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Premier League legend ‘agrees’ to become England U21 assistant manager

If the reports are anything to go by, a Premier League legend ‘agrees’ to become the next assistant manager of the England U21 team.

Chelsea’s Ashley Cole is set to be the number two to former Everton star Lee Carsley, who will reportedly be announced as the new manager shortly.

40-year-old Cole will see him take up his first major coaching job since retiring from playing in August 2019.

Ian Wright and Ashley Cole praised the 'industrious' Jack Grealish in  England's 3-0 win over Ireland | | Express Digest

The ex-Blues left-back is currently an academy coach at Stamford Bridge following a short spell working at Championship side Derby County.

He will reportedly join the U21s on a part-time basis while he continues to work at Chelsea and transitions away from media commitments.

The Champions League winner is a former England youth international himself, earning himself two caps for the U20s and making five appearances for the U21s.

He won a total of 107 caps at senior level, a tally which is bettered by only five players: Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Bobby Moore.

Cole’s alleged appointment is said to be a reflection of the FA’s commitment to give opportunities to BAME coaches.

It’s believed ex-Arsenal defender Sol Campbell was interviewed for the manager role before the FA chose Carsley, and of course the ex-Gunner was not happy about missing out.

As some of you may have seen during the Euros, former Charlton and Huddersfield manager Chris Powell is part of Gareth Southgate’s backroom staff, while also working at Tottenham Hotspur.

If appointed, Carsley and Cole are set to face a difficult task in making the U21s competitive again after some dismal performances of late.

Although England have won the U17 World Cup, U19 Euros and U20 World Cup in recent years, they haven’t won a major U21 trophy since 1984.

Previous under 21s boss Aidy Boothroyd stepped down from his role in April after they crashed out of the Euros, winning just one their three group games.

Boothroyd started working with the FA in 2014 and enjoyed tournament success earlier in his role. He took the Under-21s to within a penalty shootout of the 2017 final and won the 2018 Toulon Tournament.

Before facing Croatia, Boothroyd described the Under-21s job as “utterly impossible”, saying: “The reason I say that is because of the amount of players that have to be produced for the senior team and the fact we are expected to win.”

An FA statement said Boothroyd felt “the time was right to focus on a return to club football”. Boothroyd said: “It has been the greatest privilege to represent the FA and lead England teams into high-profile tournaments. While we didn’t finish in the way we wanted, I am very proud to have been able to work so closely with players who I know will go on to have remarkable international careers and to have experienced some very special moments with them over the years.”

The former Watford and Coventry boss also worked at the Football Association with younger age-group teams, including the under 20s, before succeeding Gareth Southgate with the under 21s in early 2017.

Southgate said: “I’d like to thank Aidy for his wholehearted support and dedication to developing English players and coaches across the last seven years. His pride in working with all of our development teams has shone through and his support of the senior team has been greatly appreciated. I wish him every success.”

Fans reacted as the Premier League legend reportedly ‘agrees’ to become England U21 assistant manager…

@AFC_JG: Wonder who he’ll shoot with an air rifle this time

@willgranty: If Ashley Cole’s punditry is to go by, we’re fucked

@JamesPiggford: Makes sense to step up from U20 to U 21, and great to see @TheRealAC3 involved, was such a great player for England.

@bigjay1upp: this is big

@_jamesgreen: Jobs for the boys.

@WesleyAwad: This is a real disappointment, Ashley Cole has next to no coaching experience, I’m confident there are better coaches already within the FA & at professional club academies. Surely a conflict of interest coaching at a @premierleague club & a National Development team.

@Stuartcripps4: Great news. A fine appointment. Got so much experience to give future players

@Oliver2Saunders: Ashley Cole for the U21s??? Sorry?

@CFC_Muk: The goat getting some experience you love to see it

@alfklly: Lee Carsley held the development squad role at Brentford & I remember him coming across well when he took over as caretaker before Dean Smith. Ashley Cole however, based on his appearances on ITV covering England, just didn’t seem perceptive at all. Strange appointments really

@Charlanardo: Sorry what hahahaha Why aren’t they taking the U21s seriously ffs

@CFC_Benjamin19: Ashley Cole is a better manager than Carsley

@belly0992: Get in Ash, well played 👏

@Tom1938915: Yes ash

@JustSomeGuy1970: Shooting practice

@ClarkBassett: With what coaching background? Really good pundit but why are we the only country that does this? Go and do your hard yards at lower league clubs

@Tom_coyi: This is proof that it’s more about who you know than what you know, he might be decent but has no previous managerial or coaching experience

@hashtagMullins: Bizarre choice that

@Mad_McGhee: Yeh why not!

@TayMack1994: Bit left field, didn’t know he wanted to be a coach 🤷🏻‍♂️

@Sam_Webster94: Jesus Christ why do ex pro’s get jobs just for been good footballers he proved as a pundit he was clueless

@tomk1874: I like this

@IamKyle90: Good luck to him

@R_J_M_11: But but sol Campbell can’t get a job

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