Villas-Boas gets Mikel vote
Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has welcomed the training regime of new Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese, who at 33 will be the youngest boss in the Premier League, has been charged with wresting back the Premier League title from champions Manchester United after the Blues suffered a season without silverware under experienced Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti last term.
“The new manager has worked really hard on our sharpness and it is going very well,” Mikel told Chelsea’s website.
“The double sessions are hard but working with the ball makes it so much easier than running all the time, and it is enjoyable as well.
“Everything so far has been great, we’re all enjoying their training and everything is going well so hopefully we can have a good season and for me it will be good to pick up information because I still want to improve.”
Despite being rebuffed, Chelsea are continuing their bid to sign Croatia midfielder Luka Modric from London rivals Tottenham.
If Modric signs, it could harm Mikel’s chances of first-team duty as he bids to become a regular starter after failing to convince Ancelotti of his worth.
But a knee injury that is set to sideline Ghana midfielder Michael Essien for up to six months, has created a vacancy that could be filled by Mikel.
However, Mikel said: “Unfortunately Michael Essien has been injured, and we all feel sorry for him and wish him well and hopefully he can come back very soon.”