is not a big fan of Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mikel and has accused the Super Eagles man of being a pale imitation of former Chelsea star, Claude Makelele.
Curbishley expects Mikel to raise his game as he believes the 26-year-old can be better in his position as a holding midfielder at Chelsea.
“He (Mikel) is the only designated holding midfielder at Chelsea but my question is that he doesn’t do (his job on the pitch) that well,” Curbishley said on popular television programme, Football Today aired on SuperSport on Friday.
Drawing comparisons between Mikel and Makelele, Curbishley said the Nigerian is dwarfed by the Frenchman as far as ability in the holding midfield role is concerned.
“He doesn’t do it anywhere near as well as Makelele used to do it used to do it (for Chelsea),” he said.
Curbishley who also previously managed another Premier League club, West Ham United however expects the Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho to give Mikel another opportunity to prove himself when the Blues face Arsenal on Monday night.
“I think Mourinho will make a statement on Monday. I think he will start with Mikel and Ramires as holding midfielders.
“This is to ensure that the Chelsea back four gets a lot of protection from a very powerful Arsenal midfield.
“Later on in the game, I think players like Frank Lampard will be introduced but before then, there will be a lot of responsibility on players like Mikel to offer great protection to Chelsea’s back four,” he added.