Back in August, Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand had a warning of sorts for Ashley Cole. The former had just enjoyed a stellar season at Stamford Bridge and was ready to challenge his teammate for the regular left-back spot.
“It’s important to have competition for places and it brings the best out in the team,” Bertrand told Chelsea’s official website. “With any top-class side you need to have that in every position.”
Skip forward a few months and a quick look at Cole’s increased time on the bench would suggest Bertrand had done what he had set out to do and taken the England man’s place in the team.
But in fact the 24-year-old has barely featured for Jose Mourinho’s men, even from the bench.
It has in fact been a right-back by trade – Cesar Azpilicueta – who has played in Cole’s place, leaving Bertrand to watch from afar and wonder where it all went wrong.
Reports this week claimed his much-mooted move to Liverpool may be derailed by Victor Moses’s less than impressive spell at Anfield (although why this would be the case is not fully explained as they are, after all, completely different players with completely different mentalities).
It is all very far removed from his quotes in August, when he appeared to be ready to stake his claim for a place in Chelsea’s starting XI, fresh off the back of a campaign that saw him make 38 appearances in all competitions.
image: © Ben Sutherland