Ashley Cole outlines his plans to follow old team-mates Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard into management… and cites the influence of Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger on his coaching style
- Ashley Cole is working as an assistant coach on the England Under 21 team
- But the Chelsea legend has desires to work as a No 1 in the near future
- Cole spoke of the influence of the best coaches he worked with as a player
Ashley Cole insisted the ruthlessness of management does not faze him and plans to devote his career to the dugout.
The former left back, now assistant to Lee Carsley with England’s Under 21s, revealed on Monday that he caught the bug for coaching while captain of LA Galaxy.
Cole splits time between England and working in Chelsea’s academy, with his sights firmly set on following former international teammates Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney in eventually becoming a No 1.
Ashley Cole has opened up about his desires to forge a career in management
Cole is currently working as an assistant to the England Under 21 manager Lee Carsley (left)
‘I’ve lived and breathed football and I don’t think going into coaching or management should scare anyone,’ Cole said.
‘It’s important that I take it seriously. You’ve got to have faith and belief in what you are preaching and the philosophy and style in what you want to portray as a group or club, and I don’t feel scared to go into that.
‘I am raring to go and waiting for my opportunity, making sure I’m ready to go in prepared. I felt it after I went to LA Galaxy (in 2016) and got a deeper role, trying to be that leader in the dressing room but also take sessions, sit in on meetings and seeing the impact I had on the younger players.
‘I felt I had to give something back. Coming back to Chelsea was my opportunity to do that. Everybody speaks about having that year off (after retirement) to relax and sit on the beach. I actually got bored after two weeks and missed being on the grass.’
Cole enjoyed a glittering career as a player – here, he is pictured celebrating Chelsea’s 2015 Europa League triumph alongside tam-mate and fellow manager Frank Lampard
Cole added: ‘Is there enough opportunities for black coaches? It’s always going to be questioned. We have to just make sure we’re ready to deliver. I’ve got a long way to go, a lot of learning to do. The timing has to be right.
‘I just need to make sure I’m ready for whatever job, whatever league. I need to be ready and able to deliver. The Under 21s is a great opportunity and hopefully there will be a chance to manage at a high level.’
The Football Association have supported Cole through his coaching badges, with the 107-cap defender joining their inaugural International Player to Coach programme alongside Rooney – whom he worked with at Derby County – Michael Dawson and Carlton Cole earlier this year.
They spent five days at St George’s Park as part of the course and held Zoom sessions with the likes of Gareth Southgate.
‘It was a brilliant opportunity to get two hours to pick his brains,’ Cole said. ‘He shared two hours of his time to give us challenges he had to face with being England manager (and) a great tactical insight into how he builds up to games.’
Cole cited the influence of Jose Mourinho upon the type of manager he wants to become
Cole namechecked Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger as bosses who he wants to take elements from.
‘Carlo Ancelotti was key at man-managing, getting to know the person,’ he said. ‘He set up sessions where you wanted to be out on that pitch.
‘He made you feel very safe and was very approachable and that really brought out the best in me.
‘Arsene let the game be the teacher. I learned a lot from my mistakes. Jose had amazing game plans in terms of the detail and due diligence.’