Controversial Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has named current Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti as the greatest coach that he played under. It was under the Italian that the former England international feels that he played the best football of his career. The 60-year-old Ancelotti managed the Blues between 2009-2011. He managed to lead the club to one Premier League title and one FA Cup before being sacked with a win percentage of 61.57%.
Cole’s words essentially mean that he has snubbed Jose Mourinho. The self-proclaimed “special one” is widely regarded as the greatest ever manager to have set foot on Stamford Bridge to date. During two spells with Chelsea, Mourinho won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups. He led the Blues to every domestic trophy on offer in England though the one which eluded him was the Champions League.
Chelsea have only won Europe’s Premier Club competition once and that came back in 2012 when they were under the guidance of Roberto di Matteo, then on an interim basis.
Cole also rather surprisingly mentioned that he enjoyed playing under Luis Felipe Scolari. The Brazilian is a good coach there is no doubt about that, after all, he did lead Brazil to the World Cup in 2002. However, his time at Chelsea is viewed as being less than successful as he was in charge of the club for less than a season and failed to win a major trophy.
“I think the managers who suited my style were more attacking, which is how I had played at Arsenal,” Cole told the official Chelsea website.
“When Scolari came in I felt at my best. I felt I blossomed under him and got back to playing with confidence.
“Ancelotti was my number one. We played with tactics, obviously, but he gave you a freedom and I was able to attack. That Double season in 2009/10 was probably my best season.
“It was the most I scored in a season, I felt I was unbeatable in defence and was linking up with others well. I had a great relationship with Florent Malouda on the left wing, JT next to me and Frank on that left side of the midfield three. I was able to make runs in behind and was always in dangerous spots inside the box.”
Will Cole return to Chelsea?
As things stand, Cole’s plans are not known. If one thing is certain though, it is that he enjoys a good relationship with new Blues manager Frank Lampard. His most recent playing stint was with Lampard’s former club Derby County. After leaving LA Galaxy in January, he signed a short term contract with the Rams which finished at the end of the past season.