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Media Watch: Cole explains decision to become a coach, Robben plays first comeback game, Torres drops hint on future

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Ashley Cole talks about the Chelsea figure who convinced him to get his coaching badges and Arjen Robben shares his thoughts after coming out of retirement to play his first match for Groningen.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Cole credits Bath with transition to coaching

In an interview with ESPN.com, Ashley Cole has revealed Chelsea’s head of youth development Neil Bath played a key role in his decision to go into coaching after he retired from football.

The former left-back hung up his boots at the end of the 2018/19 season after playing his final game for Derby County under his former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard.

But while they both returned to the Blues last summer, Cole explained the timing was coincidental.

‘It was always on the cards,’ he said. ‘I spoke to Neil Bath maybe three years ago when I was in Los Angeles, and he asked me what I wanted to do. I mentioned to him maybe about scouting. He gave me options, saying I could come back and do six months as a coach, six months scouting if I wanted.

‘Being in LA, I was doing a lot of work behind the scenes as captain, whether it was coaching, the video analysis with the individual players or the units. As soon as I knew I was retiring and it came right to the end of my career at Derby, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

‘I spoke to Neil again and he told me I was welcome whenever. I started the process with my badges during that time. It was an easy transition really.

‘For me, Neil has been incredible with me. He doesn't just throw you into the busywork, the paperwork and all that. Frank being around is great, but I was coming back regardless.’

According to Cole, the responsibility of being given the captaincy of LA Galaxy also gave him greater confidence to go into coaching.

‘The minute I got the captaincy at LA Galaxy, I turned into a different person,’ he added.

‘I thought I wanted to stay in football once I retired, but going to LA and them giving me the belief that I could be a captain and then giving me specific roles with individuals or team units, I felt I could do it.’


Robben delighted after playing comeback game

Arjen Robben said it felt ‘quite special’ to play for Groningen in a friendly last weekend and insisted he wants to help the Dutch club on the pitch after deciding to come out of retirement, Goal.com reports.

Having signed for the Dutch club in June, the former Chelsea winger played his first game in 15 months in a 1-1 draw with Almere City on Saturday.

He reportedly displayed some neat touches before being replaced just after the half-hour mark, as had been agreed pre-match.

‘It was nice to play a match again. That's what you do it for,’ said the 36-year-old to Fox Sports Netherlands.

‘I want to help Groningen, but not only with the sale of season tickets or shirts, also on the pitch. I have come a long way and I am far from there yet. But I am making good steps and this half hour was nice.

‘It was quite special, but I just wanted to concentrate on doing my thing. The most important thing is to keep fit. We'll see. It is also the combination of not playing football for a year and age. I have to catch up now.’

Groningen are scheduled to kick off their 2020-21 Eredivisie campaign on September 13 against another of Robben’s former club, PSV Eindhoven.


Torres reveals coaching plan

Former Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has written about his intention to go into coaching in an Instagram post to mark the anniversary of his retirement as a player.

The Spaniard posted his message on Sunday, exactly a year after he played the final game of his career for Sagan Tosu in Japan.

‘Today is one year since I retired from football. I confess that when I was active I did not realize how quickly time goes,’ wrote Torres, who scored in the Blues’ Europa League final victory over Benfica in 2013.

‘I’m getting use to a new reality. I have assumed that I am no longer a football player, while at the same time I am about to become a coach.’

The 36-year-old, who did not indicate where he would be coaching, concluded his message with a heartfelt message to fans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Unfortunately, football is played without supporters in the stands, the element that makes this sport so special,’ he added.

‘In the middle of it all, we are experiencing a pandemic that leaves thousands of families broken. For this reason, the only thing I ask of you is that you be responsible and stay safe and healthy.

‘My best wishes for everybody.’

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