John Obi Mikel thinks the ‘fantastic’ 23-year-old Chelsea player is too quiet or introverted
Chelsea captain Reece James needs to be a lot more vocal when he steps on the football pitch.
That is according to John Obi Mikel.
Reece James, who’s been on Chelsea’s books since a boy, is now the captain of the first team at Stamford Bridge.
We’ve not had much of an insight yet into the type of captain the 23-year-old will be due to injury this season, but he’s recently fit again and made his second start of the campaign in Monday night’s 4-1 win over Tottenham in the Premier League.
Chelsea fans do know from previous years that the right-back is one of this squad’s few elite players that sets the standards with their performances.
He can be louder
Retired midfielder Mikel, who played in a golden Chelsea era, had gigantic teammates such as John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba in his dressing room.
He’s a bit worried that this young squad under Mauricio Pochettino is lacking in real leadership.
Mikel admits he would love to see James step forward as a louder presence in games because he’s too quiet.
“I know Reece James is a captain and he’s a fantastic player, but when I watch him on the pitch he’s not vocal,” he told talkSPORT.
“I remember when John Terry used to come up to a player and grab you by the neck and be like ‘wake up, we’re about to lose a game here’.
“I don’t see that here. Nobody even talks to each other. Nobody corrects, nobody screams at each other. How are you going to win games?”
Reece James can lead
We agree that James may not immediately stand out as a loud leader at Chelsea. The same could be said for someone like 39-year-old Blues centre-back Thiago Silva.
However, we guarantee that the aforementioned duo have the respect of their peers both on and off the pitch.
Any regular Chelsea watchers will know that James certainly doesn’t duck from any confrontations with opposition players. He’s a serious presence on the pitch with his physical attributes, too.
We’re sure that James will learn and grow into this captaincy role over time.
For every authorative skipper like Terry, you’ve got an equally effective quieter model like Cesar Azpilicueta.
Let’s wait and see how the armband impacts James a bit further down the line.
Incidentally, TEAMtalk claimed recently reported that Real Madrid are interested in signing Chelsea full-back James. They can keep their hands off him, though!