Mourinho almost made Chelsea players train with shin pads because of Essien – Wright-Phillips
The Ghanaian moved to Stamford Bridge in 2005 to play under Mourinho’s tutelage.
The Blues spent £ 24.4million to drive Essien away from Lyon, making him the club’s record at the time.
The 38-year-old has enjoyed massive success at Chelsea, winning several titles including the Premier League and the Champions League.
“The tempo was completely different when I moved to Chelsea. There was also a real improvement in quality,” Wright-Phillips told Bonus Finder.
“It only got worse when Michael Essien joined because Mourinho was at the point where he was thinking about getting the players to train with shin guards.
“There were so many tackles and the training was really competitive so I don’t think we would have blamed him if Mourinho had made this decision.”
Wright-Phillips was quick to add, however, that the seriousness of the players under Mourinho made the team successful.
“Having the chance to play with players like that and win trophies with this team was a dream come true for me. It has helped me improve as a player.
“It was an amazing time. The fans were great, Roman Abramovich was amazing and Mourinho … I thought he was a fantastic manager and a great man in general,” he added.
Essien is currently assistant coach of Danish top team Nordsjaelland, having hung up his professional football boots.