John Obi Mikel is not known for his goal-scoring but in Middlesbrough’s 2-1 win over Rotherham on Sunday he scored his first goal in English football for five years.
The goal itself was a fine left-footed strike from the penalty spot that flew into the roof of the net and the Nigerian captain looked to be sending his new team to the playoffs.
Sadly, however, Derby beat West Brom 3-1 which meant that they finished sixth and Boro seventh. In truth Boro made very hard work for themselves when they lost six in a row between March and April.
Form though picked up in recent weeks, winning five out of their last six, and Derby drawing with Swansea City in midweek gave the Teesiders hope that they would make the playoffs.
For a period of time they were finishing sixth, after Stefan Johansen had equalised for the Baggies at Pride Park, but Derby scored a quickfire double. They will now play Leeds in the playoffs.
Boro were disappointing for most of the season but Mikel proved to be an inspired signing as his vast experience and calmness on the ball steadied the midfield.
Middlesbrough fans may not want Tony Pulis to stay but they certainly want the 6 foot 2 midfielder to, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.
One fan said “Don’t go John” whilst another added “Sign him up.”
See the best of the Boro fans’ reactions down below.
— Callum x (@Cmon_T_Boro) May 5, 2019
Don’t go John 🙁
— Dan (@DanAaron_86) May 5, 2019
Stay, please. Just try next season. ?
— JF (@alilbitofflame) May 5, 2019
— Lesley Poole (@lellyk07) May 6, 2019
Sign him up
— Kieran Wright King (@kieranwk20) May 5, 2019
Hope your staying as it’s been a pleasure to watch you
— chris (@chris14348941) May 5, 2019