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.”