The truth about Ashley cole
To believes it’s time JONNY BRICK and negative forget the controversies on the football... press and focus
IHOPE to publish a book in the near future. In it, I will ponder 11 points which apply to many football fans. Ponder along at home to some of these conundrums.
Why do fans support their team? Why do some players fail to make the step up to become managers? What should replace the transfer window? What makes a good football critic, or owner? Which famous forward has to sit on the bench in a Best Ever XI? And what’s the truth about Ashley Cole? Ashley was at one stage the best in the world at what he did, according to his peers and critics.
For all the drama of his personal life, at the peak of his professional life Ashley won titles at two clubs (Arsenal and Chelsea), reached a century of England appearances, and then uprooted himself to Italy after seeing out his Chelsea contract.
And yet, as a successful professional who was good at his job, the wider football world appears to jeer him. Not just Arsenal fans or followers of Rio Ferdinand’s Twitter feed, but even those disinterested in the game who know him as the former Mr Cheryl. In light of Emy Onuoha’s new book
I come not to bury Ashley – that photo of him standing a few inches too far away from his new Roma team-mates is worth a thousand of my words – but to praise him.
Emy names him in the Greatest Black British XI, in the back four alongside Viv Anderson, Ferdinand and Sol Campbell.
To Emy, Ashley “was without peer”, never the one to be blamed for the failures of the national team, especially when told to deal with the familiar ponytail of Cristiano Ronaldo for club and country.
“Probably England’s greatest ever leftback” is Emy’s conclusion, with which even Ray Wilson and Graeme Le Saux would likely concur.
In the chapter of my book that deals with ‘the player as celebrity’, I posit that Ashley Cole is the hero of what I call Generation Live on Sky Sports (LoSS).
Not Wayne Rooney, and his agent Paul Stretford, nor David Beckham, and his manager Simon Fuller. Ashley Cole, with his agent Jon Barnett (who now looks after Gareth Bale), may have incurred wrath and fines but between them they have made many black