Home > Football > Ashley Cole. Our best left back ever ?

Ashley Cole. Our best left back ever ?

It shows how the game has changed over the years to see how, this week, Ashley Cole is being compared to England’s most capped left back Kenny Sansom. As Cole will eventually overtake Sansom with caps earned this must make him our best ever left back, but to me, considering the number of caps received alone, there is no comparison.

Love him or hate him Ashley Cole has become a mainstay for a generation of English football. He has become on of those players whom we have taken for granted. While all of the attention has been focused on the Gerrard / Lampard debate and other similar talking points over the years Ashley Cole has just kept on churning out top performances game on game.

I don’t remember too many wingers getting the best of him either in an Arsenal, Chelsea or England shirt. And the defensive side to his game is not what we will remember him by. Over the years, and particularly under Ancelotti, Cole has become even more of a danger going forward. I would love to know what type of area he covers on an average matchday. His fitness must be something quite unique as this type of energy, over the course of a career, is something quite rare. As Chelsea now play more of an attacking style we now see Cole having goal scoring opportunities. His ‘underlapping’ finds himself in some positions where a winger will just not track. And he is very rarely injured. 

These things go a long way to suggesting that he is possibly one of our under rated stars. In an era where our ‘Golden Age’ have not lived up to their potential I take Ashley Cole out of the under achievers group and say that he has certainly realised the potential we saw as a young emerging star at Arsenal.

So why does he not receive more plaudits ?

As our attention is forever on the more creative players on view I can understand why this brings about a little less attention for him. Cole doesn’t particularly play with a smile on his face and can come across as arrogant. His public image is not one of adoration.His off the field antics may have altered the views of the average football follower. Let’s be honest. Whoever he does end up with will be a backward step compared to Cheryl, that’s for sure!

 But what are the  we looking for when we judge his talent as a player over his career? Not many of the above in my eyes.

Categories: Football
  1. Gaz
    October 12, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Best left back ever? Surely has to be Stuart Pearce. He was a no nonsense, never say die defender with a tackle as hard as a smack in the face with a mallet. Which would you rather have played against Jamie?

    • October 12, 2010 at 8:18 am

      Thanks for your reply.
      Don’t get me wrong, Stuart Pearce was a great full back but I think that Cole has a better all round game than Pearce had.
      I think that judgement can become clouded when we actually ‘like’ the player as a person. Pearce really endeared himself to the nation after the penalty against Spain at Euro 1996 and built up a reputation to get ‘stuck in’. I think Cole is a more effective player when comparing the two.

  2. Rob Winckworth
    October 12, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I just wish Cole could produce the same form for his country as he does for his club. Seems to be able to get forward a lot more for Chelsea than under any England manager. Nigel Winterburn was much better though! 😉

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