Chelsea FC defender Ashley Cole has been a largely forgotten man at the club this season with Cesar Azpilicueta replacing him as the first choice left back but the England man hopes to still be on the plane to Brazil for the World Cup. Cole feels that his recent performances against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Premier League have done enough to remind his critics and manager Roy Hodgson what he is capable of. The leftback had only made two appearances before his start against Atletico but he has done fantastically well since his return to the starting lineup. With John Terry’s fitness still in doubt it appears that Cole may yet play in the second leg with Branislav Ivanovic playing centerback and Azpilicueta returning to rightback.
Ashley Cole spoke to beIN Sports about his England chances:
“There was probably a lot of pressure on me to fight for my England spot. Maybe not just my starting spot even – just to get on the plane. I think everyone wanted me to fail, to be honest. I think real football fans understand what I bring to a team and what I give to a team and if I do make it on the plane hopefully people can see that. But ultimately most people wanted me to fail in Madrid last week, for sure. Maybe people have seen me play for 13 years for my country and have probably had enough of it. You look at the players and you have [Leighton] Baines who is playing brilliant and young Luke Shaw who has done amazing this season so I don’t blame them, they’ve got reasons to.”
Everton’s Leighton Baines is the first choice leftback for England but Southampton’s Luke Shaw has been challenging for the second position on the World Cup roster. At just 18 Shaw has loads of potential and is an exciting talent but he has yet to be tested on the biggest stages. Ashley Cole is a proven winner and has performed at the highest level on the biggest stages for both club and country. Shaw’s time in the England squad will come but for now, the smart choice for Hodgson would be to take Ashley Cole to Brazil for one last go at the World Cup.
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