Ashley Cole has confirmed he and Jose Mourinho share a "good relationship," despite the Portuguese manager's decision to let the left-back seal a switch to Roma.
Speaking during his first press conference in the Italian capital, Cole also suggested many English players are "scared" to play outside of their homeland.
James Horncastle of BT Sport reported Cole's quotes which regarded Mourinho:
Ashley Cole press conference. 2nd question by an English journo is about England...— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 15, 2014
Cole: First of all, me and Jose still had a good relationship. I was just getting a bit old for what he liked.— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 15, 2014
Cole dropped out of the Chelsea team under the aforementioned leader last season, an ironic way for his Chelsea career to end considering the former Arsenal left-back was snapped up by Mourinho during his first spell in charge.
Will Ashley Cole prove to be a success with Roma?
The 33-year made just 15 starts in the Premier League last season and saw his place occupied by Cesar Azpilicueta, who is traditionally a right-back. The Spaniard's excellent form and dependency meant Cole managed 90 minutes just four times during the club's busy schedule through April and May, per WhoScored.com.
His inability to regain a place in the starting line-up meant he was overlooked for Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, as the English boss preferred Everton's Leighton Baines and 18-year-old Luke Shaw instead. Cole confirmed his international retirement upon the announcement he wouldn't journey to Brazil.
Travelling abroad is rare for English footballers, with many opting to stay within the nation's league structure. Cole is one of a handful of players to make the move into Europe and follows in the high-profile footsteps of Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate, all of whom have represented Real Madrid.
Owen Hargreaves famously played for Bayern Munich, but the England international was born in Canada before heading to Bavaria. Jermain Defoe and Michael Mancienne rank among the most famous Englishmen to be playing abroad right now, representing Toronto and Hamburg respectively, something Cole believes is down to many being scared, per Horncastle:
Cole: I think probably English players are scared to come abroad, they’re in a comfort zone in England— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 15, 2014
AC: I’ve never been out of London + it’s a big opportunity for me to try a different language, different culture + a different way of living— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) July 15, 2014
Cole becomes the 10th Englishman to secure a Serie A deal after the likes of Beckham (Milan), Jay Bothroyd (Perugia) and David Platt (Bari, Juventus, Sampdoria). He is the second Englishman to play in the Italian capital—the first for Roma—after Paul Gascoigne represented Lazio between 1992-95.
As noted by The Sun's Twitter account, Cole is more than confident of dealing with any hostilities in Serie A:
Ashley Cole on Roma: "I'm not afraid of pressure. I noticed the fans' passion and love as soon as I landed. I'm going to enjoy my time here"— The Sun - Football (@TheSunFootball) July 15, 2014
Roma's new signing travels having captured 16 club trophies across his tenures in north and west London. He knows exactly what it takes to win, per 11 Magazine creator Daniel Lissoni, who wants to see further experience added to Rudi Garcia's team:
From watching that press conference it's clear Ashley Cole is a winner. That's what Roma need. Eto'o next please?— Daniel Lissoni (@Daniel741L) July 15, 2014
Cole has always remained composed when under pressure on the pitch. He is a thoughtful player, someone who can make a last-ditch tackle or provide a killer cross, but many overlook his coolness when things get tough. He is not a player who backs down when a battle awaits.
Such an attitude should ensure he is a hit in Italy. Cole's qualities can improve any team in the world, even with his age considered. Roma have pulled off a smart coup to land the free agent who is sure to play a key role in any Lupi success next season.