midfielder Michael Essien will be under a new coach at Chelsea next
season after Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari was named the new manager of
the Blues. World Cup winner and current Portugal coach Scolari was
chosen to succeed Avram Grant, who was fired last month. The Brazilian
will stand down as Portugal manager at the end of Euro 2008 and take
charge at Stamford Bridge.
Essien had enjoyed a good relationship with former Chelsea coach
Jose Mourinho, who catapulted the Ghanaian into a club favourite.
Scolari, who is reported to be a fan of Essien is expected to enhance
the position of the midfielder who suffered under previous coach Grant.
The Ghanaian was forced to start from the bench in several matches
under the Israeli and suffered when he was used as a right back in
improtant matches. Scolari’s first task at Chelsea may be to fight off
the advances from Jose Mourinho for some of his players.
Mourinho has made it clear he would like to take some of his old
squad to Italy, where he was recently appointed Inter manager. Essien,
Frank Lampard, Ricardo Carvalho and Didier Drogba have all been linked
with Inter, but no deals have been struck.
Scolari arrives at Chelsea with record of success in international
competition. In 1995 and 1999, he won the Copa Libertadores, South
America’s equivalent of the Champions League. He was in charge of the
Brazil team that won the World Cup in 2002, knocking England out in the
He was also in charge of the Portugal that knocked England out of
Euro 2004 at the quarter-final stage and he was widely linked with the
England job in 2006.