Essien tipped to bounce back
National boss says he will show his best
By Chris Galea. Last Updated: September 13, 2012 10:16pm
James Kwesi Appiah: Tipping Michael Essien to shine
Michael Essien will return to his best form this season, according to Ghana's national team boss James Kwesi Appiah.
The 29-year-old's career has stalled over the past couple of seasons due to a series of injuries, preventing him from playing for both club & country in major tournaments such as last season's Champions League success and Ghana's 2010 World Cup campaign.
However, the commanding midfielder's recent switch to Spain with Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could be the catalyst for greater things, Appiah told Sky Sports.
"Having monitored the off-season games that Michael has featured in for Chelsea I can certainly see him getting back to his best this year, but we will have to wait and see whether that happens when he features for Real Madrid," he said.
"Obviously, a lot can happen in football, but we hope that Michael can stay fit and get back to the level that we all know he is capable of.
"The chance to work with Mourinho again might help because Michael played some of his best football under him at Chelsea.
"However, his lack of football in recent years has given other great players, such as Prince Buaben and Emmanuel Frimpong, the chance to shine and if he isn't around they are more than good enough to fill the void.
Ghana are in the middle of their quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and Appiah is confident of sealing their place in Brazil when they resume next year.
"We've played two games at the moment and we will continue our qualification process next year," he said.
"We won one and lost one, so with three games more we should be okay and the next one, in March, is in Ghana.
"We've played Sudan already and beaten them, so hopefully we can do that again and give ourselves a great chance of qualifying."