Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole was not exactly the most popular player on view at Old Trafford on Sunday as the Blues drew 1-1 with Manchester United – and he has done little to improve his standing in United eyes by warning the Red Devils that Chelsea have not been playing anywhere near their best as yet.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has already taunted United about missing the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Premiership. Now Cole has said United should be worried because the Blues will storm ahead as soon as they start playing to their potential.

He told the London Evening Standard: “We we are not performing anywhere as well as I know we can. I have faced Chelsea in past years and they have been brilliant. We are not hitting that peak and when we do – watch out.

“It’s still early but you don’t want to go six points behind a great team like Manchester United. They’re playing well and hopefully that is an advantage for us. We’re not playing well and are only three points behind. This is the period when the title is won.

“We have qualified for the Champions League [knock-out stag] and we have to pick up our Premiership form after a good second-half performance at Old Trafford.”

Meanwhile, Ricardo Carvalho, pictured scoring the second-half goal that brought Chelsea level after Louis Saha had put United ahead, expects Chelsea to defend their title successfully once again.

“We are the best team in England and we are going to prove it. We will be champions,” he said. “The goal I scored was important because it gave us a draw and prevented United from increasing the gap. I didn’t train all week and am very satisfied because manager Jose Mourinho trusted me.”

Mourinho added: “I saw Ricardo’s ankle after the West Ham game and I saw him three days ago and I didn’t think he had the possibility to play. There was an improvement and at the last moment he was ready to play. I said I was happy because I wanted to show confidence and a positive image, but I didn’t know if he would play.

“For me he was man of the match. He was fantastic defensively and also scored an important goal. The medical department deserve dinner on me for the work they have done.”

November 27th, 2006 Product Guide, 3 Comments
  • Tesoro

    I usually pay no attention to Ashley Cole he’s such a prima donna, but he’s correct that Chelsea will only get better but so will Man U, it’s going to be a 2 team race.

  • DynastySoccerFC… Rasputin

    I agree Tesoro. Both these teams will raise it up a notch as time moves on but I know this does not sound good …I can’t stand Chelsea even though my uncle played for them! I hope Man U goes all the way this year & I think Ashley Cole would be better off having his own talk show since he seems to talk much better than he plays soccer.

  • Heath Young

    I’ll agree with you there Rasputin… Ashley Cole certainly runs his mouth enough to host a show or perhaps write a gossip column. I actually think he’s a brilliant outside back, but I grow weary of his need to be in the verbal spotlight.

    However, I tend to agree with one of his points. United are in good form right now, which has put them top of the table. Chelsea on the other hand have looked pretty lackluster, nowhere near the level of play they are capable of, and yet are only 3 points back. I personally would like to see United continue to hold the top spot, but I would be nervous having not put more distance between themselves and Chelsea at a point when the Blues are not playing particularly well.

    United needed 3 points from the Chelsea match, especially after thoroughly dominating the first half of play.