Ashley Cole

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Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole training.jpg
0Full Name Ashley Cole
0Date of Birth 20 December 1980
0Place of Birth Stepney, London
0Position Left back
0Chelsea career 2006 - 2014
0Debut 9 September 2006
0Games (goals) 338 (7)
0Other clubs Arsenal
Crystal Palace (loan)

Ashley Cole (born 20 December 1980 in Stepney, London) is a former English international left-back who played for Chelsea from 2006 until 2014. Cole signed from Arsenal after a protracted transfer saga, joining in part exchange for William Gallas, with Chelsea also paying £5 million. He was part of the 2009-10 double-winning side, and has more FA Cup winners medals than any player in history, with seven; four of which were won at Chelsea. He was also a key member of the 2012 Champions League-winning side, and scored a penalty in the shoot-out. He has been voted Players' Player of the Year by his team-mates on two occasions, in addition to being voted player of the year for the England national side by fans in 2011. [1] As of 2014 he was also his country's most-capped full back. After eight highly successful seasons at Stamford Bridge he joined AS Roma in the summer of 2014, his contract having expired.


Before Chelsea


Cole started his career at Arsenal, working his way up through the youth ranks before making his debut at the age of 18, on 30 November 1999 in the League Cup against Middlesbrough. After an injury to Sylvinho, Arsenal's established left-back, in the autumn of the 2000-01 season, Cole gained the opportunity to establish himself in the first team. He remained first-choice in the position even after Sylvinho's recovery.

With Arsenal, he won the FA Premier League twice (in 2002 and 2004), and the FA Cup three times (in 2002, 2003 and 2005, scoring in the penalty shootout in the final of the latter). Although injured for much of the 2005-06 season, he recovered in time to play in Arsenal's UEFA Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona at the end of the season. In total he made 228 first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 9 goals.

Tapping-up controversy

Cole had attracted interest from Chelsea manager José Mourinho, and the Englishman was later found guilty of making contact with Arsenal's London rivals over a possible move, without informing Arsenal. He was fined £100,000 by the Premier League on 2 June 2005 for a meeting at a hotel in January 2005. Cole, his agent Jonathan Barnett, Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon were present at the meeting. An appeal in August 2005 did not reject the guilty verdict, but his fine was reduced to £75,000. Chelsea were also fined £300,000 and Mourinho was fined £200,000, reduced on appeal in August 2005 to £75,000. Barnett's licence was suspended for 18 months and he was also fined £100,000 [2].

Departure from Arsenal

On 18 July 2005, Cole signed a one-year extension to his contract with Arsenal, but just a year later departed from the club in acrimonious circumstances. On 15 July 2006, Cole launched a verbal attack on Arsenal; in his autobiography, quoted in The Sun [3], he claimed that the Arsenal board had treated him as a "scapegoat" and that they had "fed him to the sharks" over the tapping-up affair while Arsenal, from their part, insisted that they were legally obliged to punish Cole for his illegal contact with Chelsea. Cole was deliberately left out of Arsenal's 2006-07 team photograph, fuelling press speculation that he would leave [4].

On 28 July 2006, Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein confirmed that Arsenal and Chelsea had been in "civil talks" about the player [5]. Negotiations continued throughout August and looked to be heading for deadlock, but eventually Cole signed for Chelsea on 31 August for a fee of £5 million, with William Gallas being transferred from Chelsea to Arsenal as part of the same deal.

Chelsea career

Cole was given the number three shirt at Chelsea, and made his first appearance for the club as a substitute for Wayne Bridge in their 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic on 9 September.

On 31 January 2007, Cole suffered a serious knee injury in the 3-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge, although after a scan it was revealed to be not as bad as first thought, with Chelsea optimistic that he would return before the end of the 2006-07 season. Cole did indeed make a return at the end of the season, playing in the last twelve minutes of the 2007 FA Cup Final at the new Wembley Stadium against Manchester United. Chelsea emerged victorious 1-0 after extra-time with a goal scored by Didier Drogba, to win the FA Cup.

During the 2007-08 season he was dropped in favour of Wayne Bridge for the 2008 League Cup Final, which Chelsea lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur. However, Cole scored his first Chelsea goal in Chelsea's very next game, on 1 March 2008, the fourth goal in a 4-0 away victory against West Ham United. In Chelsea's final league match of the 2008-09 season against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Cole scored his second Chelsea goal in the Blues' 3-2 win, before picking up his fifth FA Cup winners' medal in the final against Everton. Cole was voted Player's Player of the Year at the end of the season, and on 2 September 2009 Cole signed a new four-year contract, tying him to Chelsea until 2013 [6].

The following season, after starting Chelsea's first six games in the league, Cole scored his third, fourth and fifth Chelsea goals at home to Burnley, Tottenham and Sunderland respectively. On 10 February 2010, he suffered a fractured left ankle in the 2-1 defeat against Everton that kept him out of action for three months. He eventually made his return against Stoke City, a game which Chelsea won 7-0. Cole also scored a goal against Wigan Athletic on the final day of the Premier League season in an 8-0 win that clinched the Premier League title, Cole's first at the club. Cole went on to appear in the 2010 FA Cup Final, the victory against Portsmouth earning Cole a record sixth winners' medal - his third at Chelsea. The victory also completed the League & FA Cup Double for Chelsea, for the first time in the club's history. Cole had also been part of a double-winning side at Arsenal in 2002, and he became the first player, along with teammate Nicolas Anelka, to win the double with two different clubs.

Cole was again one Chelsea's most consistent performers during the 2010-11 season, starting every Premier League game as Chelsea finished second in the league in what was a relatively disappointing season following the success of 2009-10. His continued importance to the side was demonstrated at the end of the season when he was voted Player's Player of the Season by his peers, the second time he had received the honour.

Near ever-present once more during the 2011-12 season, Cole largely performed to his usual high standards, particularly in the latter part of the campaign, as Chelsea won the FA Cup (Cole winning the competition of a record seventh time) and the UEFA Champions League. In the latter competition the England international put in several excellent performances, including goal-line clearances against Napoli and Barcelona, to help Chelsea reach the final of the competition for the second time. In the final itself he was one of Chelsea's outstanding performers. With the match finishing 1-1 after extra time, he scored a penalty in the shoot-out – as he had done in Moscow four years earlier – but this time he was on the winning side as Chelsea won the competition for the first time.

The 2012-13 season was another tumultuous one for the Blues, with Champions League-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo sacked in November and replaced by Rafael Benítez, and continued inconsistency threatening to de-rail Chelsea's trophy aspirations. Under both managers Cole remained a mainstay of the side, and he scored the only goal of the game late on in an early-season win against Stoke. He made 51 appearances over the course of the season, the most in one season while at the club, including a start in the UEFA Europa League Final, resulting in his eighth major honour at Chelsea. The 2013-14 season saw the return of José Mourinho as manager, who had signed Cole in controversial circumstances in 2006. Cole began the season as first choice, but suffered a rib injury at the start of October in a match against Norwich City [7] that he would go on to aggravate the following month while playing for England. [8] With ostensible back-up Ryan Bertrand also reportedly also suffering from injury Mourinho employed hitherto right-back César Azpilicueta in the left-back role; and a string of impressive performances followed. With the Spaniard thriving in his new role Cole faced a fight to regain his place, but with Branislav Ivanović ensconced in the right back role Azpilicueta continued to justify a place in the first team. Cole suffered a knee injury in March that further curtailed his involvement, and with his contract due to expire at the end of the season it seemed increasingly likely that his Chelsea career was drawing to a close. In May 2014 Cole all but confirmed on social media that he would be leaving Chelsea. [9]

He left Chelsea at the age of 33 as the most successful full-back in the club's history, and arguably the finest, having won a Premier League title, four FA Cups, the League Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the FA Community Shield.

After Chelsea

After his contract expired at the end of the 2013-14 season Cole joined AS Roma.


Cole has played for England at youth and senior levels. He was capped for the England U-20 team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship alongside Stuart Taylor, Peter Crouch, Andrew Johnson and Matthew Etherington. However, the team finished bottom of their group, suffering three defeats without scoring any goals. He also made four appearances for England under-21s, scoring once.

Cole made his senior England début against Albania, on 28 March 2001. He played for England at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, and was named as one of four England players in the all-star squad for the latter tournament. Cole was also an ever-present for England in the 2006 World Cup; in their second round match against Ecuador he made a crucial block, deflecting Carlos Tenorio's shot onto the crossbar. The match ended with England winning 1–0, but England were knocked out on penalties by Portugal in the quarter-finals. Cole was once more an ever-present for England at the 2010 World Cup, but the campaign ended in disappointment with a second round exit to Germany. Cole was also selected for his country for the Euro 2012 tournament, but missed a penalty in a quarter-final shoot-out loss to Italy. Although he featured in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup he wasn't selected in the final squad and subsequently retired from international football. He had made 107 appearances for his country, making him England's most-capped full-back.


Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2006-07 23 0 5 0 3 0 9 0 0 0 40 0
2007-08 27 1 1 0 2 0 10 0 1 0 41 1
2008-09 34 1 7 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 49 1
2009-10 27 4 2 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 35 4
2010-11 38 0 2 0 0 0 8 0 1 0 49 0
2011-12 32 0 4 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 48 0
2012-13 31 1 5 0 3 0 8 0 4 0 51 1
2013-14 17 0 2 0 1 0 5 0 1 0 26 0
Total 229 7 28 0 10 0 63 0 8 0 338 7

Correct as of the start of the 2014-15 season


# Season Date Year Competition Opponent Score Result Venue
12007-0801 March2008Premier LeagueWest Ham United4-04-0Upton Park
22008-0924 May2009Premier LeagueSunderland3-13-2Stadium of Light
32009-1029 August2009Premier LeagueBurnley3-03-0Stamford Bridge
42009-1020 September2009Premier LeagueTottenham Hotspur1-03-0Stamford Bridge
52009-1016 January2010Premier LeagueSunderland3-07-2Stamford Bridge
62009-1009 May2010Premier LeagueWigan Athletic8-08-0Stamford Bridge
72012-1322 September2012Premier LeagueStoke City1-01-0Stamford Bridge

Career honours





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