Uyo on Saturday, admits he is no longer happy at Stamford Bridge.

And Mikel says he is not happy that Chelsea’s Italian manager Antonio Conte has overlooked him, despite working hard in training.

It has been suggested Conte decided to freeze the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner out of first-team contention because he opted to represent Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where the Under-23 team won bronze (Nigeria’s only medal in the competition).

But the Blues’ second longest-serving player behind captain John Terry says he has no regrets over his decision, saying he is ready to leave the team in January.

“Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics, that I didn’t have a pre-season with the team,” The Sun quoted the player, who scored Nigeria’s second goal against Algeria in Uyo, as saying.

“He (Conte) probably thinks I don’t care about the team, things like that.

“But I don’t want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. If not, then we’ll see what happens in January.”

Mikel added, “But, no, I would never swap my Olympic medal for a place back in the Chelsea team.

“One thing you have to do in life as a man is that when you make a decision, or a sacrifice, you have to deal with it.

“You have to stand by your decision. You have to live with it.

“I have not one single regret in going to the Olympics. And I will not trade my medal for anything.”

Meanwhile, Mikel has denied Conte decided to leave him out of his team because he went to the Olympics against his wish.

He said Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr was misquoted as saying he was being punished at Chelsea because he travelled to Rio.

“I’d like to clarify that the recent media claims I’ve been punished by Chelsea for participating at the Rio 2016 Olympics are completely inaccurate,”he said.

Super Eagles Coach Rohr: “I will build my team around Mikel”.

Nigeria Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has stated boldly, without mincing words, that he is going to have his team built around Chelsea FC midfielder – JOHN OBI MIKEL against Algeria. He made this known ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Desert Foxes of Algeria.

 

There were doubts over John Obi Mikel’s fitness, due to the fact that he has been left out of  Chelsea’s first team  this season by Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte,  but Super Eagles coach Rohr insists that the player is in good shape and is fit to play the match.

The German said Mikel’s problem  at  Chelsea began after he represented Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics, where Nigeria won a bronze medal.

He said, “Mikel is currently being punished at Chelsea because of his outing for the Nigerian U-23 team at the last Olympics in Brazil.

“He has not featured under the new coach – Antonio Conte, since then. But I will still build  the team playing against Algeria around him because he is in a  good shape and fit for the match.

“Besides, Mikel is committed to the national team and he is a source of motivation to the other players.”

READ ALSO: I can function anywhere in Rohr’s formation – Moses

He says although the Algerians have a good team, the Eagles are focused on winning the encounter.

Mikel said he will not allow his  current  situation at Chelsea to affect his performance in  the match, adding that a win would boost the team’s chances of getting the sole ticket from the group.

Nigeria Super Eagles in Training

Although there have  been  cases of injuries  in the team,  Mikel said the development  would not affect them.

Asked whether he would still remain at Chelsea if his current situation persists, Mikel said everything would depend on what happens between now and January when he would take a decision.

We’ll give everything against Algeria – Mikel Obi

Super Eagles skipper John Obi Mikel says Nigeria “have to give everything” to win Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria.

The Super Eagles began their campaign on a winning note against Zambia in Ndola, and victory against the Greens will boost their chances of qualifying for the global football showpiece in Russia.

According to the Chelsea midfielder, the players are aware of the game’s importance and would do all it takes to ensure victory in Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

“We all know what this match means, why we have to give everything,” Mikel told NFF website.

“Yes, we started the race well by winning in Zambia, but we have to approach this match even more seriously.

“The Algerians will come with determination and they will play hard, but we will play harder.

“The World Cup is the biggest stage; every player wants to be there. I am happy we have such a young and energetic team.

“ I played at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 but there are many of these players who have never been to the World Cup. They want to be there.

“Three points; that is what we will be playing for. We are committed and the visit of the Vice President (Professor Yemi Osinbajo) to our training in Abuja has motivated us even more.”

Nigeria top Group B with three points, while the Algerians who were held to a 1-1 draw against Cameroon boast of one point with Zambia sitting at the base with no point.

Nigeria wants to be at 2018 World Cup – Mikel Obi

Nigeria captain Mikel Obi has said they hope to be at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and so will give everything to extend their fine run in the qualifiers after a 2-1 win in Zambia last month.

The Super Eagles will take on Algeria at the in continuation of the World Cup qualifiers inside the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo tomorrow.

Mikel said the team appreciate the importance of this particular game and its ramifications for Nigeria’s march to a sixth FIFA World Cup finals.

“We all know what this match means, why we have to give everything,” said the 29-year-old midfielder.

“Yes, we started the race well by winning in Zambia, but we have to approach this match even more seriously.

“The Algerians will come with determination and they will play hard, but we will play harder.

“The World Cup is the biggest stage; every player wants to be there. I am happy we have such a young and energetic team.

“I played at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 but there are many of these players who have never been to the World Cup. They want to be there.”

Nigeria represented Africa at the 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, reaching the Round of 16 in 1994, 1998 and 2014.

Nigeria and Algeria were Africa’s best teams at the last World Cup finals, in Brazil, each eliminated in the Round of 16 on the same day: Nigeria fell to France and Algeria were pipped by Germany.

The rivalry between Nigeria and Algeria at senior level is one of the fiercest in African football.

Nigeria beat Algeria to win her first Africa Cup of Nations in 1980; 10 years later, Algeria beat Nigeria to win her first Cup of Nations.

Algeria beat Nigeria to qualify for her first FIFA World Cup – Spain 1982; Nigeria beat Algeria to qualify for her first FIFA World Cup – USA 1994.

The first meeting between both teams, at the All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973, ended 2-2.

Algeria enjoyed a three –match winning streak against Nigeria between October 1981 and March 1982, but Nigeria have won the last four confrontations between both nations.

The Super Eagles have never lost a World Cup qualifying home match outside of Lagos. And they have lost only one out of six World Cup qualifying matches played in the month of November, winning the remaining five.

The Algerians hit Uyo on Thursday evening with a delegation of 61 persons, aboard a chartered flight, and will have the official training on the pitch of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday evening.

They were received at the Ibom International Airport by NFF deputy general secretary, Emmanuel Ikpeme, and protocol officer, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi.

The match officials, led by Hassan Osama Atta Ibrahim El Manan (match commissioner from Sudan) slept in Lagos on Thursday, to hit Uyo on Friday.

The referee is Gambian Bakary Papa Gassama, with Jean-Claude Birumushahu (Burundi) as assistant referee 1; Marwa Range (Kenya) as assistant referee 2 and; Maudo Jallow (Gambia) as fourth official.

Jean-Olivier Mbera from Gabon will serve as referee assessor and Kenyan Nicholas Chumba Musonye will be security officer.

The match kicks off at 5pm on Saturday.

EAGLES’ WORLD CUP MATCHES IN NOVEMBER

  • 8 Nov 1969: Nigeria 2 Morocco 0 (Ibadan)
  • 12 Nov 1977: Nigeria 0 Tunisia 1 (Lagos)
  • 4 Nov 1984: Liberia 0 Nigeria 1 (Monrovia)
  • 9 Nov 1996: Nigeria 2 Burkina Faso 0 (Lagos)
  • 14 Nov 2009: Kenya 2 Nigeria 3 (Nairobi)
  • 13 Nov 2013: Nigeria 2 Ethiopia 0 (Calabar)

‘Playing For Nigeria Cost Mikel Chelsea Place’- Dimeji Laval

Dimeji Lawal says he is amazed by some of the criticism Nigeria captain Mikel Obi has faced as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte continues to overlook him.

Mikel, who is Chelsea’s second longest serving player after John Terry, has not featured for the Premier League giants since the beginning of the season.

The 29-year-old midfielder guided the national Under-23 team to a memorable bronze at the Rio Olympic Games on August 20 – and returned the following month to lead the Super Eagles to a 1-0 victory over Tanzania in a Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo.

Mikel starred in the Eagles’ 2-1 defeat of Zambia’s Chipolopolo in their opening Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on October 9.

Despite the 2012 UEFA Champions League winner’s impressive performance against Zambia, Italian manager Conte still kept him out the lineup for Saturday’s match against Leicester City, which the Blues won 3-0. The development has seen Mikel receiving more criticism back home.

And former Nigeria winger Dimeji says football fans and pundits in Nigeria should sympathise with the player rather than criticising him.

The Saudi ’89 FIFA Under-20 World Cup silver medallist claims Mikel is paying the price for abandoning Chelsea’s preseason for the Olympics.

According to the FIFA-licensed players’ agent, Conte is not happy that the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner opted to represent Nigeria at Rio 2016.

The Olympics is not on the FIFA international calendar so clubs are not required to release players for the tournament – and many big European clubs, including Chelsea, did everything to prevent their star players going to the Games.

Mikel had admitted opting to miss the preseason was a tough choice, especially as former Italy coach Conte was new to the London side.

“It is difficult to leave Chelsea at this time,” Mikel told the Evening Standard. “But I explained to the club why I wanted to go and I thank them for their understanding and allowing me to be a part of this.”

And following the arrival of Frenchman N’Golo Kante from Premier League champions Leicester City, some the British media had predicted that Mikel had potentially sacrificed his place in the team after opting to represent his country at Rio 2016.

Former Belgium-based attacker Dimeji saluted Mikel for his commitment to the national team, saying he deserved some respect for his contribution to the game.

“Playing at the Olympics affected Mikel at Chelsea,” the former Spain-based player said on Sunday.

“I remember that Conte was always praising Mikel until he decided to play at the Olympics.

“I’m not surprised that Conte has decided not to feature him in any of his games – he probably feels let down by the player.”

Dimeji added, “It’s unfortunate that some Nigerians are criticising him. Some are saying he should be dropped from the Eagles because he’s not playing for his club.

“They are wrong. Mikel played a key role in the victory over Zambia. In the Eagles, every move begins with him.

“The young players, particularly (Alex) Iwobi and (Kelechi) Iheanacho look up to him. He deserves respect.”

Rio Olympics: We Didn’t Play Well Against Germany – Mikel

Nigeria U-23 skipper, Mikel Obi, has admitted that his team mates didn’t play well in Wednesday’s Olympics football semi final clash against Germany in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

With the Nigerians missing the services of two key players in the shape of Oghenekaro Etebo and Azubuike Okechukwu, the Dream Team struggled against the Europeans, first conceding early in the first half, before Nils Petersen grabbed a second goal with one minute remaining.

I wanted to win the gold medal, but the fact is that we did not play well today (Wednesday). The Germans played well,” the Chelsea midfielder was quoted as saying at the press conference.

 

We are professionals, we can now claim third place and this is what we get. We want to give a medal to Nigeria.”

Mikel Obi Officially Changes His Name

In attempting to clarify his actual name, the Chelsea veteran has just made everyone very, very confused. Jon Obi Mikel has been called many things by Chelsea fans during his decade at Stamford Bridge… many of which are far too rude, reports UK Mirror.

However, while he may have got used to the abusive slurs hurled his way by a section of the Stamford Bridge support, it seems the Nigerian midfielder has finally had enough of people getting his actual name wrong.

That is why the Chelsea stalwart has just officially changed his name… to Mikel John Obi. For starters, it turns out that he was never actually called ‘Mikel’. The Guus Hiddink favourite was born John Michael Nchekwube Obinna – ‘Mikel’ only became a thing when the Nigerian FA mistakenly used Mikel instead of Michael on his submission form for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships.

So much so, that despite the fact it’s not actually his name, he’s been happy to be called John Obi Mikel ever since he joined Chelsea in 2006. It seems, he has now officially changed his name to… Mikel John Obi.

Credit: Vanguard

Mikel Obi Now Papa Ejima?

Ok guys, this came as a surprise too, because nobody saw his Russian girlfriend pregnant.

So “as we see am”, Chelsea football star, John Mikel Obi, who rarely shares his life on social media decided to share this one.

See Instagram post below:

https://instagram.com/p/7xfMQ_PvJf/?taken-by=john_mikel_obi

Mikel Obi’s Two Secret Children Uncovered

John Obi Mikel, has fathered two secret lovechildren with different women. The Chelsea midfielder, 28, has a four-year-old son, who was born after he had a brief fling with the lad’s mum.

He also has a one-year-old daughter by a woman he met in a nightclub two years ago.

The footballer  paid about £80,000 a week  is not named on his son’s birth certificate, but bought a house in the Home Counties where the boy lives with his mother.

Mikel paid more than £500,000 for the detached property in 2013. He is said to have expressed a desire to play a part in the boy’s life, even though he at first refused to believe he was the dad.

However, Mikel is not believed to see his baby daughter, who lives with her 23-year-old mother in the South of England. Both women are supported financially by the player, but it is not thought they know about each other.

A source revealed Mikel, a role model to legions of fans of Chelsea and Nigeria, did not believe the boy was his when first told by his mum.

Read More: ngrguardiannews