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John Obi Mikel on Mourinho: 'He didn’t have the belief that he had in me before'

Clive Rose/Getty Images

John Obi Mikel's enjoying a bit of career resurrection since the sacking of Jose Mourinho.  As the one of the few holdouts left over from Hiddink's first tenure, the interim manager's faith in Mikel, a known, steady quantity, is understandable.  Before the managerial change, Mikel's career at Chelsea looked to be slowly winding down.

"People change in any walk of life, maybe he [Mourinho] decided he wanted to do better in a different way and he didn't need me anymore. He didn't have the belief that he had in me before, which is fine because every manager has the player that they have trust in."

Given Mikel's previous history with Mourinho -- the Special One certainly left his mark on Mikel's career, transforming him from an attacking to a defensive midfielder at an early age -- I had always assumed that their relationship was along the lines of all the other Mourinho zealots.  It may have been that way back in the day, but towards the end, things certainly appeared to have soured.

"I think confidence is everything, if a manager doesn't believe in you, trust me there's no way you can succeed. Even if you do things right he would always make sure he finds fault."

Without actually listening to the interview, it's tough to tell tone from just the quotes.  But one thing is for sure, Mikel's enjoying things under Hiddink much more than under Mourinho and he's not been shy about letting everybody know.

"It is a tough business, football, so when a manager comes in he wants to have people he believes in. If he doesn't believe in you he doesn't play you. And I think it's all about a manager giving a player confidence."

"Hiddink came in, he spoke to me, he gave me the confidence and now I have played 20 games and we're in the best position - where we haven't been all season."

-John Obi Mikel; source: Goal

Alas, that's still a terrible position.  And with Hiddink on his way out in the summer, and yet another period of transition upon us, it would not be surprising to see Mikel follow suit as well.

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