‘Primetime’ Mikel wants a Champions League return
It’s to Chelsea’s credit that they remain in strong competition for some decent silverware this term despite their pre-Christmas shortcomings – but one star player has revealed his apathy towards 50% of their potential haul.
April 9th, 2013
Much as midfielder Jon Obi Mikel has contributed to the Chelsea cause this season – including the cause of a £60k fine for his actions against a referee – he has admitted this week that the Europa League in whose quarter-final they will compete later this week has left him feeling short-changed.
“I have been watching the Champions League games…It has been kind of frustrating to watch them and see them play. And we have to then play on Thursday night…Hopefully, next season we are…going to be primetime.”
By the time they’ve caught up on their Premier League duties with a game at Fulham a week tomorrow, Chelsea will have played six games in eighteen days – a schedule which Mikel has found much tougher going than last season despite the supposed lower-quality European opposition.
“This season is harder even than last year when we won the Champions League,” he remarked.
The drop from Champions League to Europa League football at the turn of the year hasn’t helped matters – nor did the jaunt to Japan for the World Club Cup. But the priority for Mikel remains a top-four place so that the Blues can take what he feels is their rightful European place firmly back in midweek, and not, as he so kindly put it – “Thursday nights, Channel 5”.
“I don’t even know the Europa League song. I have been here seven years and I have never played football on Thursday nights.”