Good news Fabio Capello, Ashley Cole is in the best form of his life

16 May 2010 08:16
Ashley Cole has not had the easiest year on or off the football field but the Chelsea defender has ended it as a record breaker with his reputation as the world's best left back confirmed.

Asked before the final if he would prefer to win the Double with Chelsea or the World Cup with England, Cole said he'd prefer the former.

That will perhaps not endear him any further to those who see him as representative of the worst that the English footballer can offer, but he remains much-loved at Chelsea and his performance was pivotal once again at Wembley.

Leading the celebrations: Ashley Cole celebrates with John Terry and the Cup (above) and leaps onto Didier Drogba after the match-winning goal (below)

Cole is now the only player in the FA Cup's 139-year history to have lifted the trophy six times, three with Chelsea (2007, 2009, 2010) and three times Arsenal (2002, 2003, 2005).

He would not speak to the press after the game but there were eulogies from team-mates and even opponents. Chelsea captain John Terry said: 'I think it's great that we have a core of good English players atthis club and of course Ashley is at the very heart of that.

'His record in the FA Cup is incredible and he has been unbelievable this year.

'He was unfortunate with his injury part way during the season but has come back fit and raring to go. He has been amazing.

'I think Lamps has had a great season. I have had a great season myself. But Ashley has been brilliant having been out for a couple of months he has come back and played the way he does. I am chuffed to bitsfor him.'

Long since recognised as the best English left back, Cole is now arguably superior to rivals such as the French pair Patrice Evra and Gael Clichy.

Perhaps his most memorable moment on Saturday came as he charged brilliantly to the byline to cross for Salomon Kalou, who then struck the crossbar from four yards.

Cole's anguish at that moment was clear as he turned and bellowed hisfrustration. Given the number of times his team were managing to hit the frame of the goal, it was not surprising.

Ultimately, though, Cole played his part in a Chelsea performance that was more than enough to overcome Portsmouth.

Pompey midfielder Michael Brown said: 'We tried to knock them off their stride but it's hard. When players like Lampard and Ashley Cole get going it's very hard to stop them.'

It seems strange now that Cole's World Cup was in doubt a couple of months ago when he struggled with an ankle injury. On Saturday, he looked in the form of his life.

Whether he can win the biggest competition in the world with his country remains to be seen. But whatever happens he already has a leagueand Cup Double behind him. It is some consolation already.

 Chelsea's final flourish as Avram Grant suffers double dose of penalty painChelsea star Cole sets record for FA Cup wins after Portsmouth sunkPICTURE SPECIAL: Chelsea show off their pots as they parade west London streets to celebrate Double Chelsea chief insists owner Roman Abramovich will stay 'indefinitely'Captain Terry praises 'unbelievable' Chelsea but blasts Wembley pitchDidier Drogba settles it at the double as dignified Avram Grant leaves fans with good memories


Source: Daily_Mail