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Media Watch: Essien discusses his transition to coaching, Southgate’s preference for Mount over Grealish explained, Cole admits misuse of free food privilege

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Michael Essien reveals his deep passion for football as he moves into the coaching ranks.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Essien on ‘switching to a different level’

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has told the YouTube channel of FC Nordsjaelland that he has gone into coaching at the Danish club because of his strong desire to remain involved with the game.

In a lengthy video interview, the 37-year-old said he was still passionate about playing the game but accepted he needed to make the switch to the next level after 20 years as a professional player.

‘I’ve loved football all my life. Up to now, I still want to be close to the players and have a kickabout with them because I love football. Even with the transition in my career, I still want to be around the players here,’ said the Ghanaian.

‘It’s not about freshening it up but taking it to another level from what I’ve been used to for many years.

‘I’ve been a player the whole time and now I’m looking to change a little bit. I’m looking to do my coaching badges and I’m learning how everything is done. I know I need to switch to a different level.

‘I do miss playing but we all know you can’t play football forever. At one point, you have to change and do different things. You’re going to miss it, but if you’re around the game, it’s more or less the same.’

Essien added that he was grateful for the opportunity to play for clubs in several countries over the course of the past two decades.

‘I’ve always been lucky to travel around the world and play football,’ said the globe-trotting midfielder who also played for clubs in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Indonesia and Azerbaijan.

‘Not many people have been able to do that and I’m privileged. I’ve enjoyed every journey that football has taken me on.’


Report explains Southgate’s preference for Mount

TalkSport has suggested England manager Gareth Southgate selected Mason Mount ahead of Jack Grealish for the recent Nations League victory over Belgium because of the Chelsea midfielder’s hard work off the ball.

Southgate’s decision to start Mount instead of the in-form Grealish was questioned by some supporters but his choice was vindicated as the 21-year-old scored the winning goal and was named Man of the Match.

And according to TalkSport, the selection of the Blues youngster was not a surprise after it analysed some Premier League statistics from last season which showed Mount had a clear edge over the Aston Villa captain in teams of applying pressure on opponents and regaining possession as a result of pressure.

‘Chelsea and England both use possession-based tactics, which require the speedy recovery of the ball when it’s lost,’ explained the report.
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‘Mount does that better than anyone, constantly applying pressure and winning it back in the attacking third, allowing Chelsea to catch opponents out and hit them when they’re vulnerable.

‘It’s not like Grealish doesn’t do that but his stats are nowhere near as impressive.

‘There is probably enough evidence to suggest Grealish is more talented than Mount, and some might ask at which point talent should supersede work rate in football,’ the report adds.

‘But for the way England and Chelsea want to play, Mount is better suited.’


Cole reveals his misuse of free food privilege

Carlton Cole has told TalkSport he made use of a special privilege card given to him during his early days as a Chelsea player to provide free food to his neighbours.

The former England striker explained that the card was given to him by Football Association sponsors McDonald’s when he first broke into the senior team at Stamford Bridge.

‘It was basically free food! You got one meal a day, but you could take as much as you want!’ explained Cole.

‘So I’d take like 10 burgers and it used to feed my estate.

‘I brought the mass with me, all my Brentford massive, and then we were just outside munching on burgers and chips, milkshakes, everything, the whole lot.

‘But they eventually took the card away from me, because this was an everyday thing!’

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