Ashley Cole Finally Calls Time On Trophy-Laden Career

 

Former England, Arsenal and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole announced his retirement at 38 on Sunday and plans to forge a career on coaching.

Cole won 13 major trophies, including three Premier League titles, and, with 107 caps, is one of just nine men to have made more than 100 appearances for England.

After leaving Chelsea in 2014, he had short spells with Roma, LA Galaxy and most recently Derby County, under the management of former teammate Frank Lampard last season.

However, his contract with the Rams ran out at the end of last season.

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“After hard thinking, it was time to hang up my boots and look forward to my next chapter,” Cole told Sky Sports.

Cole was part of the Arsenal “Invincibles” side that won the Premier League without losing a game in 2003/04.

He left the Gunners for a move to West London in acrimonious circumstances after Arsenal failed to match his wage demands in 2006.

Cole went onto win another Premier League title, the Champions League and the Europa League in an eight-year spell at Chelsea.

Chelsea To Announce Pato Signing After Ramires Exit

PatoChelsea are set to formally announce the signing of Brazilian star, Alexandre Pato after the striker passed his medical.

The former AC Milan forward agreed terms with the Blues and this includes an option to make the move permanent in the summer transfer window.

Pato was once touted as Brazil’s new golden boy after he had spent five successful years at Milan between 2007 and 2012 scoring 51 goals.

However, injuries have hampered the 26-year-old new Chelsea signing’s enormous potential.

He has not also featured for Brazil since 2013 and had scored 10 goals in 27 games for country.

Former Chelsea midfielder, Ramires Santos do Nascimento, joined China’s Super League club, Jiangsu Suning, in a permanent £25 million transfer on Wednesday.

Former Chelsea and England left back, Ashley Cole, also signed for Major League Soccer team, LA Galaxy, after leaving Italian team, AS Roma by “mutual consent”.

The 35-year-old made just 11 league appearances for the club since his signing in July 2014.

Cole will link up in Los Angeles with his former England team-mate Steven Gerrard and 32-year-old Belgian defender, Jelle Van Damme, who signed for the club on Tuesday.

Terry Hopes To Extend Chelsea Career

John-TerryChelsea FC Captain, John Terry, has expressed his desire to extend his playing career in the club by another 12 months.

The 34-year-old centre-back, whose contact expires at the end of the season, has made 656 appearances in 16 years for the Premier League leaders.

“The club know my position,” said the three-time UEFA Club Defender of the Year.

“I want to stay. Hopefully my performances are showing that and they can keep me.

“I’ll be happy to get one year and then see how it goes,” said the former England Captain, adding that “I’m taking it year by year. I haven’t got much choice.”

Chelsea’s all-time highest scoring defender, made his first team debut in October 1998, and replaced Marcel Desailly as the club captain at the start of the 2004-05 Season.

He is the most successful captain in the club’s history, having led Chelsea to three Premier League titles, a Champions League success, four FA Cups and two League Cups.

Terry’s former Chelsea and England team-mates, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, were allowed to leave the club once they had reached the end of their contracts.

Midfielder, Eden Hazard, 24, is the latest Chelsea player to sign a contract extension, a move that has been welcomed by Terry.

He said, “Hazard has just been done and that’s the most important for the club.”

The leading team in Barclays Premier League table host relegation battlers, Burnley FC, on Saturday.

 

John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard Close To New Chelsea Deals

Chelsea JT-FL-ACIt appears that Chelsea’s senior players would still be part of the team’s plans until they are a lot older.

On Friday, during Chelsea’s pre-match press conference before their game with Sunderland, Assistant Manager, Steve Holland, gave an update on contract negotiations with some of the Blues’ veteran stars.

According to Holland, who was standing in for manager Jose Mourinho, at his request, contract talks with 33 year old captain, John Terry, were ongoing and new contracts for Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard were also being discussed.

“John has had an outstanding season; we have the best defensive record in the Premier League and he’s played in almost all of that and been a major part of it all,” Holland said.

“I know that John wants to stay at Chelsea, and Chelsea want John to stay, so hopefully that situation can be concluded amicably over the next few weeks. It’s the same situation (with Lampard and Cole), we’re dealing with not just normal players, but magnificent servants for this club over a long period. So, full respect will be given for those players.”

The wage demands might be the only stumbling block, as reports stated Terry might have to take a pay cut in order to stay on at Stamford Bridge. As for Cole and Lampard, they are in slightly less advantageous position when it comes to contract talks.

Terry, this season, and at times, Lampard, have shown that they still have a lot to offer.

Ashley Cole Will Get New Chelsea Contract – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has declared that defender, Ashley Cole, will be offered a new Chelsea contract despite the England international having been out of the first team for over a month.

There has been speculation that the 33-year-old will leave the club in the summer owing to the status of his current deal which expires at the end of the season and, the preference for right-sided Cesar Azpilicueta at Cole’s left back position.

However, Mourinho sees things differently, as he confirmed that Cole would return to the Blues starting 11 for Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions’ League Group E clash with Romanian club, Steaua Bucharest.

“Naturally he will get his contract because he’s a valuable player for us,’ the Chelsea boss said.

“Even if you are not playing every game and you are not a first-choice player, like he was always, I don’t think sometimes it means that you are not well, you are not in well conditions, you are not deserving a new contract.

“I feel he’s fine. And I think tomorrow he’s going to show that he’s fine. He starts tomorrow.

“It’s easy to feel that he’s not happy, that he’s not comfortable with a situation, but the way he behaves, the way he trains (is) super professional, as always.

“As always, he’s a fantastic trainer, fantastic professional. When he’s on the bench behind me, I can feel that he’s there to win, even if he’s not on the pitch.”

Also expected back in the first team for the UCL final group game is central defender, David Luiz, who like Cole, has not featured for Chelsea since their Premier League defeat at Newcastle United on November 2.

The Brazilian has been side-lined since suffering a bruised patella during the international break while away with his national team in November.

Although, Chelsea have qualified for the knockout phase despite losing to Basel last month, they need a point against Steaua to finish top of the group, a position many teams would fancy in order to avoid playing a tough team in the Round of 16.

Lampard Says Cole Deserves To Captain England Against Ireland

England International and Chelsea player Frank Lampard has backed teammate Ashley for the captain armband in the clash against Ireland in Wembley after the defender was handed the captaincy in recognition of that achievement.

According to his football statistics, the game will pass as Cole’s 102nd cap for the Three Lions while it also passes as the player’s first home match since reaching a century of appearances.

Vice-captain Lampard expressed his delight over the decision during a news conference yesterday where he told news men that it was the right decision that was made.

The necessity to transfer the captaincy of the Three Lions squad was called for with Steven Gerard injured but it was supposed to be transferred to Frank Lampard by virtue of his position as the vice-captain to the injured captain Steven Gerard.

Lampard rooted for Cole’s captaincy not just to celebrate his 100th caps but for his noticeable performance throughout his caps England labelling the defender as the most consistent left back probably in world football over such a long period of time.

Lampard said it’s the perfect gesture and very much deserved for Cole and as a teammate of his at Chelsea and England he is glad for Cole.

 

And ahead of the friendly between England and Ireland, manager Roy Hodgson has written to English fans who will be attending the game live to forego any act of provocative attitude during the game, a match that the England manager sees as that which will boost Three Lions preparation for their World Cup qualifiers later in the year.

 

England will do all it can to qualify for the Brazil 2014 World Cup with four games left to play England lies on the second spot in Group H with 12 points, two points behind Montenegro.

 

Wednesday’s friendly will be the first time England and Ireland have played each other since a match was abandoned due to rioting at Lansdowne Road in 1995.

 

 

It’s the end of the road for Lampard,Cole at Chelsea with Benitez as coach

Just two days into his new job as Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez has started to break-up the Champions League-winning team by telling legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole that they are to leave at the end of the season.

Both players are out of contract next summer and Chelsea’s new coach said they won’t stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

Chelsea captain John Terry is already on his way out of Stamford Bridge with the European champions not prepared to renew his current contract.

Ashley Cole tenders apology for twitter comment against FA

The English Football Association said Chelsea and England defender; Ashley Cole has tendered an apology to the association for his social media message directed at the FA.

According to the FA Chairman David Bernstein; the defender personally tendered the apology last night over the Twitter messages to boo the Football Association.

It is yet to be decided if the Chelsea defender will be seeing action against San Marino for England come Friday for the World Cup qualifier and as FA Chairman said England Manager Roy Hodgson will be the one to decide that.

Ashley Cola has however been charged by the Football Association nonetheless for misconduct over his outburst with a Twitter message targeted at the FA referring to the Association as a “bunch of t****” in response to the independent regulatory commission’s damning judgement on his evidence in the John Terry racial abuse verdict.

Bernstein that Cole had initially apologised but had followed up his apology to the FA on Friday with a personal apology last night.

According to Bernstein, Cole apologised immediately on Friday and he came to him last night and apologised to him personally, as he showed real contrition saying he was really sorry.

Bernstein admitted, though, that the Chelsea full-back’s actions meant he was unlikely to captain England for what could be his 100th cap against Poland next Tuesday, even though he was convinced Cole’s apology was heart-felt.

He continued saying “He is free to play for England over the coming matches. It is up to the manager to decide whether he plays or not.”

Cole was given until 4pm on Thursday to respond to yesterday’s FA charge, given a 24-hour deadline before England face San Marino at Wembley.

With Bernstein confirming it is up to Hodgson to decide whether or not to play Cole, the only threat to his chances of winning a 99th cap would appear to be if the England manager opts to rest him ahead of the crucial trip to Poland four days later.

Ashley Cole set to honour England despite calls for ban

Chelsea Full back and England player Ashley Cole has been told to report for National duty for his home country even after calls from different quarters foe the defender to be banned from international activity on pitch for England, nothnaks to his recent attack on the Football Association.

Cole called the FA a “bunch of t***s” on Twitter after he was accused of “evolving” his statement supporting Terry’s defence against the charge he racially abused Anton Ferdinand.

Despite former England player; Alan Shearer’s call and that of pundits alike for Ashley Cole to be banned form international football,the Chelsea full-back is in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino.

He is facing disciplinary action from Chelsea and the FA after he reacted furiously on Twitter to doubts being expressed about his evidence in the John Terry racial abuse case.

Shearer said on BBC that he thinks the FA can put a big statement out there by not fining Ashley Cole but actually banning him on Friday against San Marino.

Cole responded by retweeting a comment on Twitter which referenced an incident in the game between Newcastle and Leicester in 1998 when the former Magpies forward’s boot made contact with Neil Lennon’s face.

The FA ruled the striker had been making a “genuine attempt to free himself” from a tangle with his opponent and took no disciplinary action against him.

Cole retweeted a post from @CollinR4 which read: “Alan Shearer says @TheRealAC3 needs to be banned for comments. I want his opinion on bans for kicking Neil Lennon in the head. #GlassHouses”

Cole has spoken to Hodgson and will meet up with the squad at the new national football centre, St George’s Park near Burton-upon-Trent, today.

It is understood that if he is left out of the San Marino match it will be a case of Hodgson resting players against the Group H minnows rather than any statement relating to the controversy that erupted on Friday. Cole, 31, has 98 England caps to his name and will be desperate to reach the 100-mark.

He will also be part of the England squad that assemble at St George’s Park for the official opening tomorrow by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

English FA confirms Terry as Player-Manager for Euro 2012

The FA has ended weeks of speculation by announcing the appointment of Chelsea skipper John Terry as England’s player-manager for the coming European Championships.

The Chelsea defender takes charge just two months after he was sensationally stripped of the captain’s armband, which prompted the resignation of previous boss Fabio Capello. But the 31-year-old appears to have resolved his issues with the country’s executives and will now lead the Three Lions into this summer’s tournament.

“We are extremely proud that John has agreed to take on the role of player-manager and are confident that he can lead England to glory in Poland and Ukraine,” an FA spokesman, Alf Lopior said.

“He has a long and distinguished record of success at leading from the front already under his belt and we are delighted to be able to tie him down to a role which he has already been trialling unofficially at Chelsea.”

There had been concerns that taking Terry to Euro 2012 in any capacity could be seen as inappropriate, given the fact that the 31-year-old faces a date in court after the tournament’s conclusion in July over allegations that he racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand in November 2011.

However, Mr Lopior put fans’ minds at ease, explaining: “We feel it best not to focus too much on the details.

“We knew that we had to be quick about appointing John as soon as he came in for interview. He gave a very eloquent and in-depth presentation about his plans for the tournament as well as the years to come.

“He was the most impressive interviewee by far, though the FA would like to thank Harry Redknapp, Stuart Pearce and Alex McLeish for their interest in the position.”

Terry’s full backroom team have yet to be decided, though the Blues defender is expected to speak to colleagues Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole about their potential involvement, but one key addition to the Three Lions setup was revealed.

“Joey Barton will also be travelling with the team to Poland as the FA’s new social media advisor,” Mr Lopior continued.

“Euro 2012 is set to be a very exciting time and we know that the players will be very keen to engage with fans online throughout the tournament – and, we hope, all the way to the final.

“Joey’s expertise in the field made him an obvious choice to set our agenda and he will begin distributing pertinent lyrics by The Smiths to all potential members of the final squad in the coming days.

“Whether or not he features in the playing squad as well is, of course, down to John.”

According to reports from White Hart Lane, a teary Redknapp refused to wind down his car window to comment on the appointment.