Chelsea have had some incredible players over the years, and Ashley Cole is amongst the best of them. The left-back was one of the best defenders for the bulk of his time in England, and he enjoyed his best years at Chelsea – winning practically everything possible along the way.
Cole recently featured on Sky Sports as a pundit for Monday Night Football, and he spent a bit of time discussing his time at Chelsea. The conversation eventually strayed to a discussion about his Chelsea managers, and he made a surprising choice for who he deemed to have been the best that he worked under.
As per Sky Sports, he said: “I enjoyed Scolari and [Carlo] Ancelotti – they’re probably my favourite two”.
He added: “Scolari came at a time where I probably wasn’t playing as well as I knew I could when I first came to Chelsea, and the fans will agree with me that I wasn’t the Ashley Cole they knew at Arsenal. It was the best football we played in a Chelsea shirt but he got the sack six months later.”
Of course, Scolari is more fondly remembered for the disastrous ending to his time in London than he is for the football that the team played under his tutelage, but Cole doesn’t quite remember it like that. Certainly, Chelsea did play very exciting and fast-flowing football under Scolari at the start of the season, but they just weren’t able to keep it going.
What is perhaps most surprising about his statement, though, are the names that he has omitted. Carlo Ancelotti is a fair shout, given that he won a Premier League and FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, but Jose Mourinho was bizarrely avoided – which perhaps implies that Cole and Mourinho may not have the best relationship in the world. Sure, Cole wasn’t playing under Mourinho through most of his peak years, but you’d expect the Englishman to have still been impressed by his tactical acumen.
Likewise, Robbie Di Matteo didn’t get a mention, despite giving Cole the Champions League trophy that he craved.
It just goes to show that different managers can get players to react in completely different ways. You can bet that some of Cole’s teammates at the time hated working under Scolari, yet he clearly loved it.
Still, it’s an interesting insight into a managerial appointment that looked doomed almost from the start.
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