Cole: No egos at Chelsea

At just 33, the Portuguese coach will be the youngest boss in the

Premier League next season, having been appointed successor to

experienced Italian Carlo Ancelotti. It has been suggested the

former Porto manager, who guided the Dragons to domestic and Europa

League success last season, will find it difficult to command

respect among the older squad members. However, England defender

Cole, 30, feels Villas-Boas – no stranger to many players from his

time at Stamford Bridge as a part of Jose Mourinho’s backroom staff

– will soon settle into his new role. “Age is just a number, he has

experience of being at Porto, a big club,” Cole said in an

interview with Sky Sports News. “Hopefully he can bring that glory

to Chelsea, but I don’t think the age thing is anything to worry

about, I don’t think the players think about that. He is our

manager now and we have to go out and fight for him. “Whatever

manager comes in we respect him, we are not kids, everyone thinks

there are egos at Chelsea, but there aren’t and we have to make

Chelsea the squad of a few years ago and win trophies.” Chelsea

players will return to the Cobham training ground for the start of

pre-season training this week, with Villas-Boas maintaining there

would be no immediate transfers or new arrivals until he had time

to fully assess the current group, with a tour to the Far East

ahead of the Asia Trophy coming up. Brazil international Neymar,

Anderlecht’s 18-year-old Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, Tottenham’s

Croatian midfielder Luka Modric as well as Porto duo Radamel Falcao

and Joao Moutinho are all reported targets. By the time the new

Premier League campaign kicks off at Stoke, there are likely to be

a couple of new faces and Cole feels that can only help Chelsea’s

ambitions on all fronts. “We just fell short last season, we had a

lot of injuries so hopefully if we do bring players in we can

strengthen the squad and kick on because we’ve got so many great

players at Chelsea that we should be winning the league two times

on the trot, which we didn’t,” said the England full-back. “I think

all teams would love to see fresh faces, but the age thing, it

creeps up on players and as you get older you get knocks more and

things like that. But they’re very professional players at Chelsea

and if we can add to that with maybe some younger players I don’t

see why we can’t improve on last season and win the league, win the

Champions League and win the FA Cup because we’ve got the players

to do it. “A lot of players’ dreams are to win the Champions

League. I have played in two finals, but of course we want to win –

but we want to win any trophy.” Cole found himself in the

front-page headlines earlier this year for an incident at the

training ground when a work placement student was shot with an air

rifle, while the relationship with his former wife Cheryl Cole

continues to attract attention. The defender, however, will not let

those issues see him lose focus. “I have made mistakes and have

just got to live with it,” Cole added in an interview with BBC

Sport. “I just wish people would judge me more on football and

speak about football more than a life that people don’t really

know.” Cole continued: “If someone had actually seen the [shooting]

incident – you wouldn’t laugh because it was a stupid thing to do –

but the whole situation was crazy. Of course it was an accident.

“But if I wanted to address every single thing in the paper I’d

lose my mind. It makes me crazy now when I hear things. “But like I

say, you’ve just got to deal with it. I’m just here to play

football. That’s all I want to do.”