Sports News of Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Newly installed interim coach of Chelsea Guus Hiddink has paid glowing tribute to Michael Essien as being one of the most reliable anchors of the side during his first spell in charge.
The 69-year-old has returned to Stamford Bridge once more again in an interim capacity until the end of the season following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.
Hiddink in his first spell, also inherited a side that was low on confidence over extensive poor results under Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The former Netherlands coach however had the latitude of falling on the immense experience of the likes of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack to galvanize the side into winning the FA Cup in 2009.
In his first official press conference on his return to Chelsea, Guus Hiddink admits it will be difficult to compare the squad then and now due to the absence of these influential players.
“Although back then the players also didn’t perform well, but we had Drogba, Lampard, Ballack, Essien,” he said.
“It’s difficult to compare.”
Michael Essien was considered one of the finest midfielders in the world during his most productive days with Chelsea.
The Ghanaian won two Premier League titles with the Blues during his nine-year stay at Chelsea which also included a one-year loan stint at Real Madrid before eventually moving on to join AC Milan.