Bundesliga star explains how Chelsea helped his return to first-team action

Former Chelsea youngster Michael Mancienne has recently won back his place in the Hamburg SV first-team.

When Frank Arnesen left Chelsea and ended up at Bundesliga side Hamburg he took a number of Blues youngsters with him - one of which happened to be talented defender Michael Mancienne.

Mancienne had never truly had much of an impact at Chelsea - instead doing much of his good work whilst on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

During that time he even earned an England call-up - and this rare Englishman abroad is now in his third season at the Imtech Arena.

But it has not been easy.

Mancienne found himself out of favour for much of this season - playing more football with the reserve team than with the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu, Johan Djourou and Rafael van der Vaart.

Meanwhile Hamburg have themselves struggled - and still sit dangerously close to the relegation mark.

But recent managerial appointment Mirko Slomka has turned things around for now at HSV - and one of his main changes has involved the re-integration of Mancienne to the first-team fold.

Slomka has preferred Mancienne and Djourou as his defensive partnership in the last two games - and the renaissance of the Englishman has not gone unnoticed in Germany.

German daily Bild have spoken to the 26-year-old about his recent re-emergence as a first-team option for the club.

And the Englishman spoke of several rules that lead him here - some of which were clearly built into him as a young boy at Chelsea:

“It occurred to me not always easy to stay motivated. Your buddy in the team plays week after week and you look ahead. (It’s) really hard. (Staying focused) That was the hardest for me. As I have not played, I could do what I wanted. No one in the club would have been interested. But I had to pull through... It was taught to us at a young age at Chelsea (to stay positive). Because your negative aura could pull down all other team-mates. And I really did not want to. I always had to be fit and ready for use. I never knew when maybe it might be my time. I love this club and when we should speak, I would like to extend."

Mancienne therefore still has a lot to thank Chelsea for - even if he never got a true crack of the whip at the club. But the qualities bred into him as a young Blue appear to have earned him back a starting spot with his beloved club from the wilderness.

Now he must continue to shine and help HSV stave off a shock relegation.

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