John Obi Mikel says he and his Chelsea teammates want to top the Premier League table by Christmas.
Jose Mourinho’s men could go clear at the summit of the league standing with a victory against Arsenal at the Emirate Stadium on Monday.
The Super Eagles midfielder was full of praise for the rejuvenated ‘Gunners’, who has undoubtedly proved their critics wrong so far this season, admitting their North London rivals are a threat to Chelsea’s title challenge.
“There has been stability at Arsenal. And I think people criticising them for failing to win a trophy has helped too,” Mikel told Premier League Television (PLTV). They have not won a trophy yet but you can see they are heading in the right direction.”
“Arsene Wenger is building something at Arsenal and it’s showing now in the way they are playing and their current position in the league table.
“They have a very good chance of winning then league title but so do we.”
The ‘Blues’ have lost a reasonable number of games from a winning position so far in the ongoing season, which their Portuguese boss insists is the players’ doing, and has urged them to improve and finish off opponents within glimmers of opportunities, as well as holding down their markers at critical points of the games.
Mikel accepts Mourinho’s criticisms of the team, which has lost 3 times this season and have scored a goal less and a conceded one goal more than their London rivals Arsenal.
Victory for the West Londoners today see them level on points with Liverpool and, with two more matches (the last of which is against the ‘Reds’) plus a huge goal difference set to decide who goes into the New Year on top of the league table. Arsenal could continue their league dominance by avoiding a similar lackluster performance as to that which saw them exit the League Cup at the expense of their Monday night’s opponents on October 29.
“We want to go there (Emirate Stadium) on Monday night and prove what we are made of,” he added.
“He (Mourinho) makes his view clear to us after the game.
“If we win, he’s happy. If we don’t, he’s not. Hopefully, by Monday, we will put things right. We are playing well and we are doing a few things correctly.
“We need to put the finishing touches and finish off chances when we get them. At the same time we have to defend well too.
“We want to be top of the table by Christmas and that’s what we are aiming for.”
The 26-year-old, who has made ten league appearances for Chelsea this season, could extend his league tally for the club to two tonight after netting his first in September in a 2-1 home win over Fulham.