Cole eyes back-to-back titles

The England full-back has won the Premier League on three occasions
– twice with Arsenal and once with the Blues – but has yet to enjoy
a successful defence of the title. The 29-year-old’s hopes of
achieving that feat look bright in the wake of Chelsea’s strong
start to the new season, which has seen them establish a two-point
lead at the top of the Premier League. Chelsea won their first five
league games but a run of one win in three has served as a timely
reminder that Carlo Ancelotti’s men will not have it all their own
way, despite the indifferent form of traditional rivals Manchester
United and Arsenal. “I’ve never won back-to-back titles so I would
say it’s very hard,” Cole told ESPN. “Chelsea, of course, have done
it before and that’s what we’re aiming to do this season. “I think
every year the teams seem to be getting tougher. I think this year
will be the toughest year, and if we do win it I think it will
probably be one of the greatest achievements that I’ve ever done.”
Despite being held to a 0-0 draw by Aston Villa this weekend, the
opening weeks of the season have nevertheless produced an
impressive return of 23 goals in eight games for Ancelotti’s side.
And Cole admits the sequence is a far cry from the often cagey
displays during the Jose Mourinho era. “Sometimes people get
carried away and expect us to win by four or five every game,” he
added. “Before, when we used to go two up, we would sit back a bit
and be happy with 2-0. But now, with the players we have, we want
to kick on and score more goals. “We do seem to be playing a little
bit more fluent and our movement’s better. I think that’s showing
in how many goals we’re scoring.” Cole attributes the team’s new
attacking outlook to the influence of Ancelotti. He said: “I don’t
what it is with Carlo, he seems to be one of the lads but he knows
of course when to be serious. But he joins in at training and
everyone enjoys having him around. “When you have someone like that
around you it makes you want to fight and win for them. He brings
out the best in a lot of us.” Cole will turn 30 in September and
admits he is already giving some thought to how many years he has
left at the highest level of the game. “I’d like to say four, but
you never know,” he said. “I’ve got good young players behind me at
Chelsea and I hope one day they can get more games and one day take
my place. “But at the minute I’m just taking it year on year and
seeing how the body is, because I’m 29 but I feel like 35 or 40.
“It’s hard getting up in the mornings, but I hope to have another
four years and hopefully win a few more medals and win the
Champions League. “I’ve got three more years at Chelsea and I’d
love to finish my career here.”