Clubs – Arsenal, Crystal Palace (loan), Chelsea, England (U20, U21, Seniors)
Post By Colin Sowerby
Arguably more loathed than loved, Ashley Cole will never win a popularity contest. But that’s just fine, since we’re looking for the best of the best footballers and Cole deservedly takes his place in the Man On The Post Greatest XI.
A good left back is hard to find in football. It’s a tricky position. A great left back is a godsend to any team. Cole can tackle, support his midfield, make pacey runs into attacking areas, cross into the box, chip in with the occasional goal and tracks back to ensure his defence his never exposed. In addition, perhaps Cole’s greatest gift is consistency. He never has a bad game and always a starter for Arsenal, Chelsea and England.
Born in Stepney, London, Cole joined the club he supported as a boy – Arsenal. Following a loan spell at Crystal Palace, Cole broke into the Arsenal first team and became a regular first team starter. Wage demands drove his £25m move to London rivals Chelsea in 2006, which left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Arsenal and English football fans alike.
Few players have tasted the success that Ashley Cole has achieved – 3 Premier League titles, 7 FA Cup wins, 1 League Cup title and both a Champions League Runner Up & Winner.
But without doubt, Ashley Cole’s most impressive work has been in an England shirt. Cole (tied with Steven Gerrard) is the current most capped player for England. He stands 6th in the all-time list of most capped players for England, only surpassed by fellow defenders, the iconic Bobby Moore and post war era great, Billy Wright. Cole was given his England debut by Sven Goran Eriksson in 2001 (Yes it was 11 years ago!!) and has been a permanent fixture since. Despite misfiring performances from England in international tournaments, Ashley Cole has stood out in each event as being a world class player and able to hold his head up high for his performances.
And it doesn’t end there! Ashley enjoys life outside of football too! He married Girls Aloud ‘pop star’ Cheryl Cole in 2006. She used to sing to him and understandably they divorced 4 years later. He enjoys altercations with the police, driving (at 104mph in a 50mph zone) and shooting (air rifles into a Chelsea student’s leg). Of recent note, never one to be shy, Cole described the English FA as ‘a bunch of twats.’
He could be the closest player in our best XI to an old fashioned style footballer – works hard, plays hard. .
England fans – berate him as much as you want, but I guarantee, you’ll miss him when he’s gone.
And if his ex-wife could hold a note as well as Ashley Cole controls a football, she’d be Celine Dion. But she can’t and she’s not. She’s Cheryl Cole.