Cole happy for life in the wings
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Joe Cole is looking forward to Chelsea returning to a tried and tested formation.
Joe Cole believes plans to revert to the tried and tested will help Chelsea in their bid to regain the Premier League title.
Stamford Bridge manager Jose Mourinho has revealed he is to return to the 4-3-3 formation that served the former champions so well in their two Premier League title-winning seasons, prior to surrendering the crown to Manchester United.
Chelsea had favoured the formation, which saw two advanced wingers supporting a lone striker, in previous campaigns and Cole believes that it was only injury problems to vital players that enforced last season's strategic reshuffle to a diamond formation.
The 25-year-old missed the majority of the last campaign through medial knee ligament damage and a fractured foot, and he was joined on the long-term injured list by fellow wingers Arjen Robben and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
However, having recovered fitness along with Robben and Wright-Phillips, Cole is now optimistic ahead of the new season.
"I think the 4-3-3 formation is our best formation," Cole told the Daily Star.
"I feel it's much better than playing the diamond formation but our hands were tied last season.
"I think the manager would have played 4-3-3 last season, but with so many injuries he had fewer options."
Mourinho has also added Florent Malouda, in a £13.5million move from Lyon, to the Chelsea squad and Cole sees the French winger as a welcome arrival.
"This year the squad is stronger, we are quietly confident, and Malouda has looked good," said Cole.
"He got himself a goal in his first game against Club America, looks a quality player and has great pedigree.
"Maybe as we've got four, maybe five, wingers we've got strength in depth and options now.
"I think the squad is as strong now as at anytime that I've been at Chelsea."