Oliseh Greater Than Mikel As Defensive Midfielder –Aiyegbeni

Oliseh Greater Than Mikel As Defensive Midfielder  –Aiyegbeni

Erstwhile Nigeria international striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni says former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh was a better defensive midfielder during his playing days than fellow ex-Eagles skipper, John Obi Mikel.

Controversy over Nigeria’s greatest player ever continues to rage on even among ex-internationals with Aiyegbeni’s disagreeing with fellow Eagles legend, Daniel Amokachi who recently rated Mikel as Nigeria’s greatest footballer.

Speaking on Sports Zone on Lagos Talks from his England base, Aiyegbeni says Mikel is not even the greatest defensive midfielder Nigeria has produced preferring to give the honour to Oliseh.

The Yak as Aiyegbeni was known during his playing days however, concedes that while Mikel’s superior trophy cabinet might lend credence to the “greatest-ever” tag, Oliseh was much the superior player.


Also Read: Nigerian Players’ Scorecard For 2019/20 Season

“Mikel is the greatest because of the trophies he has won. Don’t get me wrong, Mikel is a very, very good player [but] there’s no way you can compare Mikel with Sunday Oliseh. No chance, no chance,” said Aiyegbeni who retired in 2015 as Nigeria’s third-highest goalscorer with 21 goals in 57 caps.

“Mikel did so well in his career in Chelsea, he won a lot of trophies [but] there is nowhere in the world you can compare Mikel and Sunday Oliseh.

“Oliseh is a better player than Mikel. Mikel won a lot of trophies but Oliseh was unbelievable,” the former Portsmouth and Everton striker added.

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  • KangA 2 years ago

    Selective comparison. What’s your verdict when you compare Mikel’s team spirit, doggedness, and focus with Oliseh? Who is more likely to spur the troop on or desert the camp in the face of fierce hostilities? Is the accumulation of medals and trophies not a reflection of productivity?

  • Manu joel 2 years ago

    Oliseh was a much better footballer to Mikel obi,although the latter had more trophies.          The yak is right.

  • sammy 2 years ago

    the are the best……. but I prefer oliseh

  • When you compare the two strictly on that role, I will give it to Olise, We should not forget that Mikel is not a natural defensive mildfilder, but one that was conveterted to that position.But generally their achivemmet for super eagles and dream team is almost on the same level. However when you compare their achievement as a professional footballer, Mikel is ahead of Olise.

  • Emecco 2 years ago

    Both players are good, I know Nigerians Like Olise more, Its a matter of choice, but comparing both players on thier match stats for both club and country and successful career, Mikel is way above Olise, thats a fact.Comparing two players should be by career statistics and not by personal opinion.That’s the yardstick which every player is rated world wide.DMs are rated personal by their, Tackles won, Interceptions, passing ability, and ability to commit less errors in your own half.Shooting ability, Dribbling skills etc are never used to rate a DM.

    • olisa 2 years ago

      Oliseh was far better than Mikel. Mikel won many trophies because of the club he played for. He was mostly on the bench for Chelsea. Oliseh was never a bench player in all the clubs he played for.

      • Adisboy 2 years ago

        Olisa, bro, why the short memory. Mikel was never mainly a bench warmer. It was only in his final year under Conte, because he went to the Olympics. Except the 2014 Europa league final, he started every other final that Chelsea won e.g. Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup etc. He started more matches than every other Nigerian in the premiership except Joseph Yobo. Oliseh was a binafide bench warmer at Juventus. Bro stick to the facts.

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Oliseh’s playing style and physical attributes were more suited to the DM position than Mikel. As we all know, Mikel started out as an AM. He was so good at that, he was considered second only to Messi at the U-20 world cup. Then Mourinho signed him and converted him to a DM. Although he did well at Chelsea in the DM role, many believe to this day that Mikel is not a natural DM. He is better suited in the center midfield, or as an AM, as he has shown so many times in Nigeria colors.
    So, who is the better DM? Oliseh without question.
    Who is the better player? Tough to answer. In addition to being so good defensively, Oliseh brought so much to the table, with his long range passes, attack minded play, and ability to shoot ferociously with both feet. He could also score from freekicks. Mikel, on the other hand, had more grace and guile on the ball, more finesse, and had the knack for killer passes. Kept the game flowing. Not a freekick specialist, or a long range shooter like Oliseh, but he did grab a good number of goals for Nigeria. Scored more international goals than Oliseh did, although Oliseh was a more regular goal scorer at club level.
    Who was more successful? Hands down, Mikel. He went to 2 world cups, like Oliseh, but he won more trophies at club level, and more international accolades.

  • Aiyegbeni is best to remain neutral when answering question like this to the press, though you right that oliseh is better in DM duty, but mikel is also a great soccer player, ask trabzonspor, fans while they lost the recently concluded Turkish league , they will tell you is due to mikel departure from the team, mikel is really a good player, you gat to struggle to take the ball from him. They bother very good.

  • uzodima 2 years ago

    Is lie from the pit of hell Mikel is beta far ahead of sunday if sunday is beta why he did not win more trophies than Mikel,Aiyegbeni is only jealous of Mikel,Aiyegbeni have mouth to talk let him remember that he won the trophy of world best missed

  • Aiyegbeni is right in his assessment. Oliseh was superior to Mikel in his playing days when it comes to footballing prowess. Them no be mate!

  • Mikel Obi “doggedness, focus and team spirit”???!. Won more trophies? With Chelsea? In what world is he a better defensive midfielder than Oliseh? A man who held his own in clubs like Ajax, Juventus and Dortmund. Oliseh was a pillar in star-studded teams while Mikel was just a team member in average teams!!! If una still dey doubt, make una ask Mikel himself!

    • So Chelsea team that won the champions league was an average team. Ramirez an average player, makelele an average player, essien an average player.

    • Adisboy 2 years ago

      Sam, stop rewriting history. Oliseh was only a pillar at Ajax, at Dortmond & Juventus hes just a team player, benchwarmer in Juventus. Mikel was very prominent in the Finals that Chelsea won especially the greatest day in Chelsea’s history the 2012 Champions League trophy. In that match he was world class.

      • It only shows that you are a Chelsea fan and a Mikel supporter. If Mikel was world-class in that final then Petr Cech is heaven-class and Drogba is Paradise-class!!! Naija, una can hype!

  • If we are to use the number of trophies won in career to determine a player’s worth, then Okocha will definitely not be considered one of the Africa’s best. But we know without a doubt he is one of the very best footballers this continent has produced. Judging the quality of a player by the number of trophies might not be an accurate yardstick sometimes.

    Without a doubt both players are outstanding and very good. But as a defensive midfielder, Oliseh stands shoulder high. He is glaringly ahead of Mikel in that role.

  • francis 2 years ago

    Oliseh is the best,you cant compare,what trophies are they talking about,european,on the world stage oliseh won gold in olympics,none for mokel,nations cup mikel still won,one champions league,dutch leagues,which trophies,i want to know,mikel is not among the greatest players in nigeria football history,is in the fringe,i my midfield,i will put okocha, sunday oliseh and winfred ndidi,ok.

  • Collins id 2 years ago

    oliseh can only be compared to the likes of steven gerrad, makalele, viera, yaya toure, busquet, essien,, i think olofijana is better DM than mikel not to talk of sunday oliseh. we are talking about trophies as if we dont know that football is not an individual game, what we should be talking about is what they can do withball, how influencial they are in the pitch, their level of awareness and creativity their confident in the field and with the ball. mikel was never among the first choices in his playing days at chelsea, he was looked onpon when there are no options or when the regulars are under performing as a chelsea fan i never had confidents in mikel. its thesame case with moses but moses case was still better bcos he was loaned out to defferent premier league teams like liverpool.westham stoke etc and now in inter milan, mikel case there was no suitors, he had no choice than to be patient and fortunately for him his patient paid him. comparing him to oliseh who can change games immediately, who is attacking minded player with long range visions and pass acuracy, who is dead ball master and can shoot from weird angles. apart from afcon 1994, holiseh reached the afcon final for the second time as a regular in eagles midfield and could have won eighter 1998 and 1996 edition if not for abacha, he lost 2000 final to penalties, he played for big clubs in europe moving from one to another in defferent countries. mikel after chelsea which he signed as a teanager despite wining all trophies with them and gaining enough experience he wasnt shown seriouse interest by any premier league teams .he moved to china and couldnt even make any star figure in china. and then back to championship and turkey. you cant compare both players at all. mikel can be regarded as one of eagles best midfielders simple. not above that acknowledgment

    • Abdul 2 years ago

      If i hadn’t read some of your previous write-ups on this platform, i would have thought you as someone that knows nothing about the game. You said Mikel was never among first choices in Chelsea….like seriously???. This guy in my opinion is one of the most technmical to have played the game and that was why he was that successful. Just to remind you, this guy was considered a better option than Makelele (though not at his peak), Ballack, Jeremi, Decko, Lazzaro, Seedwell and sometimes Michael Essien. Mikel’s ability to read games, keep a game tempo, intercept ball and shield his backfours are some of the qualities you wouldn’t find in many MDFs. You can underscore these abilities, because they are not easily seen, but those coaches see them, and that was why Mikel played almost all top games for Chelsea during his time with the club. You can go on Youtube and check selected Chelsea matches during his era. This simply means about 10 years of consistency.
      In addition, Mikel had a very successful career for both contry club and country without any major media brawl. All these are part of the game, and i would select Mikel ahead of so many ex-internationals. I wouldn’t like to talk about Sunday Oliseh, as he is also a legend, but for me, Mikel is a better role model! A better ambassador for the country! A good family man! A cool headed legend.

      • My guy, na from back of the TV you dey always watch your own matches! If your Mikel was that good, how many big and average clubs made offers to buy him during his 10 years stay in Chelsea? Abeg park well.

  • I need to add my own comments here, Mikel is good o bcos I see with my own eye what he did at afcon 2006, but sincerely Baba is far ahead of him in term of duty, doing the real job I tuale for Baba Sunny. Just love his style of play. Take him take yaya take Mohammed Diara of Mali.

  • I can see sentiment from people comments anyway, both of them are great.

  • Loot sentiment and hatred everywhere, so indidi that just started yesterday is now better? Hmmmmm! Some are even saying winning trophy is not a yardstick for being greatest does that means all d trophies won by Rinaldo & Messi doesn’t count for anything?

    • Bros, check the topic before you comment, it will make you think better.

  • De Star 2 years ago

    @Debo , you have just killed it with accurate points , while @Collins Id sublime submission is simply the best of all !!! 

    Mikel has never raised his game throughout his stays in Chelsea, he was only a fringe player without strong vision for decade in Chelsea hence no big or elite club in Europe could enquire for his service except the Chinese league for the retiring stars, unlike Oliseh who was always on the move , and his commitment for national team is incomparable, as Oliseh was always ready to die on national colour .

    It is a mismatched comparing Mikel with Oliseh, cannot even compare him with the headmaster Mutiu Adepoju when he played as  DM let alone Baba-Oliseh (I stand to be corrected, which any of the 1994 eagles team can Mikel benched in the midfield if he were to come in that era ? C Ronaldo and Messi were rated the greatest players on the Planet today not only because of the number of Trophies their team won but the significant roles they played in getting those achievement.

    Mikel should have been the greatest player ever that could have pocketed African best player of the year award as long as he wishes but his inability to raise his game in Chelsea and the usual mentality of the Mikel Nigerian player’s era to manage little success ( I just hope Osimeh would learn a great lesson from Mikel inability to reach his full potential because Mikel ought to have been in the same class of Messi if he had raised his game , with discipline and humility to manage success . 

    • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

      @De Star. Long time. Good to hear your eloquent submission on this thread. I do agree with you that Oliseh is way better than Mikel in terms of abilities and influence. I think it’s mostly down to Mikel been transformed to that role compared to Oliseh who was naturally born for that role. Obviously, if Mikel has reached his potential from the 2005 U20 where the world saw his talents he could’ve even been much a greater player. However, I won’t take anything away from his achievements. He played mostly under the shadows of JayJay all through his national team career. I think he mostly reached his limitations, but nonetheless he had a fantastic career. The one player who could be really compared to Oliseh in the present SuperEagles is Ndidi. He too still have a long way to go to reach that level. Osimhen and Chukwueze will continue to develop grow. Hopefully they keep their focus and reach their potentials. 

    • greenturf 2 years ago

      Mikel in his prime would feature prominently for the 94 eagles!A Chelsea player will play for Nigeria first team any day.

      We are so obsessed with the 94 team and sometimes overrate their actual abilities.

      Mutiu Adepoju is not better than Mikel.The later has better talent,the former is not even a first team player for Nigeria the likes of Siasia and Okocha are ahead of him in the pecking order.

      Mikel is a quality player who played alongside world class players and acquitted himself well with excellency,the same cannot be said of Mutui Adepoju and Samson Siasia.

      Oliseh is a better defensive midfielder no doubt but not a better player/talent than Mikel who can play multiple roles in the midfield.

      Sunday Oliseh was not a regular player of Dortmund and Juventus.He featured just in a handful of games.I’m sure Mikel Obi would have starred in those teams Oliseh struggled to find a foot in.Oliseh only flourished at Cologne and Ajax as well his formative years in Belgium.

      • Mikel in ’94? Who is he going to replace? Oliha, Mutiu or Keshi? Abeg make una stop dreaming! Mikel’s position (roaming midfielder) from u17 and u20 was outdated and inexistent in Europe that was why he never reached the height of his potential(the same issue with Okocha). People like Platini, Baggio, Zidane and Ronaldinho has modified the position with full attacking intent and goals. Even Ndidi is a better defensive midfielder than your Mikel! If na lie, go check their stats!!!

        • greenturf 2 years ago

          The players you mentioned couldn’t play for a top side in Europe none of them i repeat!

          Oliha played for Iwuanyanwu nationale most of his career only featured briefly for Africa sports and later Turkey that was after the world cup in the united states.A good and skilful midfielder great talent but in my opinion not a better player than Mikel i’m afraid.

          Mutui Adepoju played for Castila of Spain in the early 90’s a developmental team of Real Madrid which features in the lower division and never cut his teeth for real Madrid.Though he later had a good career with Racing Santander and Real Sociedad respectively in the Spanish topflight.A versatile player a good attacking midfielder but i’m sorry no way he’s a better talent than John Obi Mikel!

          Stephen Keshi is a libero but his ball playing abilities was the reason he was deployed in the defensive midfield to provide solidity,cover for the defenders,role which he played well.A great player a legend for Nigeria.Keshi and Taribo West are the two best libero’s in Nigerian football history.

          I’m sorry i’m not a sentimental person neither am i standing up for Mikel because i like him or a fan rather this argument is based on my opinion in regards their football talent,pedigree and career.

          The better talents than Mikel are obviously the duo of Okocha and Kanu.

      • “Mutiu Adepoju is not better than Mikel.The later has better talent,the former is not even a first team player for Nigeria the likes of Siasia and Okocha are ahead of him in the pecking order.”

        Siasia na striker Mutiu na utility! The only 9ja player to sign for REAL MADRID.

        • greenturf 2 years ago

          I’m afraid Mutiu may have signed for Real Madrid but played for their developmental side known as Castila instead.

          Siasia is a forward player but he has a bundle of skill which allows him to play multiple roles.He has featured as a second striker,the wings and midfield in fact i would say he is a utility player and hardly put a foot wrong for the super eagles.

          He featured prominently in the attacking midfield on our road to cup success in Tunisia and second round exit in the united states both in 1994.Rather Amokachi played behind Yekini that was why Okocha was on the bench most of the time because Siasia was deployed as a number 10 in some games in Tunisia and the group stages of the word cup in the united states.

  • I need to add one more point to my previous comment, actually when you talk about player who can change the corse of a game, give it to Oliseh. We should not forget about that quarter final match between Nigeria and Senegal in Lagos at afcon 2000. Oliseh had malaria fever few days to that match and was put as a reserve player.we were trailing Senegal by alone goal and about 81 mins already. Oliseh had to come in that day in other to salvage the situation which Nigeria won eventually. Trophy aside Olishe prensce in any team give more confidence than Mikel. We qiuckly concede three goals against Brazil in Atlanta simply because Olishe was not in that game and mobi oparaku couldn’t just handle Ronaldo at all.

    Anyday, anytime if you have Olishe and Mikel in your team, the former brings more confident both to your line of defence and attacking line.Olishe play part in many goals score by Yekini in those days.

  • Papafem 2 years ago

    @Yinkus, pls comment on this platform often. You’re brilliant. Reading your last comment brought a lot memories. And you’re spot on. If Mikel and Olise played in the same team, walahi Chekwube go chop bench tire. No debate here. There’s nothing Mikel can that Olise couldn’t do better. Just that Mikel had the luck of playing in a team that won so many trophies.

    • greenturf 2 years ago

      Both can play together and effectively.

      Oliseh on the defensive midfield,Mikel central midfield and Jay Jay Okocha offensive midfield.

      In my opinion this look to be a balanced midfield trio.

  • OmoEsan 2 years ago

    Hmmmm. Interesting discuss so far.

    Both Oliseh and Mikel did a great job with the national team, but whose job gives fond memories?

    Oliseh made bold statements in the two world cups he featured in. If you’re in doubt, you may ask Diego Maradona and Histro Stoichcov to tell you about their USA ’94 sojourn, or ask Andoni Zubizareta of Spain about that screamer of a short that ended his career at France ’98.

    Talking about AFCON, you may also want to ask Rasheedi Yekini about those long range passes that made goal scoring as easy as eating bread and butter or beckon on Julius Aghahowa to tell you how Senegalese hearts were shattered via an inch perfect long range pass that came off the boots of a player that was not just recovering from malaria, but had barely spent twelve minutes on the pitch, on a day that Nigerian hearts were about to be broken right there in Lagos.

    With due respect to Mikel, he featured in two world cups but as far as the 2014 & 2018 world cups are concerned, Ahmed Musa it was who gave us fond memories more than any other player.

    Mikel had a great AFCON in 2013, and was arguably the best central midfielder in that tournament. He also had an above average performance in his AFCON debut in 2006, but his performances in 2008, 2010 and 2018 editions were on the average.

    Talking about dedication, Oliseh risked his health to save Nigeria while Mikel still proceeded to play few hours after his Dad was kidnapped.

    Both were captains but who was more charismatic? On the field, Oliseh’s presence gave lot of hope and the sense of urgency he creates when Super Eagles need to score was infectious. Mikel gave his best as captain but I must say he wasn’t as charismatic as Oliseh.

    With respect to overall play, I dare say that if Mikel had played in Oliseh’s era, the best he would have achieved was a bench role, yes you read me correctly. @Greenturf said we’re obsessed with the ’94 set, but truth be told they deserve that obsession and more. Theirs was an era where top players in top leagues got to Super Eagles and either played bench roles or didn’t even make the team. Whoever doubts this should ask the likes of Richard Owubokiri, Jonathan Akpoborie, Efan Ekoku or Victor Ikpeba; the Prince of Monaco and former African footballer of the year who played bench role for four years before he started picking starting shirts. You may also ask Arsen Wenger, Monaco’s coach at the time why he warned the world ahead of USA ’94 about a Super Eagles team that could afford to put Victor Ikpeba on the bench, the same player that sent the world’s best scorer of that era (Jurgen Klinsman) to the bench in Monaco.

    In an era where our traditional 4-4-2 reigned supreme, I don’t know who Mikel was going to bench between the mercurial JayJay in central/attacking midfield or Sunday Oliseh.

    Mikel had a great club career, so does Oliseh.

    From my perspective, the only edge Mikel has over Oliseh are the laurels he won at club level and that doesn’t make him greater.

    As far as this debate is concerned, Oliseh is the greater of the duo.

    • greenturf 2 years ago

      Owobokiri and Akpoborie had their chances but didn’t cover themselves in glory!but in Mikel’s case he had a great career with his international team.

      Of course playing for a top club then gives you an edge unless you underperformed when you had your chances with the super eagles,for example Chidi Nwanu had no chance with the super eagles until he was a player of Anderlecht which featured in the European champions league.

      Apparently,he took his chance playing well against Georgia at Adamasimgba stadium and displaced the likes Uche Okafor and Stephen Keshi in his position.

      I am still of the opinion prime Mikel will feature regularly for the ’94 eagles,not saying he will bench Oliseh,rather any sensible coach should be happy having players like Sunday Oliseh,Austin Okocha,Mikel Obi and Nwankwo Kanu in their team and this four great players can play together in the first team.

      • Mr Hush 2 years ago

        Though,I dislike comparing different eras but I have to second your motion.
        Mikel, Oliseh and Okocha can all play together.
        If he could play in a midfield comprising Ballack,Essien, Deco,etc.. why not with those two?

        For me,this shouldn’t be debate. I think Oliseh was a better DMF than Mikel for the main fact that was his natural role and Mikel was converted to that role. In that sense, what does that tell you about Mikel.
        An attacking midfielder converted to The defensive side yet could hold his own for one of the best squads in one of the best clubside of his generation.
        A lot make straight out narrations sweeping away Mikel’s ability and achievements all coming from a place of sentiment.
        It is no secret that most don’t like the person of Mikel because they find him proud and arrogant; so they blindside his achievements on the field for club and country.

        We shouldn’t forget so soon.
        Mikel played over 200 games for a great Chelsea squad that broke the hegemony of Mabchester united and Arsenal; caused a lot of problems in Europe(winning laurels) . Mikel wasn’t just a bit player. He was an integral member of that team. For the over 5 coaches that came through Chelsea,Mikel was always part of the vital member of that team that couldn’t be benched. Do you think it is easy replacing Makelele? Not just doing so,doing it flourishly!
        Taking nothing from Subday Oliseh; it is not like Sunday Oliseh had it rosey after he left Ajax. Yes he played for Juventus and Dortmund but barely was that vital. Just some 8 games in Juventus and was never a main cog in a over the place Dortmund squad at the time before he was sent packing to Bochum for indiscipline and violent conduct.
        We shouldn’t forget how many times Mikel did an exceptional job for the super Eagles. I can remember a must win game against Benin at an Afcon; not forgetting the last world cup qualifiers , Mikel’s assist and all round play was vital. In fact,I dare say, it was Mikel and Moses show mostly. And offcourse,the failed confederation cup which we went to with Keshi where Mikel was head high above his team mates in terms of play. We shouldn’t forget Mikel was nominated for the African footballer of the year similarly like Oliseh.
        Oliseh was patriotic enough to play through illness for the national team; Mikel was patriotic enough to use his connection to save us from missing an Olympic match when the screws at Nff (at the time) screwed up.
        Though it is all down to perception, the point remains that Sunday Oliseh is a better DMF than Mikel ; arguably a better player than Mikel ; it is far reaching throwing Mikel’s achievement and accolades under the bus like he was just a bit player. He fully played and deserve those titles. Reading through narrations that Ndidi and even Olofinjana was better than Mikel is nothing but blind points based on emotions rather than objectivity.

        Oliseh might be preferred pick but Mikel deserves some respect. Over 91 caps for the country says he earned it.

        • greenturf 2 years ago

          Well said @ Mr Hush.Forumites weren’t fair with their judgement that Mikel was just a bit part player for Chelsea.

          Apparently,Mikel was a major player for Chelsea an integral part of a core that later ruled Europe.The time he didn’t have game time was as a result of choosing to represent Nigeria at the Olympics.A decision he took knowing that could cost him his place at a very competitive Chelsea side that had just bought Kante at the time,rather out of national pride he went on to the Olympics and represented us well and a medal to show for it.

          He came back to a fuming Conte who made playing difficult leading to the end of his nine glorious years with Chelsea.Many have forgotten so soon.

          Mikel is a patriot.A legend.Of course not a better defensive midfielder than Sunday Oliseh but i wouldn’t think Oliseh is a better talent either just my opinion though.

    • Omo9ja 2 years ago

      @OmoEsan, God bless you bro. More wisdom
      and understanding by God’s grace. You won my heart 100% on this. Please keep it up.

      I don’t need to say anything no more because you nailed it too well.

      I really enjoyed your analysis so much. Kudo to you all my people. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Man, you said it all! Most people here forgot the topic of discussion – MIKEL vs OLISEH in defensive midfield shikena!
      P.S = Mikel and the likes who came through age group football in 9ja are products of sports corruption. I rather respect players like Oliseh, Okocha etc who made a name for themselves before 9ja came calling .

  • Francesco A 2 years ago

    Yak got it wrong.. The tactical game have evolved. I explain as follows :
    1. Oliseh is much better defensive MF destroyer.
    2. Mikel is a much better defensive MF creator/ controller of tempo and passing.
    3. In a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, they can bot play together.
    4. For a team that needs just a single ball winner/ tackler in DMF position i would go with oliseh, ie you would have to control the game tempo further up..
    5. They are both different footballer
    6. Mikel was by far a more superiror footballer than Oliseh in the offensive play, control of the game.
    7. Finally Mikel never played or agreed to play DMF destroyer for Nigeria, except once, Cote d’ivoire vs Nigeria, Afcon Qtr 2013.

  • Collins id 2 years ago

    hypocrasy is the problem of Nigerians. followed by i too know. in the reality only a novice or a kid can come here to compare mikel and oliseh. this is only nigerians who feels they know too much. during mikel playing days for eagles even old women and children didnt like his game, but just that extended love from the youth football gave value to his name. no african football fan ever expressed love for mikel in respect of his game not even chelsea fans. i remember many amateur players even compared their selves to mikel. his inabilities was writen all over the wall. he never had any superb eagles carear not the eagles of my time. or maybe na another eagles. i have the history in my diary. during mikel era nigeria recorded the highest brake down of her football. he failed us in the midfield the only thing that changed was the arrival of onazi who helped us won 2013 afcon. onazi might not be as decorated as mikel but he was at that time (2013 to 2014) a better midfielder than mikel, can you remind me how many player of the month, man of the match, and team of the week award mikel made during his ten years in chelsea. @greenturf. please can u camly point out mikel talent that u can compare to oliseh. can he pass the ball better than oliseh? can he shoot better? did he tackles better? did he play freekicks better? did he distribute the ball better? did have better pass acuracy than holiseh? despite he was more offensive as u claimed did he record more assist than holiseh with eagles and clubside? mikel is the poorest professional shooter of the ball pooting on an un deserving number ten in the name of chelsea, can you record any wonder goal of mikel in both chelsea and eagles? during mikel time eagles was a super chiken, verry poor set piece taking team a team that their number ten cannot play a perfect corner! u mentioned 2006 afcon believe me the stupidity of eguavon bringing in mikel was the reason we lost the turnament. we won all three group matchs starring oruma ayila and obodo in the midfield and mikel came in as sub in the last match against zimbabwe and scored his first goal a poor coach like eguavon thought zimbabwe was tunisia he started mikel against tunisia for some foolish reasons, we where lucky to draw the match and we excaped via penalties. in the semifinal he stupidly start mikel against ivory coast again we lost and he tried to bring in jay jay in the last minutes it was too late! i remember oruma be wan brake eguavon head after that match(days of patrotic eagles are gone) mikel went on to 2008 afcon in ghana it was a mess. his best game was against benin republic, when he assisted ayegbeni to a goal. we lost to ivory coast and drew mali only managed to win benin and expectedly we lost to ghana shamefully to ten man. he that turneo osaze and ike uche was the eagles we could count on where was your mikel? in 2010 afcon mikel was not amodus sure starter(amudu,keshi,and oliseh always place mikel where he belongs sometimes was the bench) against egypt in 2010 he lost the midfield to ahmed hassan who wasnt a chelsea player, the second match we won he didnt start the last match of the group we won in that group we came second in the quaters we drew against zambia and excaped via penalties in the semi we lost to ghana small boys with mikel in the midfield again. 2012 we didnt qualify for afcon and he was part of the y, in 2013 keshi qualified to nations cup without Mikel and he joined the team by Nfa pressure and begging with seriousnes knowing that the big boss can bench him anytime he failed to deliver, first match draw second draw third was outplayed by ethiopians if not moses miracle. in the quater keshi wisely brought onazi and mba to join mikel, that was the begining of light in mikel eagles carea and he have onazi to thank for the suden turn around. onazi played a de rossi like midfield that outplayed the likes of yaya tioti and zakora. without onazi and mba naija for lose to ivorycoast u dont need a prophet to tell u that if u are a real guru in this game. the long precise well timed pass from onazi to moses in semi final against mali still playin in my mind. we went on to pick the trophy. at the cofedration cup when onazi amd moses was not there wat happened? we lost to uroguayi and spain and won against one unknown team. onazi without mikel we won against paraguayi and venizuala in frendlies and drew against the catalonians which was almost the spanish national team we also won the madela cup in southafrica without mikel. when onazi form dropped after the wcup wat happen to mikel? he failed to qualify for two nations cup again losing to south africa and egypt. it was gernot rohr era that mikel earned my respect with eagles expecially during the qualifier series to the worldcup. in the world cup nothing special from him. Nigeria would have done better without mikel sia sia proved it in 2008 olimpic where we reached final without mikel and keshi proved again that he doesnt needs mikel to qualify for afcon in 2013 so where is ur mikel having the super carear?. the reason mikel was there for long is that same curruption in the eagles bcos he gives money. osaze who is probably the the best nigerian footballer after jay jay and kanu retired was never appreciated becos he wont pay bribe. with due respect go and ask chelsea fans in the uk they dont like his game but they like his carracter. an english fan was very angree with rohr keeping iwobi in the bench for mikel. i think that video is in youtube saying the former is far better than the later wich is actualy true ecept in the eyes of medeocre na who nor like better thin? dont come here and decorate mikel obi for us as if you where the only one watching him playing. the guy had a lucky carea never was to be compared to oliseh who had 54 caps for dormund as a starter same figure for ajax and colon with powerfull goals to account for it. if not for morinho mikel would have long expired in our memory just like promise isaac, obasi etc.

    • Emecco 2 years ago

      Collins ID, you took so much time and energy to exhibit hatred instead of Objectivity, Let me burst your bubble, Mikel scored more goals and had more assists than Oliseh for SE, you said that Onazi and Mba made us to win Afcon 2013, ?? Thats a fat lie, Mikel had 2 assists for Nigeria and also made the tournament best 11, together with Ambrose, Enyeama and Emenike.Same 2013 that he closely lost to Yaya Toure as CAF player of the year, All the matches you claim we lost because of Mikel are incorrect, At Confederation Cup, 2013, He scored a wonder goal against Uruguay and was our best player against Spain, even 11 Onazis or 11 Oliseh couldn’t have saved SE against either Spain or Uruguay, At AFcon 2008 and 2010, The entire team was poor and not only Mikel, He even scored a vital goal against Benin (our first at AFCon 2008),he also made the assist for Yak to score our 2nd,During the qualifiers for World Cup 2010, Mikel bossed the midfield in all our qualifiers including recording 2 assists in our final qualifying game against Kenya in Nairobi, a game we came from behind to win 3-2, he was the man of the match .Mikel was also influential as captiain as Nigeria won bronze at Rio-2016, He
      Scored once and made 2 assists in the tournament , The only bad tournament that Mikel had was the 2014 world cup in Brazil, Let’s go to Chelsea careers, No true Chelsea fan hate him, we all love him cos he gets the job done, his best season for Chelsea was in 2010 ,when he was at the base of Carlo Ancellotti ‘s Diamond formation, He was fantastic with Ballack, Lampard, Essien and Deco, he played 31 out 38 League games and was rated the best passer of the ball in the entire EPL that year as Chelsea (my club) won the doubble, Mikel was also Massive as Chelsea won the UCL in 2012, Mikel alongside Raul Meireles ware Chelsea’s best players in the Semifinal against Barca at Camp Nou, In the final against Bayern, he was also excellent in 120 mins of football, Chelsea could have lost that final if DiMatteo tried to sub him. For every trophy Chelsea won at Chelsea, he was an integral part of the team and not a squad member, Mikel is a very technical player with great vision, Oliseh is more flamboyant that’s why Nigerians love him more,but to come here and paint Mikel as bad player in not only false but its unfair and demeaning for one of the most successful Nigerian players ever, You can ask about all his peers in Siasia’s Flying Eagles of 2005,none of them ever lasted more than 5 years for SE, but hear this, Mikel played for Nigeria from 2006 to 2018(12 good years) Amassing 91 caps, 6 goals and several assists, and have close to 400 games for Chelsea, he is truly a Nigeria and Chelsea Legend.

      • It’s a shame this has turned to Chelsea fanclub defending one of their own and baseless compatriotism. Mikel, Best backward passer in the premiership. You should be ashamed to have written all these!

      • Jones 2 years ago

        God will bless you immensely @emecco..mikel had a better football career than Oliseh…..they are both good and not alike…y’all should stop trying to play down Mikel’s influence for Nigeria

  • OmoEsan 2 years ago

    “I am still of the opinion prime Mikel will feature regularly for the ’94 eagles,not saying he will bench Oliseh,rather any sensible coach should be happy having players like Sunday Oliseh,Austin Okocha,Mikel Obi and Nwankwo Kanu in their team and this four great players can play together in the first team.”

    @greenturf, ☝️ the above is your quote and I need you to give me an answer to the question below;

    In an era that our traditional 4-4-2 reigned supreme, please tell me that player you will drop for Mikel Obi from the quartet of JayJay Okocha (central/attacking midfield), Oliseh (defensive midfield), Finidi George (right wing) and Amuneke (left wing).

    From my perspective, Mikel will play a bench role. I await your response in this regard.

    “Owobokiri and Akpoborie had their chances but didn’t cover themselves in glory!but in Mikel’s case he had a great career with his international team”

    The above ☝️ is another quote of yours, @Greenturf and I dare say that your assertion here is not true. Jonathan Akpoborie & Richard Owubokiri proved themselves beyond doubt on the few occassions they had their chances and they have goals to show for it. It was just unfortunate that their best wasn’t enough to displace Yekini, Amokachi and Siasia , all at their prime at that time. I think it is wrong to say Akpoborie and others who didn’t have much playing time didn’t cover themselves in glory when they had their chance.

    • greenturf 2 years ago

      Owobokiri and Jonathan were great club players but not the same for the national team i’m afraid.

      Jonathan Akpoborie had more chances than Owobokiri but he was average in the games he played.Owobokiri only played one game against South Africa though he scored a goal in that match,aside the goal he scored,he struggled and was rightly substituted.After that game Westerhof saw enough not to give him a second chance tough though.

  • greenturf 2 years ago

    Nigeria in the 80’s played with one striker.We used to have the likes of Sam Okwaraji,Henry Nwosu and Ademola Adeshina forming the midfield trio in the late 80’s.So 4-4-2 formation was introduced by Westerhof all because he scouted the likes of Amokachi and we have a skilful Samson Siasia both who likes to play behind the striker.

    Apparently,coaches chooses formation depending on the quality of players available.Then we have two good roaming strikers in Amokachi and Siasia who both have speed and are comfortable on the ball,and you have a Yekini who is only good as a point man/Arrowhead.So what Westerhof did was to play a pattern to the strength of the team.Structuring your team to make it more effective is one priority of a good coach.

    However,if we had a prime Mikel then with his quality the coach may have to change formation to accommodate Mikel.

    You should also know then Okocha sometimes starts on the bench yet he’s a first team player.Coaches have a core of at least 15 players whom they can call upon to start games depending on tactics for a particular match.So my answer to your question is Mikel will definitely be on the list of the 15 favourites to start games and any of this fifteen players could start a match depending on tactics for that particular encounter and this core (15)are seen or regarded as first team players.

    • OmoEsan 2 years ago

      Well we’re all entitled to our individual opinions, but I must say that you defended your opinion about Mikel well, even though you stylishly evaded my question about the first 11 of the ’94 Eagles era. You gave an answer of a first 15, which is reasonable, cuz on some occassions Westerhof, and later Phillipe Troussier started JayJay, Mutiu & Oliseh in their first eleven and got good results. Going by your analogy, I guess Mutiu’s place would have been Mikel’s had it been Mikel’s type of talent was available in that era.

      For Akpoborie and Owubokiri, I still believe they would have been very good internationals if they had enough chances like others. The team was just too competitive at the time.

      Our arguements about Oliseh vs Mikel can go on and on but I have chosen to define ‘greatness’ in this context as that player who gave me fond memories the most, and that is Sunday Oliseh.

      It’s been nice trading tackles with you @Greenturf and I must say I enjoyed every bit of it.

      Please let’s keep the fire burning on this forum.


      • greenturf 2 years ago

        I would like to thank you also @OmoEsan for volunteering your time in such fruitful,constructive engagement.

        I would also acknowledge a lot of ground was covered in this high quality as well interesting argument.

        We learn’t so much from each other and looking forward to future interesting and civil exchanges.

  • FatherJP 2 years ago

    @Greenturf, i beg to disagree with you on the fact that Clemence Westerhof introduced 4-4-2 to Nigerian national team. We have always been playing that way from time immemorial. Even the Brazilian Otto Gloria deployed it to win Afcon in 1980.

    Chief Onigbinde played it in 1984 Afcon and 2002 Wc.

    The German; Manfred Hoener played it at Maroc 88…you mentioned late Sam Okwaraji- he was a strike partner of Rashidi Yekini in that tourney flanked by Ndubuisi Okosieme on the right and Humphrey Edobor on the left wing. Central midfield has Ademola Adeshina (DMF) and Henry Nwosu (AMF) respectively.

    infact most footballing nations up till USA 94 played 4-4-2

    4-3-3 and their likes only became popular by France 98 when the host nation deployed Emmanuel Petit and Didier Deschamps as double pivots to devastating effect.

    Phillipe Troussier, popularly called the white witch Doctor was the first coach to try and change our playing style when he deployed a strange 3-5-2 in Ougadougou against Burkinafaso in a World Cup qualifier. though he qualified us, the authorities fearing the system was cumbersome for our players sacked him and employed the Serb; Bora Milutonovic to tinker us at France 98 WC

    • greenturf 2 years ago

      When you adopt a 4-3-3 formation normally you have one defensive midfielder known as the number 4 then a central midfielder which is number 10 then you have the attacking midfielder who takes the ball to the opposition box which is the number 8.Sam Oparaji was the number eight.

      This was a staple Nigeria system which was adopted from the 60’s right to the late 80’s until Westerhof came with a twin strikers formation where two natural strikers are played upfront unlike the previous system which allows a number eight a natural midfielder to attack right from the middle.

      Our youth teams in the 80’s adopted the old Nigerian formation where the likes of Mutiu of Saudi ’89 was the attacking midfielder (number 8)whereas Christopher Nwosu and late Peter Ogaba were the central and defensive midfielders respectively.

      • 4-3-3 is a triangle formation which can equally be turned upside down. The version you described is the African version of the system. Number 4 & 5 are central defenders while 6 is a defensive midfielder. I remembered telling my First European coach that I play number 4 and the guy just threw me into Central defense one time .

  • Mercy 2 years ago

    This is a bit difficult debate simply because mikel do not at any time played as a DM for Nigeria except for the match against Egypt 2017 NC qualifiers. But if we want to narrow the debate to what both players did at club level, the argument about who is better will still also be up in the air. Mikel might not be fans favorite but he is a player who played regularly under the best coaches in the world. His reading of games and the way he interpreted his role is exception. The qualities he possesses reminds mr of didier deschamps, someone you will not appreciate when he is on the field yet when he is taken off you will felt his absent.
    Nevertheless my preference as to who is better from their playing days at club level would be Sunday oliseh.

  • TUNDE 2 years ago

    With all everybody have contributed,which one are u going to INVEST ON and make money if u are ask to invest on

  • DeStar 2 years ago

    @Ayphillydegreat , it is gladdening to note you checked on me ( One love) , I am in great shape, only that I seldom have plenty of time this days unlike during the lock-downed , trying to adjust soon.

    @OmoEsan , you nailed it brilliantly, @ MrHursh well said 

    @ Collins Id, please CALM DOWN on Mikel, don’t allow @Greenturf gets you tear Mikel apart , your submissions are  great, however I don’t want us to miss the fact that Mikel actually is highly talented than Oliseh and should have been one of the best ever player Nigerian and African ever produced had Mikel raised his game to his potentials, Mouhrino’s Chelsea killed the talent in Mikel.

     The basic fact is Mouhrino never needed  our Mikel in that Chelsea squad but was forced to accommodate him because of his contract saga with ManU, part of the Mouhrino strategy in his first arrival in Chelsea was harassment strategy to scare any Premiership club going for good players so as to remain  dominant , hence with the chest war saga in snatching Mikel from ManU , JM was left with no choice than to creat role for him and Mikel also hand couldn’t manage his success like his contemporary Messi , while Messi believed his achievement in under 21 WC was a starting point and a learning process by going back to play with his mates in the Olympic qualifying matches for Argentina and then used the Olympic tournament to announced himself to the world as the world best Player on the block without any player to be compared with , as it was in the then U21 World Cup where he had almost photo finished with Mikel as the world best U21 player ; Mikel on the other hand felt he had arrived , disrespectful to his Nigerian Coach , felt too big to compete in the qualifying matches as he pompously granted interview then that he couldn’t honour qualifiers as he was the busiest Nigeria player in the world ( pride sets in as in average Nigerian player challenges in managing modest success) , when he wanted to reap from where he didn’t sowed, Siasia called the bluff of NFF by dropping him , thereby losing the opportunity to show his talent and give Messi the fight of his life again ( who knows, if Mikel had gone to that Olympic he could have shown like a million stars , with all the chances in this world to attract other elite clubs  where he can expressed himself and raised his game unlike in Chelsea where he was completely overwhelmed , playing “No be me spoiled am football” and became none attractive to any elite or average club in Premiership , in France , LaLiga, In Holland, Italy Germany . Mikel went to the last Olympic not for patriotism but to get an opportunity to attract contract from any other club as Chelsea have not only relegated him but had also bought a new player that would permanently benched him. Mikel’s Chelsea team may have won many laurels with him but , does he made any big performance statement in his 10 years in the Blue Colour ? No ordinary player of the week  nor  No player of the month let alone any club asking for his service for 10 good years ! 

    On a final note, Mikel is a great midfield player with under-utilized  talent who could have been the best ever player , but if it is not Panadol, It can never be Panadol, Baba-Sunny to Mikel  is simply Coca-Cola to Pepsi.

    Mikel couldn’t have benched any midfield player of 1994 team where JJ Okocha was not even in a starting eleven and If Etim Essien had not also finished his career too due to his uncurbed indiscipline JJ Okocha himself would have been fringe a  player in that squad let alone Mikel guaranteed shirt , the best is bench role 

    • Please stop the hype on the 2005 u-21. Everyone (including FIFA)knows Mikel wasn’t the 2nd best player in that tournament. The likes of Taye Taiwo, Chinedu Obasi and Sergio Aguero were more influential for their teams. But that’s not the issue here. Mikel was useless as an attacking midfielder so Mourinho turned him into a defensive one. If Mikel was sure of his talent, why didn’t he refuse? Kevin de Bruyne and Pogba refused to be transformed into what they are not.

  • TALK UR OWN 5 months ago