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Premier League Legends: Ashley Cole, England’s Eternal

Ashley Cole
9 Sep 2000: Ashley Cole of Arsenal celebrates scoring the equalizer during the Carling Premiership game between Bradford City and Arsenal at Valley Parade, Bradford. Mandatory Credit: Laurence Griffiths/ALLSPORT

It’s time to talk about one of the hardest-working players in Premier League history, the Legend that is full-back Ashley Cole.

Now that we know he is retiring for good, it’s about time we made a Premier League Legends’ entry of Ashley Cole.

We’ve only done a couple of defensive players in this series, John Terry and Peter Schmeichel earned their place among the greats of this league.

There are many great names who were are eager to talk about but Ashley Cole has to be right at the top, this is an Englishman who has accomplished so much throughout his career and decided to hang up his boots this past weekend.

We don’t know what it is about full-backs, but they truly are the one position that lasts the longest at the highest level apart from the goalkeepers.

Perhaps it’s the stamina they always possess, these guys are the ones who never get tired of running through the lanes but they are also top-class defenders.

There are very few cases in which a full-back doesn’t defend as well as he attacks, Ashley Cole is a very talented offensive player who could send you spectacular crosses from the wings.

However, he could also get back in time to cover any attack from the opposition and clear the ball without committing any fouls.

Cole was truly one of the greatest in his position during his era, he was also one of the most coveted players of the time.

The ‘Invincibles’ era and his transfer to Chelsea.

When he first started as a professional, Ashley Cole always showed great capacity to play as a left-back regardless of how difficult the match was.

Arsene Wenger spotted him from a very early age and the French coach decided to give him his debut at 18, he played a League Cup match against Middlesbrough.

From that moment in the fall of 1999 moving forward, Ashley never stopped growing as a player. His time at Arsenal can actually be summed up with a single word: ‘Invincibles’.

Yes! Cole was part of that legendary Gunners’ squad that won the Premier League without losing a single match.

On the next season, the North London club extended the run to an impressive 49 unbeaten matches.

Ashley was an essential part of this squad that dominated the competition for a good four years, he also reached the 2006 Champions League final but lost it against FC Barcelona.

That continental competition was the only tournament that Cole failed to lift during his run with the Gunners, and the main reason he decided to leave after losing that final.

Ashley somehow knew that his best chance to win this title slipped through his fingers and he wouldn’t get another one while playing for Wenger.

The illegal negotiations between Cole and Chelsea began in the winter of 2005, at the start of that year.

Talking directly to another club during the season while still on a contract is a major offense in the Premier League, which is why the competition charged the player with a hefty fine.

They also fined both Chelsea as a club and Jose Mourinho as a manager for doing this.

The damage was already done, Ashley was convinced he would leave the Gunners to become a Blue as he did during the summer of 2006.

This is where Cole lived through his better years, he won another Premier League in 2010 and then went on to win two European competitions.

The first title of this nature that Ashley won was in 2012, which was the coveted UEFA Champions League. He also won the Europa League a year later.

After a long 15-year old career in English football, Ashley decided to start his retirement plan and started playing for clubs that paid him a pretty penny.

AS Roma was his first stop, then he moved to Los Angeles to play for LA Galaxy and played there for a good two years.

He ultimately returned to England’s Derby County and then announced his retirement last week.

A very successful career with his club, Ashley Cole is definitely a Premier League Legend.

What’s your best memory of Ashley Cole in the Premier League? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.