Essien: Mourinho’s “big ego” makes him special

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has claimed that Jose Mourinho’s best attribute as manager is his “big ego”.

The Ghanaian spent eight trophy-laden season in West London after being brought to the club by Mourinho in his first spell in charge.

Essien has plenty of praise for his ex-boss, while also backing him to get the best out of new recruit Radamel Falcao, who struggled to make an impact at Manchester United last term.

“We had a great group of players with a manager who was always behind us and kept pushing us,” Essien told The Guardian of his time at Stamford Bridge.

“We had players with big egos and big characters but at the same time they were good men as well. Mourinho has a big ego as well but in a good way. It was easy for him to manage those kind of players. He is still the same man. He’s still tough.”

Of Falcao’s surprise move to the Premier League champions, he added: “[Mourinho] knows how to get the best out of his players, how to say the right thing, how to motivate them. He will get him back to the Falcao everybody knows.”

Essien is now plying his trade in Greece at Panathinaikos, following spells at Real Madrid and AC Milan.