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Ashley Cole Comments on Jose Mourinho, English Players at Roma Introduction

COBHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Ashley Cole walks out during the Chelsea FC Training session ahead of tomorrow's UEFA Champions League match against FC Steaua Bucuresti on December 10, 2013 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

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:

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.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Ashley Cole of Chelsea holds off Steven Davis of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Warren Li
Warren Little/Getty Images

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.

Paul Gascoigne is a rare example of an Englishman moving to Serie A.
Paul Gascoigne is a rare example of an Englishman moving to Serie A.Michael Cooper/Getty Images

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 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.

Jon Super/Associated Press

As noted by The Sun's Twitter account, Cole is more than confident of dealing with any hostilities in Serie A:

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:

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.

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