Another new season begins, new manager, new signings, players returning from loan, new expectations, new excitement. Personally, you can imagine my excitement when I was told by Chelsea that I would be blogging alongside THE Michael Essien this season who is back in the squad and back blogging. Yes it’s official, the Bison is back in that respect.
It’s early days, but I have a real feeling that Essien will play a pinnacle part of our season this year pending no serious injuries. He spent last season on loan with Jose Mourinho in La Liga featuring for Real Madrid, where he was used as a regular back up option as a right back and in centre midfield. On the whole he played well managing 20 appearances and scoring twice, thus showing signs of the class that he produced during his peak playing days at Chelsea, when he was managed by Mourinho.
We all know the ability Jose has as a man manager and once again he seems to be proving this fact with Essien. The tough tackling Ghanaian international is still only 30 years of age, even though many people assume he is older than that because he’s been around for so long, he is still very much at a good age to perform at his highest level. Many of us sceptic supporters wrote him off two or three seasons back when he struggled with injuries and to maintain any kind of solid form that saw him compete as one of the best players in the world in his position. Unfortunately with the way football is, there cannot be the patience offered to a player who has dipped in form, clubs demand success and subsequently Essien was loaned out to Madrid, where Mourinho was happy to have him.
We all know that Essien has suffered a number of serious injuries on his knee during his career which most people say is the cause of his dip in form, which would certainly make sense. A player will lose confidence and repetitiveness being out for so long.
Now very much back in the squad, Essien seems like a different player, his personality is back, his attitude seems positive and the way he holds himself just seems better and more encouraging. Early signs in our pre-season friendlies would suggest that we are seeing Essien almost back to his very best, for me he has been one of the best performers so far along with Victor Moses. It’s refreshing to see him getting stuck in once again, winning those tackles, bossing the midfield while still remaining composed and clever on the ball. We missed this type of midfielder so often last season where our midfield was rolled over too easily and we struggled to deal with swift counter attacks. With Essien back in the fold, I can really seem him cementing that holding midfield role as his own once again. For me, he is like a new signing providing he can stay injury free and gain his consistency back again.
Players lose form and players generally lose ability, I believe with Essien he simply lost his form. Now form is certainly something you can get back under the right mentality and coaching, I truly believe with Mourinho backing him, we will again see the best out of the midfield general that is the no nonsense Michael Essien aka The Bison!
Written By Simon Phillips, follow my Twitter here –> @CFCneteditor