Michael Essien hails Jose Mourinho’s influence on coaching ambitions

Jose Mourinho and Michael Essien

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Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has revealed the lessons he learned from Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti as he embarks on the early stages of his own coaching career at Danish club FC Nordsjaelland.

Essien was instrumental to Mourinho’s successful first spell at Chelsea after joining the club from Lyon in 2005, and later worked with Ancelotti when the Italian arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2009, winning the Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010.

The former Ghana international, who was also coached by Mourinho at Real Madrid, said he considers both coaches to be “examples” for his own managerial career.

“I have played under so many coaches and every one is different,” Essien told The Football Ramble Podcast.

“I would take Mourinho as an example because I was very much connected with him, and also Ancelotti as well.

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“They are two different coaches but they have the same goal. They are winners, they want to win, they give you the tactical details and make sure it’s very clear so when you’re on the pitch you know what to do.

“It’s one of the things I am going to carry with me and hopefully I can transmit to the boys if one day I become a manager.”

Essien, 37, only called time on his playing career in 2020 after spells at clubs in Greece, Indonesia and Azerbaijan, and joined Nordsjaelland as a coach ahead of the 2020-21 season. The Danish club has links with the Right to Dream football academy in Essien’s native Ghana.

“I didn’t think I would make the transition [from player to coach],” he added. “When I was playing I always said, ‘No I don’t want to be a coach’ but when you love the game so much you always try to be in the game and be around the game.

“Two or three years ago I said I am coming toward the end of my career and I want to learn about the coaching side of the game and it will give me the opportunity to be on the pitch and to be around the players.

“When I started doing it, I started enjoying it and it was something I wanted to do.”


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