Former Chelsea superstar Ashley Cole has overlooked Jose Mourinho when asked to choose the best manager he played under at Stamford Bridge.
Former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has snubbed Jose Mourinho by claiming Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti were his favourite managers during his time with the Blues, in an interview with Sky Sports (h/t Daily Mirror).
The 38-year-old former England international spent eight years at Chelsea between 2006 and 2014, having arrived from fellow London rivals Arsenal. It was Mourinho who brought Cole to Stamford Bridge in a move that kicked off a lot of controversy, with the player having to pay a £100,000 fine for making contact with Chelsea, before the two clubs had negotiated.
During his time with the West London outfit, Cole went on to make 338 appearances, scoring 7 goals and registering 38 assists in the process. The left-back won a Premier League title with Chelsea, along with the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, one League Cup and four FA Cups.
Cole eventually departed from Chelsea in 2014 to join Italian side AS Roma on a free transfer, where he spent eighteen months before signing for MLS outfit LA Galaxy. The 38-year-old returned to England last month, joining EFL Championship outfit Derby County on a free transfer, reuniting with former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard, who is the Rams’ manager.
Cole, in his time with Chelsea, was managed by eight different managers. After Mourinho’s sacking in 2007, Avram Grant took over the reins, following which Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benitez all had stints at Stamford Bridge, before Mourinho came back in 2013.
“I enjoyed Scolari, Ancelotti. That’s probably my favourite two,” Cole said on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports, when asked to choose the best manager he worked under at Chelsea.
“I think Scolari, he came at a time when I probably wasn’t playing as well as I knew I could when I first came to Chelsea. Probably Chelsea fans can agree with me that wasn’t the Ashley Cole they knew at Arsenal. So he came and he brought this new lease of life. It was just like playing for Brazil. He said: ‘Let’s play like Brazil!'”
“And he had me bombing up and down against people like Jamie Carragher and [Jose] Bosingwa on the other side and yeah we kind of had no rules in terms of we could play, we could go where we want, the left and right-back was going at the same time – it’s kind of unheard of at times.”
“We were playing some great football and then by December we kind of petered out a bit and after that he got the sack. The best football we’ve ever played in a Chelsea shirt but he got the sack.”
Cole’s comments surely have raised a few eyebrows, considering how intent he was to work with Mourinho – so much so that he forced a transfer away from Arsenal to join up with the Portuguese. Wonder what the former Manchester United manager would have to say about it.