Hello to all and thanks for reading what is hopefully the first of many blog postings in my tenure as Chelsea correspondent for ESPN Soccernet!
I was about to launch into a rant on how saddening it is to see the talents of Eidur Gudjohnsen wasted - first on the sidelines at Barcelona (albeit successful on trophy terms), relegated to the talent barren wasteland of Ligue 1, and now reduced to a loan spell at perennial underachievers/over spenders, Tottenham.
However this new dawn needs a positive spin, not a trip down memory lane (lest we never forget that overhead kick against Leeds).
We need to not worry what’s happening down in the doldrums of Europa League contention and be aware that there is a great change upon us.
The great change that is the transformation of Cashley Hole to “Ashley Cole – Chelsea left back, “the best left back in the world”.
Not my words, but the words of pundits, newspaper reporters and workmates alike.
Stan Collymore, of Daily Mirror and Bradford City fame, even suggested that Cole could be England’s most dangerous weapon at the World Cup, failing to take into account there will be far more dangerous weapons being hurled in the streets of Rustenberg.
This season we have to no longer hear hideous cliché of bygone years’ punditry stating him as “not being the Ashley Cole of old.”
Now the Ashley Cole of new has taken a bow and has earned his place in the hearts of the Chelsea faithful, even being graced by a chorus of chants after his goal of the month contender against Sunderland.
It isn’t just that he is scoring goals, although he should have been on the scoresheet against Birmingham, it is that he is taking on teams’ defences more often. Becoming one of the driving forces behind many of our attacks – his performance against Arsenal at the Emirates’ was exceptional and further evidence of his attacking form with two very good assists.
The first thing we should remember is that he left Arsenal to join us. Something that will remain a sore point for our London rivals for years still to come.
Secondly he, for me, was always a better left back than Wayne Bridge. Defensively more sound, just not there – until now – as an attacking force from the back. It’s just that Wayne Bridge was always going to remain a fans’ favourite for THAT goal at Highbury in the Champions’ League.
Quite clearly Cole has been re-finding his feet for us since before the start of this season. The “Ashley Cole of old” was in full swing last season and now the time has arrived that the Ashley Cole of new is revelling in the spotlight.