It was officially announced yesterday that Ashley Cole would be around for another year. It was something that Chelsea fans wanted, but didn’t focus on considering the Frank Lampard saga. In my last article, I said that resigning Frank Lampard wasn’t a good idea. Now, I take a look at Ashley Cole’s part of this recent saga with Chelsea and contracts.
With Lampard, it’s a bit different – there are many backups and replacements for Lampard and we’ve shown that we can play without him and still do well. However, with Cole, it’s a totally different story. There’s no replacement other than Ryan Bertrand currently available, and Ryan hasn’t played left-back too well this season (a reason why Roman/board pushed hard to get Ashley signed). Bertrand hasn’t been our greatest backup and certainly has troubled Di Matteo and now Benitez in terms of selection. It’s not that Bertrand is a bad replacement, it’s that he’s not good enough or at least Ashley Cole good enough – we’ve become accustomed to a stellar left-back in just about every Chelsea game since Cole joined and we always worried over him getting injured or wanting a move away and no greater panic until this season. We’ve all been concerned that if Cole was hurt, what would happen to our back line? Would it be like missing Terry? Yes, it would. Cole has been one of our best players since he signed. Would you want to play without one of the best left-backs in the world? I wouldn’t and that’s exactly why signing him for at least another year was a good decision.
With signing a player, comes money. So, how does the Cole move affect the money situation? Tremendously, we don’t have to worry about splashing 10m-20m on Coentrao, Baines or someone else – we just pay the wages agreed to. Rumours say it’s 200,o00 per week, others say it’s no more than 160,000 per week and some say it’s no less than 140,000 per week. If I took a guess, it’s probably between 150,000 and 180,000 per week as that seems like a fair wage for one of our best players. Now, some fans ask the question – if Cole can get that amount, why can’t Lampard get 100,000 per week?! There are replacements (many of them) for Frank and his presence isn’t as important to the team as Cole’s is. If Lampard is injured/out, we don’t tend to struggle in that position, but without Cole – it’s a mountainous task for Ryan Bertrand who is next in line.
In conclusion, it’s very good to see Cole on board for another year and thankfully, the Board has some sense this season with this latest move. Let’s hope we can find a player to replace Cole, that’s if he decides departs in Summer 2014.