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Ashley Cole – What was he doing?

What was he doing?

by Jim White
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/jim-white/article/6189/
It must be an odd household, the Coles. There’s Mrs C, her smiley countenance widely revered, a woman anointed by the popular press as a national treasure. Never mind the fact she was once prosecuted for a vicious attack on a lavatory attendant; her radiance, her beauty, her kindness seemingly exude from every pore. She’s a love.

And then there’s her husband, if not the most reviled man in Britain then running Sir Fred Goodwin a pretty close second. A man who, when he’s not whining about the insulting paucity of a £55,000 a week wage offer, is facing allegations that he showered some sexual conquest in vomit. Perhaps Ashley thinks that by associating with Cheryl some of her good PR might rub off on him, that somehow things will average out and they will come to be seen as a perfectly nice couple. Rather than as they are: the saint and the prat.

If so, his latest indiscretion will hardly have helped his cause. Stroppy, drunk and disorderly, shouting his mouth off on the pavement outside a swanky bar in the early hours, is not a condition most football fans wish to see their leading players in at anytime. But right in the midst of a three-pronged assault on the honours board it is nothing less than a dereliction of duty.

The fact is, however much the runes seem to suggest that Manchester United will hoover up all available silverware, Chelsea are very much in it. Sure, they are behind in the Premier League, but in the FA Cup and Champions League they are as well positioned as Alex Ferguson’s side. Perhaps in Europe they are even better off. Indeed, it is perfectly possible to see the club matching, if not bettering their trio of second places last season. Maybe that was Roman Abramovich’s masterplan all along. This is what happens when you sack a manager halfway through the season, he will doubtless be telling his acolytes, you find yourself right in amongst the trophies at the conclusion of hostilities.

Indeed, such has been Chelsea’s new-found fervour now that Guus Hiddink has taken control, such has been the way the players have been talking up their chances, such has been the ease about the place, the way in which tactics and systems suddenly seem to make sense, that Cole’s aberration is all the more reprehensible. OK, drowning your sorrows at the end of a disappointing term is one thing, but getting bladdered midweek just as things are hotting up is reminiscent of what used to go on at George Graham’s Arsenal or Big Ron’s United, places where Tuesday piss-ups were routine and training largely the opportunity to run off a hangover.

That sort of thing was supposed to be consigned to the past, the days before bleep tests and endless ProZone evaluation. Even Harry Redknapp, a man who hardly behaves like a Presbyterian, recently insisted that these days there is no place for any booze whatsoever in the footballer’s lifestyle. And yet here was Cole, a man who surely must know better, three sheets to the wind and larging it. It must make every Chelsea fan, the very people whose enormous financial commitment keeps the player in Flaming Ferraris, or whatever it is he drinks these days, despair.

Maybe Cheryl could have a word. Either that or she could turn out next week against Juventus. You get the feeling she would be much better received.

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March 6, 2009 - Posted by | Ashley Cole, Chelsea, Football, _SPORT

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