As the visit of Chelski approacheth the time is probably right for me to confess my sordid little secret – I don’t actually hate Ashley Cole.Controversial Indifference About Ashley Cole
The reason for this is probably his level of performance in an England shirt. Generally, he keeps his head down and gets on with things when he’s wearing the three lions. Few histrionics or whinges, unlike some of his international (and club) colleagues. He’s a very solid left-back, pops up with his fair share of last-ditch tackles and goal-line clearances and, as befits the 21st century full-back, he also provides an extra attacking outlet by bombing up the wing.
I feel like I’m dodging rotten tomatoes as I write this, but tomorrow I’ll probably direct my abuse elsewhere. The allegations of greed and infidelity don’t particularly bother or concern me, as they merely suggest that he’s a member of the species homo footballens, completely oblivious to the true nature of life on earth. These players are signed as young teenagers, have the annual GDPs of small African countries waved at them before they’re 21, have hot ladies tripping over themselves to snare them, and have never touched a 9-to-5 job with a bargepole.
Little wonder then, that they grow up with pound signs in their eyes, and a penchant for a bit of skirt, within wedlock or otherwise. Even Saint Gary of Lineker was at it, back in the day. I’m not condoning it – Cole’s a rotter for messing around that minx of a wife – but he’s not alone in living on a completely different planet from the rest of us.
Bile Towards The Rest of Them
Drogba for example – built like a boxer, yet cries like a girl who’s been called nasty names. For goodness’ sake, take it like a man. And by “it” I mean everything that comes your way. I’ll never forget the sight of him tumbling like he’d been shot under a tap from Zokora at Wembley last year, picking himself up to score the free-kick, and then comfortably supporting two or three team-mates who jumped on top of him.
Terry seems to think that being an England player cloaks him in immunity from punishment. Quite why he is England captain is bewildering. A role model he most certainly ain’t – unless the asbo generation are seeking inspiration – and neither is he the best player in the team, or even the best player in the pair of centre-backs. That business of him giving a rousing speech before the Croatia game a couple of years ago, also had me spitting feathers. If the team wanted verbal inspiration then the poet laureate ought to have been hauled before them; but the entire business of pre-match speeches by the captain struck me as ludicrous, and entirely worthless once the whistle blew for kick-off. Honestly, if the players weren’t sufficiently psyched for a crunch game like that I hardly think some pearls of wisdom from John “Byron” Terry would have done the trick. And after all that fuss we were rubbish anyway.
I’ll resist the urge to go through the entire Chelski team firing off bile-soaked rants. You get the point. Unlike Peter Kenyon. Not so long ago Kenyon fastened blinkers to his head and quite earnestly banged on about turning them into the biggest club in the world by 2014. Without either an illustrious history or a massive long-term fan-base they will never be categorised as a true great of the English game. I can imagine Kenyon staring blankly at me as I try to explain this, then picking up a bag full of coins and shaking it at me, by way of counter-argument.
’Arry’s CV, Lennon’s Contract
Lennon against Cole is likely to be critical to the outcome of tomorrow’s game, on which topic, three cheers for young Lennon for putting pen to paper. Wise move, son. It would be convenient at this juncture to forget quite how worthless footballer’s contracts are, and instead breeze into the Lane tomorrow on a wave of goodwill and optimism.