Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel reveals 'hurt' of poor Premier League campaign

 

John Obi Mikel has revealed how Chelsea's joy at their greatest ever season was tainted by the "hurt" of finishing so far off the pace in the Barclays Premier League.

And the Blues midfielder declared he and his team-mates were determined to slash the 25-point gap to Manchester City and Manchester United in one fell swoop this term and mount a genuine title challenge.

Chelsea spent almost the whole of last season teetering on the brink of their worst campaign since Roman Abramovich bought the club, before ultimately securing an amazing Champions League and FA Cup double.

For some, that rendered their sixth-place finish in the Premier League - by far their worst of the Abramovich era - largely meaningless, but not for a squad used to competing for and winning the title.

Mikel said: "It hurts us that it was such a big gap last season. We spoke about it. We don't want that to repeat itself."

He added: "We don't want a repeat of last season when we slipped out of the top four but, for us, the top four is not the target.

"The most important thing is to win the trophy. We want to regain the trophy."

Chelsea have certainly made a statement of intent on that front in the amount they have spent this summer, but they will need all the new players they can get in a season that sees them compete for silverware on seven fronts.

One of those trophies has already slipped away after they were beaten by champions City in Sunday's Community Shield.

But what was a fourth successive defeat in the build-up to tomorrow's Premier League opener at Wigan did not faze Mikel.

He said: "We're on the right track and if we keep doing what we're doing now, we'll be fine this season.

"It's going to be a long season. It's going to be too many games.

"It's about how you cope with it, how you manage the players and how you get through the games."

He added: "We want to defend the Champions League, we want to win the Premier League and, hopefully, we want to challenge for every cup."

That could be made more difficult as Chelsea gradually try to implement a more attractive style of play and finally bring the best out of Fernando Torres.

"You can see Fernando fitting into the way we want to play and hopefully he can do the job," said Mikel, who did not believe there would be a major change of approach.

"This is what we demand from him. This season, I hope he scores more goals for us."

In the Community Shield, Torres began this season as he ended the last, with a goal, and Mikel added: "We hope he's regained his confidence and that, during the season, he will come back and become the Torres we all know.

"There's no doubt about it, he's put in effort every day in training and you can see that in his game. Hopefully, it's just a matter of things working out for him.

"When he has the chances and puts them away, I think everyone in the team will love him."

PA

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Wonnacott dancing the pasadoble
TVStrictly Come Dancing The Result
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past