It happens now and again in professional sports when it becomes apparent that your time at the very top is more than likely over. Ashley Cole is the latest player to be faced with a big decision to make with his club, Chelsea, preferring to go for the younger Cesar Azpilicueta. Going into tonight’s game the England, he may not even get a place on the bench and comments coming from his boss Jose Mourinho will be anything but comforting.
The 33-year-old Ashley Cole now faces numerous questions over the next few weeks. First off, he has to figure out if he wants to retire from International football and take himself out of contention for Brazil. If he decides to do that then the pressure is off to quickly find another club and get games under his belt in order to be in form worthy of a call up. I am sure that if he wanted to get to another club he still has enough to offer a mid table side, depending on what wages he demands.
As far as England goes, I don’t think Roy Hodgson will be losing sleep either way, as England have a good crop of youngsters who are very good left backs coming through in the Premiership. Everton’s Leighton Baines, of course, is the first name on everyone’s lips, and with his attacking mindset and pace, he will most likely be the first choice for Brazil even if Cole has a fantastic second part of the season. Luke Shaw of Southampton also has a shout as a future England left back and would be good experience for him to go and sample the World Cup atmosphere first hand.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sports and The Sports Column. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on Facebook.