Ask someone who the best player in the world is and nine times out of ten the answer is either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Essien is a fantastic player and does not usually get mentioned in the same breath as the Argentinian and Portuguese men, but why not. I believe that Michael Essien is as good, if not better. Of course he doesn’t have as many tricks and flicks as Ronaldo or the balance of Messi but you don’t necessarily need those attribute to be a world beater.
Essien offers an unbelievable amount to any team. Starting with his defensive abilities, in my opinion, they are second to none right now. He has incredible strength and his defensive awareness is brilliant he breaks up play and links up with the other players around him, usually Mikel and Malouda this season.
The thing that has really put him into the greatness of the football world right now is his added attacking performances this season. With Frank Lampard struggling for fitness, Essien has stepped into the box to box midfielder role. He started the campaign in special form scoring for fun and becoming the driving force in the blues offence. He has been dominant in the air defensively along with scoring with his head. The Ghanaian has shown class from outside the box as well scoring a collection of fabulous long range strikes that anyone would be proud off.
Many people are pointing towards the Ray Wilkins dismissal as the reason for Chelsea’s horrific form of late, but for me it is that Essien has been missing. Awful defensive performances, it’s hard to believe Sunderland would have been quite so dominant if Essien had been strutting his stuff. Against Birmingham they were bereft of world class in the middle of the park whether it be Lampard or Essien.
For me it was a big shame Essien was not a part of the World Cup. Ghana had the whole world behind them and lost by the finest of margins, Essien definitely has the class that could of forced them into a semi-final outing.
You look at the other players at the top of the world game in the English Premier League, La Liga or Serie A and you will rarely come across with such a well rounded footballer. He can play in the holding midfield role, box to box or attacking midfield and can comfortably fill in along the whole defence, only a strong, aware, hard working and technically gifted players can do this.
My final note is his work rate, many a talented player rely on their skill to get them through games, to Essien’s credit he does not, he has a huge engine and hunger on him making him invaluable to any team.