Manchester United - Essien's Overconfidence Is Ridiculous
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Essien's Overconfidence Is Ridiculous

Mind games, they say. Probably they are right - but it should not detract from the fact that Sir Alex's comments about Chelsea were actually valid.

Though papers boasted bold headlines like 'Fergie: Chelsea not a major title threat', he said nothing of the sort. If you read his comments carefully, he just said that he did not expect Chelsea to significally improve under Scolari, no matter how good a manager he is and is therefore not afraid of them.

"It would have to go beyond Mourinho's performance to really worry us. It will be a challenge with the players they've got and the players they've added - they've got a lot of experience and that was the one thing I was a bit concerned about - but I don't know how far that team has got to go."

it's hard to see where there's going to be a big improvement with a team that's really very experienced. Maybe plateaued in a way. How can they accelerate beyond what they've done up to now when you see the ages they've got?"

"I'm not saying necessarily they're old because with the modern-day training methods, you should be playing in your thirties, but I don't see outstanding progress in a team that's in their thirties."

These are mostly valid points. Chelsea won't transform into an unbeatable super team and they'll have to flex their considerable financial muscle to really improve the team. They have very few young players who could be considered first-team regulars so they must rely on experience to keep up the standards, rather than improving.

Still, Essien fell for Fergie's words spectacularly - unlike his manager who wisely shrugged off Fergie's comments - and the Ghanaian issued an angry and defiant response in which he claimed that Chelsea are the best thing since Jesus walked on water.

'We've got the best players in the world at Chelsea and by next May will be the only team in contention. Chelsea will win the title this year,' he stated in The Sun.

'Players like Ballack, Lampard and Deco are world class. It is to our advantage that we have so many players who have achieved so much.

'As you can see in training or during the games, they can always change the games. They have a winning mentality so it's going to be good for us.

'Hopefully this year we will win more trophies. Last year was unlucky for us, these things happen in football but you just have to forget about it.'

"I don`t think United will be our principal rivals. Liverpool, Arsenal and a lot of other clubs are signing good players."

Woohoo, Michael is getting carried away. Anyway, it's worth a good laugh, nothing else. Or maybe a reminder: a certain John Obi Mikel claimed Chelsea were the best team in the land and would certainly win the 2007/08 league title. Remind me, what did Chelsea win last season?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 23 2008

Time: 8:06PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
that's it upset us Pensioners! Cheek of the young of today!
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23/07/2008 20:12:00

and you could have picked a more up to date picture of The Bison!
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23/07/2008 20:13:00

why merlin e hasn't done anything recently?
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23/07/2008 20:32:00

won nothing but were the moral victors, lucky man ure, wont be next time !!
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23/07/2008 20:40:00

The opperative bit in all this is..." As reported in the Sun"......pleeeease read grown up newspapers!
Report Abuse
23/07/2008 20:44:00

fergie is trying to move attention away from the ronaldo story, which is an utter embarassment for him, for fergie, and for the club in general. fergie is getting a little desperate and i find it pretty amusing.
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23/07/2008 20:48:00

Perhaps RadioactiveD, but thats no hiding away from the fact he is right. I mean, unless that Di Santo guy gets in your team next season (which is very unlikely) - what real youth do you have? Kalou? Miklel? Hardly world beaters, are they - and not a shot on the likes of Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Ronaldo, Fabregas, Clichy, Torres etc.
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23/07/2008 20:54:00

We have no youth, that's true. Actually that is annoying. In our starting line-up only Essien is under 25! 5 players are over 30. I hoped we would buy some new young players this summer but nothing happened. That doesn't make me too optimistic for the next season to be honest.
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23/07/2008 21:08:00

bosingwa and essein are 25. ivanovic is 24. j.cole, swp, alex, and cech are 26. mikel is 21. kalou is 22. bridge, terry, and a.cole are 27. di santo is 19 (and yes, he is 1st team now). though they may not be incredibly youthful, they are not old. lampard, deco, shevchenko, drogba, ballack, and carvalho are all 30-32. man u has neville (33), van der sar (37), giggs (34), scholes (33), and ferdinand (29). both teams have their old, experienced leadership. man u just have a larger age gap between their players. they have had an established old leadership so they invested heavily in youth. chelsea were missing the experience that comes with tradition, so they invested heavily in experience and leadership. Now they will turn towards the youth, just as arsenal and man u have been doing for a few years now. Chelsea's plan isnt a one year all or bust strategy. its developing a team that will be on top for a long time to come. buying youth is pointless if you dont have the experienced leadership to lead them in the right direction (cough arsenal cough). fergie is just scared that we finally have a competant manager and hes gonna have more competition on the youth market. oh and how close was chelsea with a *****ty ass manager that cant even get a job at a league one club let alone a premier league club. it was r.a.'s snub to mourinho to show him hed rather have some incompetant idiot rather than him. mikel's comments last year were assuming mourinho wouldnt get in repeated fights with r.a. and get fired, too. essien's comments are a challenge to man u to produce a worthy opponent. you cant be the best if you dont beat the best. so please talk ronaldo into staying so you dont have any excuses at the end of the year.
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23/07/2008 21:57:00

wow where did my line breaks go?
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23/07/2008 21:58:00

and how is this overconfidence?
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23/07/2008 22:38:00

Di Santo played yesterday and scored. Chelsea have plans for him this season as he dominated the reserves last season. Scolari is also setting up a much stronger youth to seniors path so our youth can progress. as far as Essien getting anrgy, its funny how you put it compared to everyone else. In every other report its "the soft spoken Essien simply said", but to you lot its the angry Essien. As for age, What about Giggs, Scholes and Van Der Sar? They would bring your average age near 40 now wouldn't they? Yeah, we won nothing last year, we also had a toad for a manager who knew nothing. Now we've got a amanager who is one of the best in the world. Don't expect to coast so easily.
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23/07/2008 22:53:00

indeed. essien is responding in a way that's no different from how any man utd players would respond, and his response isn't unreasonable anyway. and look, you can debate all day long about what age is "old" in football or which team is older than the other; you can debate about who has more so-called "better" young players. i'd rather measure our success on the pitch. man utd have reason to worry about chelsea because we've acquired a new manager, deco, bosingwa, and possibly another winger on the way. any long-time football fan knows the EPL title doesn't belong to any club once the new season begins. we're coming back stronger and i like our chances. i say that with no disrespect to man utd in mind. your chances are sound as well.
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23/07/2008 22:54:00

Looking forward to the challenge!
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24/07/2008 09:18:00

Over-confidence? Um, well doesn't 'We've got THE BEST players in the WORLD at Chelsea and by next May will be the ONLY team in contention. Chelsea WILL WIN the title this year,' strike you as just a little bit too confident?
Man utd champions
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24/07/2008 10:09:00

They don't have Dong, he's one of the best players in the world.
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24/07/2008 11:39:00

Chelsea were lucky to finish this year in 2nd. They are a bunch of boring anti footballing clowns. Watch out for the Bananna skin there Terry. The Champions League is like a Terry's Choclate Orange.......... It's not Terry's its mine!! Hahaha! GIRFUY Chelsea scum! United for the EPL next year and Celtic for the SPL!
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24/07/2008 12:54:00

R.K, old jokes mate.
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24/07/2008 13:14:00

Lucky to finish second? This is a squad that beat Man Utd at the climax of the EPL season and took you all the way to penalties in the CL final. Lucky? Grow up mate. You're kidding yourself and looking foolish by denying that Chelsea have a great squad and are probably the only one that can challenge you step by step in the league. Call us boring, call us lucky. Soon enough you can call us champions.
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24/07/2008 21:11:00

Well, I dont think anyone is saying you dont have a great squad asnd yes, you probably will be our greatest challenge. However, the point being made is that it is very unlikely you are going to IMPROVE on last season. The same can be said of us, how do you improve on a double winning season? However we have youth on our side, something even Chelsea fans must acknowledge.
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25/07/2008 11:29:00

Chelsea might not need to improve, you're assuming Man Yoo will maintain last seasons performance levels. They drop slightly and then what...?
North Upper
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25/07/2008 13:56:00

Actually I think we could have done better last year...remember the first three ridiculous games where the ball wouldnt go in? draw-draw-loss... the pompey FA Cup game.. ridiculous loss but they happen...same goes for chelsea...some games will be lost when you least expect it... Thing is though, your defence is nowhere near good as ours, even if you got "Captain Fantastic"! overated very good defender...Rio is top class... I like Carvalho..i think he is one level above least... And then comes the attack...again... we are untouchable, especially if berba comes over! People talk about ronaldo;s 42 goals, but no one is worried when rooney starts firing on all cylinders.I think berbatov of santa cruz are the key to that...if CR scores 25, another 20+ for rooney plus the tevez and Berba goals, we'll breeze through the EPL... Nani and Anderson will come more into play for midfield, whereas chelsea got mikel only... Joe cole not getting any better...he's given all he can... Lampard and ballack the same...Mikel is a decent player but he wont make the difference...your wings suck big time... I dont know about this Di Santo guy, but hey! guess what! Lee Martin scored for us the other day!!! You're gonna get it now!!!! ...actually no...unfortunately for both of us, thats not the way it goes...
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25/07/2008 16:43:00

"Lucky to finish second? This is a squad that beat Man Utd at the climax of the EPL season and took you all the way to penalties in the CL final" Boohoo, touch a nerve? CL final should have been done and dusted in the 1st half. We wont be calling you champions of anything soon, dont' know what your smoking but I would love to try it.
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25/07/2008 17:20:00

BTW Essien, is s-h-i-t-e.
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25/07/2008 17:21:00

dont believe everything you read in the sun mate.
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25/07/2008 17:45:00

Essien is far from "s-h-i-t-e". And Di Santo is young and a little raw but there's a reason Chelsea paid money for the kid - he's got great potential. Scored again today. Which makes his Chelsea 1st team and Reserve record something like 10 appearances 9 goals. Although, to be fair, the opposition did allow 7 goals to go Chelsea's way. There are a number of other youngsters who look very promising as well, such as Kakuta, Sinclair, Stoch, Tejera... But as I'm sure we can all agree - potential doesn't necessarily mean they'll all turn out great. All in all, I think the comments by Ferguson were made in a traditional Fergie style and shouldn't have been taken quite so seriously *cough*Help the Aged*cough*
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26/07/2008 19:59:00

Essien's a good player - we wouldn't have minded him, but we've got plenty of midfielders now. But soe of the stuff he says just defies belief. Wait a few games, mate.
Man utd champions
Report Abuse
20/08/2008 10:03:00

I wouldn't say Chelsea were 'lucky' to finish second (they deserved what they got), but certainly if Arsenal hadn't imploded, they'd have finished third.
Man utd champions
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20/08/2008 10:04:00


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