Everton’s Leighton Baines winning the race ahead of Chelsea’s Ashley Cole to be England’s best left-back
It would be a surprise if Ashley Cole is named in the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year.
After al it’s been a difficult campaign for Cole and for Chelsea and, with voting under way among the players, he is not in his best form.
What could be interesting, however, is that Cole could lose out to an Englishman in the Premier League’s select XI for the first time since 2001-02 when Wayne Bridge, then of Southampton, was chosen ahead of him.
Since then Cole has been nominated as the league’s best left-back four times — most recently last season when he swept a number of personal honours — only being pipped by foreign players in the other years, all Frenchmen incidentally, in Patrice Evra, Gaël Clichy and William Gallas.
But this year the strong consensus among Premier League players is that Leighton Baines, of Everton, has had a more impressive season than Cole.
Baines might not make the final XI — To*tenham’s Benoît Assou-Ekotto has had a strong campaign and Evra has his supporters — but he is expected to gain far more votes than Cole.