Adulterer, Judas, Work experience shooter and all round bad egg Ashley Cole has been vilified by everyone and their sister over the last few years, It began with his acrimonious move to Chelsea; done amid a web of deceit, ingratitude and flash Harryness.
When Cole returned to Arsenal with Chelsea for the first time he was subjected to 90 minutes of sustained abuse unlike anything I have heard at Arsenal. Rightly or wrongly Hell hath no fury like a group of supporters scorned.
The abuse and vitriol aimed at Cole since has been sustained and he has not exactly been the shy retiring type (on and off the field), however, his major sin for Arsenal fans is that he left the club over a ‘mere’ £5000 a week and wrote about it in less than humble terms. Thus was born a nemesis for Arsenal fans to get hot under the collar over. More so as he chose to join the entirely unlikable Chelsea machine. Mourinho had courted him for one reason only; he was the best Left back in the league.
So where’s the myth part? Well, was Cole right to leave when he did? He has gone on to achieve success and has been in the thick of Title tussles. Did he see the writing on the wall of Wenger’s obsession?
I personally disagree with the whole secret meetings thing and I think he was extremely naïve to alienate so many by his in judicial recounting of his wage demands at Arsenal, but ultimately he left a club that was fading and joined a club on the rise earning more money in the process and gathering even more silverware. Who (with a calm head) would view this as being out of order?
Fact is that Ashley Cole, when playing for Arsenal, was part of our glories and that can’t be dismissed so easily. Cole was and is one of the best Left backs in the business and alongside Lauren, Campbell and Toure was one of the defensive Invincibles. Cole could have gone on to be club captain, but he moved on. Hard to take as he had come through the ranks, but even harder, to be honest, because he was good.
I’ve no qualms about disliking him and he’s one of those people that I associate with all that’s wrong with English footballers but I think it’s a mistake to expunge him from Arsenal’s history book so readily.
Let’s face it, in actual fact he is no better or worse than most thick Footballers; yes he betrayed ‘us’ but, that way of thinking is flawed. There is little loyalty in the football world and we all need to get used to that. He left possibly Arsenal's greatest ever side, and like others, wasn't replaced.