During his time at Chelsea, John Obi-Mikel reveals four key players in the dressing room
Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed how four senior players wielded huge influence during his Blues career, contributing to multiple managers losing their jobs.
In an interview with Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five (h/t Standard), Mikel pinpointed John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, and Petr Cech as the “big guys” who often decided a manager’s fate under former owner Roman Abramovich.
Mikel claims these four players had Abramovich’s ear regarding concerns with certain managers like Andre Villas-Boas and Rafa Benitez. Their input frequently led to sackings.
Former Chelsea star John Obi-Mikel revealed how Terry, Lampard, Drogba & Cech held sway over managers at Chelsea.
“It’s not like a chat where they go ‘we’re going to go at you’, but the one person we really didn’t like was Rafa, because he wasn’t a Chelsea kind of manager, and AVB.”
The former Nigerian international explained how rifts would develop between these senior stars and unpopular managers.
“When that happens and you get bad results, players who have been playing but are no longer start talking and the atmosphere was a little bit down, it cycles around and before you know it there is a little bit of talk.”
He revealed they would make their discontent clear by ignoring the manager and then relaying their issues directly to Abramovich, who would usually dismiss the coach soon after.
Roman Abramovich owned Chelsea from 2003 to 2022.
Mikel’s comments confirm the remarkable control this influential four-man player dynasty exerted behind the scenes at Chelsea.
Abramovich’s close links with players like Terry and Lampard saw him place their counsel above his managers when turbulence hit.
While player power has diminished since Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea, Mikel pulled back the curtain on how a core senior group previously wielded such far-reaching authority thanks to the owner’s faith in them.