With Gareth Bale being widely touted as being the best wide player in the world after a great season so far with dazzling performances on the domestic scene and turning quality full backs at great European clubs into amateur Sunday league players it must spark something in all left backs with a bit of pace and skill to start knocking on their managers door asking to start playing as a winger.
Looking at the Premier league today there are plenty of full backs who in theory fall in this bracket i.e Patrice Evra, Glen Johnson and Gael Clichy who are all still young enough to maybe make this step up the field if their respected managers feel fit but after becoming the most capped full back for England Ashley Cole must feel he and his managers might of missed a trick while he and his previous managers watch Bale rampage up the wing.
With Cole having all the energy in the world to burn plus being blessed with pace it would only seem natural for a manager like Arsene Wenger who has a great reputation in developing young players to start pushing Cole further up the field to enhance his skills, this obviously didn’t happen but he was and still is encouraged to overlap the player in front of him to get to the box to deliver crosses or cut inside which he has shown at Arsenal, Chelsea and England that he is not just adept at doing this job but shines as he is taking the ball past an opposing full back.
With Cole now in his thirties it is probably not possible for him to start changing positions as it takes time to develop the understandings of playing in a new position but what would have happened if Arsene Wenger had decide that he had what it took to become a wide midfielder just like Harry Redknapp has done with Gareth Bale, would have Cole been the answer to England’s left sided problems and would he have been a bigger star on the world stage than Bale is at the present time.
Arsene Wenger decided that Cole was best suited at left back which Cole has shown he is one of the worlds best but watching Gareth Bale rampaging up the wing for Tottenham and Wales it makes me wonder what else Ashley Cole could have brought to the England set up.
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