Former Black Stars midfielder Michael Essien’s ‘not interested’ response to whether he will consider working for Ghana as a manager has rekindled the narrative about him being bitter about the nation.
Essien seldom involves himself in national team activities, especially the Black Stars, aside sending well wishes prior to games and celebrating wins.
His relationship appears not to be as close as other former footballers share with the team after retirement. Therefore, his response to Nigerian journalist Lolade Adewuyi came as little surprise to most Ghanaians as it validates the narrative that he holds grudges against Ghanaians.
According to Prince Tagoe who played with Essien at the Black Stars, the ex-Chelsea man still feels hurt by the unfair treatment he faced during his international career.
Speaking with Angel FM, Tagoe gave the genesis of Essien’s ‘bitterness’ about Ghana.
“For somebody like Michael Essien, personally, Ghanaians didn’t treat him well. If I have to be honest, some of us, can say for a fact that Ghanaians did not treat him well. At the time when he was at his peak playing for Chelsea, he helped and played for Ghana. But when he started getting injuries and started to lose form for the likes of Anthony Annan to replace him, the fans use to talk trash about him that ‘he is nobody and can decide not to play(for the Black Stars)’,” he said.
“Michael Essien’s profile is similar to Stephen Appiah and these are the people who can help Ghana football…For Essien, we did not treat him well in everything including captaincy. So if he had decided not to come close to the Black Stars and it’s a fact,” he added.
Tagoe further cited Essien’s rare visit to Ghana to validate his argument about Essien’s resentment.
“From when we hosted AFCON and played at the World Cup in Brazil, you can see Essien is not the type who comes to Ghana often because of how some Ghanaians behave. Essien is one of the people who has sacrificed (for Ghana) and if he is now in a good position why can’t he help the youth team or the national team? It is our behaviour. If we don’t change our attitude, all the good ones won’t come close to the national team.”
Michael Essien announced his retirement in 2018, drawing the curtain on a 12-year international career. He was a member of the team that qualified Ghana for their first World Cup appearance in 2006 and played a key role in the team finishing in the last 16 at the tournament.
He has begun a new adventure in coaching and has secured his UEFA A license and UEFA Youth Elite Coach license. However, he does not see himself working for Ghana in the near future.
“On my way to Naples, had a long layover in Denmark where I met a legend of the game, Michael Essien. He’s now a coach at FC Nordsjaelland in the Danish Superliga. He recently got his UEFA A and UEFA Elite Youth Coach licenses. Future Black Stars coach? He said not interested,” Adewuyi’s tweet accompanied by a photo of himself and Essien read.
Watch Prince Tagoe’s assertion on Michael Essien’s bitterness about Ghanaians from 0:15