Michael Essien reveals how Di Matteo “pushed” him out of Chelsea
Former Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien, has revealed that he was forced out of Chelsea by former Manager Roberto Di Matteo.
The Italian replaced Andre Villas Boas half way into the 2011/2012 season and led Chelsea to the Champions League title later that season.
Essien only featured once in the champions league after Di Matteo took over, the 4-1 home win against Napoli in the round of 16 return leg.
After spending nine seasons with the Blues, Essien left the club to join Italian side AC Milan in 2014.
The former Ghana international spent the 2013 season on loan at Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Reports emerged after his departure that former coach Andre Villas Boas was the one who pushed him out of the club but Essien has now revealed the decision to leave was made under what he considered mistreatment from Roberto Di Matteo.
“Every injury I had when I was playing for Chelsea I came back stronger. I remember my first injury was around September 2008, I came back much stronger and took my position in the team,” Essien said on ConvosWithCarol which was monitored by GHANASoccernet.com
“2010 was the same but when Villas Boas came, I was unlucky because I was part of his plans. I knew him long ago because he worked with Jose. I was part of his plans but then I got injured so I didn’t play any game for him. I returned from injury and played like just five minutes for him so he didn’t really had chance to work with me.”
“Another coach that was very good to me was Ancelloti [Carlo]. He’s one of the best but he was unlucky because I started the season with him but didn’t finish. The second year I didn’t start but finished with him so he got only like a year from me which was sad. It was due to injuries.”
“Di Matteo came and obviously I was coming back from injury and I remember we played a Champions League game against Napoli and we lost. It was an away game. I think that was the last game for Villas Boas.”
“The return game, Di Matteo made the decision to put all the big boys in the game…the Lampards, Drogbas, Makeleles and the Essiens and we won 4-0 after extra time and qualified. A couple of weeks later he said I was not match fit which I didn’t appreciate because if that’s the case why did I play 120 minutes some few weeks ago against Napoli, but anyway everyone see things differently so I didn’t mind because I was working for the team.
“That’s when things started declining because I felt a bit down but then I had gotten an opportunity to go to Real Madrid so I proved to them that I’m back. I was playing at the right-back at Real Madrid which was one of the most difficult positions on the pitch but I managed to do it,” Essien concluded.