The Highs and Lows of Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole is set to join England's "100 club" when he steps onto the field against Brazil tonight. There's no denying that the England left back has had plenty of memorable moments from his career thus far so to celebrate, we're going to go on the meandering path of highs and lows in the life of Ashley Cole.
February 6th, 2013
High: His Arsenal Debut
Let us begin on the positive, his impressive career at Arsenal. Cole made his full debut for the club in November 1999, going on to make a further 227 appearances, and scoring nine goals. Not to mention of course winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and being an integral part of “invincibles” of the 03–04 season, which saw the team last the entire league season undefeated.
Low: His ‘outrage’ at an offer of £55,000 per week
However, it all turned sour for Ashley who soon earned the moniker “Cashley” following revelations in his autobiography about his departure from Arsenal.
In said book, Cole described how he almost crashed his car in shock and was left “trembling in anger” when his agent called to inform him that Arsenal were prepared to offer him “just” £55,000 per week. Terms such as “slap in the face” and “a p**s take” didn’t endeer him to the fans.
High: A career littered with trophies
On the pitch however, nobody could deny his ability as one of the greatest defenders of his generation. With seven winners medals, Cole has won the FA cup more times than any other player in history. His accolades also include the Premier League in the 09–10 season, four FA Cups, one Football League Cup and one UEFA Champions League with current club Chelsea.
Low: The Mike Riley incident
However despite his keen on-pitch form with the ball, Ashley’s relationship with officials has always been less positive. This came to a head during a Chelsea clash at Tottenham Hotspur when Cole refused to acknowledge referee Mike Riley whilst being given a yellow card for a challenge on Alan Hutton. Cole later went on to make a very public and long winded apology for the incident, which became central to the FA’s “Respect” campaign.
High: His England debut
After some accomplished performances, Cole was fast-tracked through the England U21′s team by Sven-Goran Eriksson as the potential solution to England’s long-term problems at left back. Cole made his debut at the age of 20 against Albania in 2001 and went on to play all of England’s games in the following year’s World Cup.
Low: THAT advert for the National Lottery
We can’t ignore it. THAT advert for the National Lottery. Circa 2006, pre wedding, Cole and his then girlfriend Cheryl Tweedy posed against a Rolls Royce in a London studio made to look like the heavens. However, surely the most disturbing aspect had to be Cole’s open shirt and garish medallion? Wonder if the cheque was enough to dull the feelings of shame? We doubt it.
So Ashley we praise you for your sporting success and hope your 100th cap is a memorable one for all the right reasons. One final thing, no more cheesy adverts, we beg of you!