Ashley Cole will miss England’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on Friday night but following a poor start to the season there has been a debate over whether or not he should be first choice, will he face a similar issue at club level in the near future?
It’s looking like Leighton Baines will be the man to start at left-back for England and seeing as the Three Lions must win their games having a player that created 116 chances and has proven himself a good set-piece taker should probably be ahead of a man that only made 18 key passes for Chelsea last year.
Of course, the fullback positions wouldn’t be the main areas you would look at when you want to improve your attack but defensively Cole hasn’t been at the races for quite some time and Chelsea shipped an awful lot of goals from his flank last year. In the early stages of this season Eden Hazard has spent far too much time in his own half when covering Cole on the occasions he’s been caught out going forward.
Jose Mourinho spoke about an unnamed and uncapped English player that Chelsea attempted to sign at the beginning of the season, it’s likely that he was referring to Southampton’s Luke Shaw and the club may be willing to go back in for the left-back in January, especially as there are several interested parties as well as Cole’s form to consider.
I’m used to receiving criticism for my views on Cole’s form and do not mind at all if some people disagree with me and I certainly wouldn’t write anyone off indefinitely, but all players are different and have different dates of expiry, some are evergreen whilst overs go over the cliff like a Pirelli F1 tyre. Cole was once considered as the best left-back in the world and although I don’t expect him to maintain that level in his thirties, I do think it would be unwise to rely on him.