Are we all secretly hoping Chelsea star Cole is injured?

With Cole undergoing a scan on a rib injury, is his absence a benefit for England and Everton left-back Leighton Baines?

Jose Mourinho claims it was a tactical master-stroke, taking off Ashley Cole for Eden Hazard and going three at the back against Norwich City - we feel like he might just believe his own hype, for a change.

Cole clearly left the field because he was troubled with a nasty looking rib injury, and without a replacement on the bench Jose went for a make-or-break tactic - which worked in his typical style.

But attention quickly turned to the upcoming England games, where they face Montenegro and Poland in World Cup qualifiers.

Now I do not need to tell you that Cole is important to the English cause, as he has 105 caps that tell you just how essential he is.

But is anyone secretly hoping his injury keeps him out of the games? Because I am.

Cole is an institution at left-back, but for the past 18 months he has not been the best left-back available to Roy Hodgson.

Leighton Baines of Everton has been one of the best left-backs, not only in the Premier League, but the world. The stats prove it, if not just seeing him play exceptionally well week-in-week-out.

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But England have always been, and always will be averse to change - and the fact Baines is the better option is clouded by sentimental judgement and arguments of how experience is what we need, because it has been doing us so well before now, right?

Against Montenegro and Poland at home England should be on the front foot, attacking from the off and forcing them to play on the back-foot - not inviting pressure on at all, in a no holds barred performance of ruthless clinicality.

Considering the talent at our disposal, that should be a walk in the park.

But instead Hodgson would have played Cole, who, in my opinion, is not his best anymore and invited pressure on to a deep English back-four.

With Baines England have an attacking outlet - a bustling ball of energy ready to do both jobs with equally insatiable gusto.

But what about back-up?

Kieran Gibbs, Luke Shaw, Ryan Bertrand … we have the coverage if Cole is out injured.

Even if Cole was fit Baines should have been picked, but we all know he wouldn’t have been. In this respect Cole being injured will make the decision for Hodgson, a decision that could be the right one.

Do you feel the same?

image: © p_a_h

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