World Cup 2014: Ashley Cole believes everyone 'wants me to fail' in the Chelsea defender's quest to make England's squad for Brazil
Cole has been used sparingly this season by Blues manager Jose Mourinho but put in two impressive showings against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool to boost his chances
Tuesday 29 April 2014
Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole believes fans want him to be left out of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup, revealing that he thinks “everyone wants me to fail” in his bid to go to Brazil and feature in a sixth major tournament.
Cole is locked in a battle with Everton’s Leighton Baines and Southampton’s Luke Shaw, with one of either the veteran defender of the emerging Shaw set to accompany Baines as the 29-year-old has been Hodgson’s favoured left-back in recent matches.
Cole has been used sparingly this season by manager Jose Mourinho, but returned to the starting line-up and enjoyed two impressive performances against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.
The 33-year-old has already played in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as the 2006 and 2012 European Championships, but saw his starting berth in the Chelsea squad handed to Cesar Azpilicueta for this season.
However, injury to Branislav Ivanovic has seen Azpilicueta return to his regular right-back role and given Cole a chance to impress – which he duly has – and he said afterwards that he knows he is facing a battle to make the squad, but feels that everyone is waiting for him to fail.
Speaking to beinSPORTS, Cole said: “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 Baines who is playing brilliantly and young Luke Shaw who has done amazing this season so I don’t blame them, they’ve got reasons to, but like I said in my Nike ad - I’m not done yet.”
Cole has made 23 appearances for the Blues this season, although only 15 of those have come in the league. That said, Hodgson has stuck with the former Arsenal star, having continuously named him in his squad, but it is expected that one of the three left-back options will miss out on selection for Brazil when the Three Lions manager names his final 23-man squad.
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