Twice embarrassed, Cole turns to the dark side



It is reliably said that off the field Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is mild mannered and pleasant company. Engaging even. His on-off-on again wife may not always agree with the 30-year-old’s sexual proclivities but that, of course, is an aside. On the field the left-back’s rapidly waning ability has now twice been exposed in successive outings against Manchester United. The player’s reaction: violence of the crudest kind.

First, Antonio Valencia so humiliated Cole during United’s victory over the Londoners at Old Trafford last April that the former Arsenal player must have been relieved the Reds winger did not start Sunday’s Premier League game. Cole’s moment of deliverance was short-lived though, with Nani again showing the progress the Portuguese has made over the past 18 months with a man-of-the-match performance on Sunday.

By the end of the fixture, so frustrated was Cole with Nani’s mesmerising skills that the former Arsenal left-back lunged, two-footed and high, into Javier Hernández’ shins. The sickening replay showed the Mexican striker’s leg buckle, with a break only a miracle and industrial-strength shin pads away.

Cole’s tackle was crude, aggressive, deliberate and all the more sickening for the arrogant and dismissive reaction delivered by both the defender and his captain John Terry. The pair surround referee Phil Down, arguing fiercely that no foul had been committed. Cole’s attitude was no fake, of course. The player genuinely believes that he did no wrong, despite the studs-up challenge that will leave Hernández out of action for weeks. Plus ça change from Chelsea’s clique of big egos, as Roy Keane call them this week, whomever the manager of the moment.

Understandably, Sir Alex Ferguson was furious,both with the lack of penalty awarded. Technically the ball was about a yard out of play, with Hernandez’ lashing the shot into the side netting but the yellow card issued to Cole is indefensible. Adding insult to the Mexican’s injury, Cole will face no further sanction after referee Dowd refused to dismiss the former Arsenal player.

“It was a shocking challenge,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.

“The referee has booked him for it so I don’t know why it wasn’t a penalty. I must ask him. He is very reckless at times, Ashley Cole. He is committed, of course, but being committed you can sometimes go over the edge a bit. That was an example of that. It was a shocking tackle, an absolutely shocking tackle.

“We don’t know what Chicharito has done. We will have to wait. At the moment his leg is very numb. He doesn’t have any feeling in it. He could be out for a couple of week’s maybe.”

The Football Association confirmed, Monday, that Cole will face no further action. FA rules, for the little that they are worth, do not allow for a yellow card to be upgraded retrospectively. Had Dowd taken no action in an incident he clearly did not see then the FA would have been able to charge Cole with violent conduct, resulting in a well deserved three-match ban.

Yet, more embarrassing than Coles’s reaction or the FA’s inadequacy is the excuse made by 33-year-old Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas. Quite unbelievably, José Mourinho’s protegé blamed the incident on the officials for ruling United’s way on two highly marginal offside decisions. The emotion of going behind, claimed Villas-Boas, was too much for Cole to handle; lashing out was all that could be expected of the defender.

“Maybe he wouldn’t get sent off if the linesman does his work,” Villas-Boas told the Telegraph.

“He would have been less emotionally drained. I work the other way round. You are trying to say the referee did something wrong. I cannot forget the previous two. If it was 0-0 maybe Ashley is a little bit more mentally in control of the situation and doesn’t do the red card foul that you mention.”

It is, of course, a feeble excuse made all the worst by Cole’s decade-long history of two-footed lunges and aggressive claims of innocence. Cole is a man whose level of entitlement has always been far off the scale, even for a pampered footballer. It’s not even the first time the defender has gotten away with a similar tackle against United.

The FA for its part is happy to hide behind the organisation’s self-imposed rules, designed to protect referees, but in fact achieving the exact opposite. There is little doubt that had Dowd or his Assistant seen the incident more clearly then Cole wold have seen red. The FA could correct the human error and right an injustice.

Yet the organisation was desperate to jump on the media bandwagon after Wayne Rooney’s ‘sweargate’ at Upton Park last season. It all goes to show, to paraphrase a popular cartoon, that horrific deplorable violence is OK, as long as no one says any naughty words!

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  • RobDiablo

    AVB’s comments blaming the officials were not just feeble; they were also inexcusably unprofessional. “Frustrated? Things not going your way on the pitch? You can feel better by indulging in a late, high, two-footed, studs-up tackle.” The FA need to call AVB on the carpet for such ill-considered remarks.

    • Mongoletsi

      AVB is taking a leaf out of Jose’s book… if a player did something horrible, Jose would simply say something completely provocative. Deflecting the pressure off his squad. Fair play really.

  • pete borota

    Just for clarification it wasn’t an attempt at a tackle, he throw himself toward the ball to try and get between ball and the goal. As most pro’s have said today the incident was not done with foresight and premeditated. More a desperate attempt at trying to stop what he thought was a certain goal.

    And despite being upset at AVB’s comments I think you can count yourselfs on the positive side of refereeing decisions on Sunday.

  • Sir Cecil

    A lot of laughable drivel. Cole was trying to block a shot a yard from goal. He put his foot out to block the ball as any defender would. Any defender who did not attempt to block the shot would be deemed useless. It wasn’t a “tackle” at all, it was an attempted block of the ball. The opponent’s follow through brought him into contact with Cole – if he’d scored, people would have said Cole was slow in trying to prevent it. What a cissy game this has become, when so-called supporters of the game whinge about athletes coming together in split-second movements and one or both take a knock when going for a 50-50 ball. If the incident had happened in the exact same manner in the other goalmouth, the rabble here would be praising their man for challenging the attacker. Risible.

    • RobDiablo

      For you and pete borota – it’s amazing what you can see when you are determined to ignore the truth. The two of you may be able to write more coherently than most of the City fans who attempt to post on this blog, but you are just as full of shit as they are.

  • Bill

    He missed the ball and nearly broke the man’s leg. These are facts. A straight red if there ever was one.

  • RedDevilInArizona

    This was not a 50-50 ball, he ball is already in the side netting when Cole starts his jump. His studs were up at aroung knee level, he may nit have intended to injure but he was definatly taking the player out. Cole was frustrated all day long and giving up a goal so late in the game was too much for hiom

    I guess we are just lucky that Cole did not have a pellet riffle with him.

  • Zombie Cucumber

    Cole is high on the list of the EPL’s Most Overrated. I’m thankful that Chelsea keep both him and John Terry (also a fixture on said list) in the lineup. As our editor rightly noted, Tony V used Cole like a traffic cone last season, especially in the Community Shield match. Good to see nothing’s changed.

    Compare our situation to Chelsea’s: they’re still counting on their aging, slow back line, while we’ve upgraded with Smalling, Phil Jones and the daSilva’s. God bless SAF.

  • reddread

    Commenter said:
    A lot of laughable drivel. Cole was trying to block a shot a yard from goal. He put his foot out to block the ball as any defender would. Any defender who did not attempt to block the shot would be deemed useless. It wasn’t a “tackle” at all, it was an attempted block of the ball. The opponent’s follow through brought him into contact with Cole – if he’d scored, people would have said Cole was slow in trying to prevent it. What a cissy game this has become, when so-called supporters of the game whinge about athletes coming together in split-second movements and one or both take a knock when going for a 50-50 ball. If the incident had happened in the exact same manner in the other goalmouth, the rabble here would be praising their man for challenging the attacker. Risible.

    It doesn’t matter whether he meant to tackle Hernandez or not. The fact is that he could very nearly have broken the lad’s leg. And he certainly didn’t ‘put his foot out to block the ball’, he lunged in. It was a reckless challenge at best and plain nasty at worst. The lino saw it, mentioned it to the ref and the ref booked him, so clearly there was an offence committed, and it should have garnered a red card for Cole. The intent, or lack thereof, on Cole’s part is a moot point. He caught Hernandez halfway up his shin and could have seriously injured him.

    • Sir Cecil

      Cissies all. When I played football decades ago, that’s why I wore shinpads. If I was too chicken to go in where it hurts, I’d get bawled out. If I ignored the possible consequences and got stuck in, I’d get a pat on the back.
      Dirty fouls are the ones like Evans’ kung-fu kick in the chest of Drogba not so long ago.
      So Hernandez gets his pat on the back for getting in there regardless, and so does Cole. Good determined efforts by both players. If either had been a yellow belly and pulled out, they wouldn’t have earned heir wages.
      Drogba got punched in the head and laid out a couple of weeks ago (hence missing the Utd game). Whether a Cole lunge with his foot or a goalkeeper’s lunge with his fist, the intention and result was the same. But did Drogba whine? Did AVB whine? Was the Internet filled with cries the goalie should be sent off? No, it was two determined men going for the ball. One mistimed his action by a split second, as did Cole. SO WHAT? That’s the nature of the game. CISSIES!!!!!!

      • Collyhurst red army

        Wow rent boy! Did drogba moan you say? I would put my life on him moaning if he wasn’t spark out!

        Cole is the most despised man in all sport an incidents like this show you why. I would like to see him go in on Vidic like that!

        Cissies? Your strikers wears a hairband you silly plastic chav!

      • http://damiangarside.com Damian Garside

        I think I remember seeing you play. It was at Loftus Versveld and you were in the backrow of the scrum…

        Wake up motherfuck. You wouldn’t know a cissy if one felt so attracted to you he walked up and gave you a full-on slobber kiss.

      • shauno

        Rubbish, total rubbish! It’s attitudes like that which put the brakes on youth development. I’m still playing at a reasonable level and our club has a youth team. We give our young players (16+) a chance to play adult football. I’ve witnessed them kicked all over the place to the point whereby they think twice about playing. Whilst you can’t stop slow players kicking talented youth you do expect the ref’s to do their job and protect players so they can play the game the right way. Phrases like “it’s a mans game” etc are nonsense. You want a “mans game” play Rugby League (which I love). Football is not on the whole an aggressive contact sport. The ref was wrong not to send Cole off. Coles takle was out of control. He was off the ground and intentional or not he committed a foul which has put Hernandez out the game for a few weeks yet he is available next game. Yet Rooney was banned for one of last seasons most important games for swearing! Nobody ever got hospitalised from foul language. This is where for me the Respect Campaign falls on its backside. Cole was wrong, the ref was wrong and the FA rules are wrong. If you see it any other way you need to have a word with yourself. Like you say yourself you played football decades ago. Well we have moved on thankfully!

  • reddread

    The fuck has gone on with the formatting here, Ed?

  • captainhormone

    Commenter said:
    A lot of laughable drivel. Cole was trying to block a shot a yard from goal. He put his foot out to block the ball as any defender would. Any defender who did not attempt to block the shot would be deemed useless. It wasn’t a “tackle” at all, it was an attempted block of the ball. The opponent’s follow through brought him into contact with Cole – if he’d scored, people would have said Cole was slow in trying to prevent it. What a cissy game this has become, when so-called supporters of the game whinge about athletes coming together in split-second movements and one or both take a knock when going for a 50-50 ball. If the incident had happened in the exact same manner in the other goalmouth, the rabble here would be praising their man for challenging the attacker. Risible.

    TBF, Cecil is a proper bender/peado’s name.

    This is undeniable i’m afraid.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    ffs

  • RobDiablo

    Commenter said:
    Cissies all. When I played football decades ago, that’s why I wore shinpads…
    Dirty fouls are the ones like Evans’ kung-fu kick in the chest of Drogba not so long ago.
    …No, it was two determined men going for the ball. One mistimed his action by a split second, as did Cole…

    I believe the spelling you are looking for is ‘sissies’, but you’re correct, Cheatski are full of whinging sissies.

    Evans’ boot in Drogba’s chest was a foul, to be sure, and while Drogba may not have cried about it, his subsequent epileptic seizure was hysterically funny; I think that’s why the ref failed to card Evans: he was laughing too hard.

    I see that you have wisely moved away from AVB’s shameful attempt to shift the blame for Cashley’s cowardice to the officials, but I’m not sure that claiming Chicharito ran into Cashley’s attempted block and, in so doing, injured himself is any more defensible.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    oh yeah I forgot when evans flykicked drogba

    that was great tbf

    and then drogba did his little diagonal wiggle

    hehe

  • captainhormone

    Commenter said:
    Cissies all. When I played football decades ago, that’s why I wore shinpads. If I was too chicken to go in where it hurts, I’d get bawled out. If I ignored the possible consequences and got stuck in, I’d get a pat on the back.
    Dirty fouls are the ones like Evans’ kung-fu kick in the chest of Drogba not so long ago.
    So Hernandez gets his pat on the back for getting in there regardless, and so does Cole. Good determined efforts by both players. If either had been a yellow belly and pulled out, they wouldn’t have earned heir wages.
    Drogba got punched in the head and laid out a couple of weeks ago (hence missing the Utd game). Whether a Cole lunge with his foot or a goalkeeper’s lunge with his fist, the intention and result was the same. But did Drogba whine? Did AVB whine? Was the Internet filled with cries the goalie should be sent off? No, it was two determined men going for the ball. One mistimed his action by a split second, as did Cole. SO WHAT? That’s the nature of the game. CISSIES!!!!!!

    ffs, when i played we didn’t wear shin pads…i’m no “sissie”…nor do i have a benders name

    fuck…yes i do

    ffs

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    whatever happened to the days of generic utd names like reddevilfan, cr7yeah and mu4everoratleastuntilwestopwinning

    • Collyhurst red army

      They were your usernames before 2004 pal.

      Whatever happened to the headhunters ivory coast branch?

  • captainhormone

    those were the days

  • han

    ashley cole and uncleknobheaduphistitearseholefucker
    a match made in west london for sure

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    my username back then was fergieoutforever

  • han

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    my username back then was fergieoutforever

    u should change it to “once a cunt, always a cunt”

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    Cissies all. When I played football decades ago, that’s why I wore shinpads. If I was too chicken to go in where it hurts, I’d get bawled out. If I ignored the possible consequences and got stuck in, I’d get a pat on the back.
    Dirty fouls are the ones like Evans’ kung-fu kick in the chest of Drogba not so long ago.
    So Hernandez gets his pat on the back for getting in there regardless, and so does Cole. Good determined efforts by both players. If either had been a yellow belly and pulled out, they wouldn’t have earned heir wages.
    Drogba got punched in the head and laid out a couple of weeks ago (hence missing the Utd game). Whether a Cole lunge with his foot or a goalkeeper’s lunge with his fist, the intention and result was the same. But did Drogba whine? Did AVB whine? Was the Internet filled with cries the goalie should be sent off? No, it was two determined men going for the ball. One mistimed his action by a split second, as did Cole. SO WHAT? That’s the nature of the game. CISSIES!!!!!!

    You are full of shit… but then, that’s not surprising… you’re a Chelsea fan after all… supporting a team whose Premier League titles were bought and paid for with embezzled/stolen roubles.

    Your so called “hard man” Drogba, is as well known as any for being one of the games biggest fannies and serial divers…

    The truth is… had Rooney made that tackle on any one of your players, then you’d be calling for his summary execution, along with most of the London press.

    Take your hypocrisy and fuck off back to that shit hole, you call home.

  • SKW

    Good column Ed.

    Cole and Terry’s whining never cease to amaze. Both are past it and desperate to hold on to what little is left. Their team is also a shambles, as Sunday showed. Chelsea are nothing and nowhere and it must sting.

  • Godfrey

    Give over guys..
    Cashley can’t help being a cunt…All stupid Terry’s attitude just goes to strengthen the belief that he doesnt have two brain cells to rub..
    Whats most dipecable is the shitty brazen attitude of Mr.fuck face Terry whose still believe hes the ref..
    Fleet street boys would already have the knives out had it been any of our lads..

  • DaveMUFC

    Intresting that they cant bend their rules to charge Cole…. But you could be 100% sure if it was one of our players they’d find some way round it…

  • captainhormone

    Thing is Dave, it is very easy to be paranoid about these type of things and say its a conspiracy, but you are spot on…I am sure 100% that if it was Rooney there would be a big fuck off witch hunt and the FA would make an exception.

    Utter cunts this countries FA and media are…fuck knows why our lads play for England.

    • Mongoletsi

      That ridiculous ban for his ridiculous red card in the Amsterdam tournament, springs to mind. Not least because the year before, Mellor and Gerrard walked for genuine fouls in the same tournament, and nothing happened.

      Or Rio’s treatment.

      Or Rooney for swearing at the camera.

      The list goes on.

      Sure, we do get a bit of “luck” with decisions at home, but the FA do their best to go way beyond evening it out. Cunts.

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    Dave / Capt – I used to think, like most I guess, that some fans were “paranoid”. Like you say, though, if it was Rooney I get the feeling the knives would be out. Not to mention the media reaction, which would have of course verged on the utterly hysterical especially from hacks-in-disguise such as Henry Winter.

    Again, I would echo the good Captains thoughts – why on earth do United’s players play for England? Generally, they are the first scapegoats (“OMG WAI ROONEY NOT CARRY TEAM” spew the England knuckledragging mob), they are consistently targeted by England fans for scorn (step forward both Nevilles, Beckham, Scholes, Rooney) even though the utter pish they have to put up with around them is abysmal.

    If it wasn’t for the utterly bonkers hysteria that would break out at grounds around the country and in the media, I would genuinely urge Welbeck, Smalling, Jones and Cleverley to tell England where to go, along with Rooney.

    On the tackle itself – as soon as I saw it, I was convinced Hernandez had broken his leg. I’ve never seen the gunshot reaction from Hernandez before, hence I was sure the poor lad had suffered a fairly horrific injury and the replays afterwards only seemed to re-inforce that view. Thank goodness that he didn’t get anything serious.

    Of course, the media have only glossed over Cole’s horror tackle this week (I don’t care if people think he was diving to stop the ball, plenty of defenders slide towards their own goal / leap towards their own goal instead, as opposed to directly studs up throwing themselves at another players legs), and the lack of coverage over last weeks horror tackle on Cleverley was barely mentioned – but United have a strong squad and “there’s no need to make an example” of “smaller” clubs / players like Cole / Davies…. right?

    FA – twats
    Media – twats
    AVB – twat
    Cole / Terry – mega-twats

    • Mongoletsi

      // I’ve never seen the gunshot reaction from Hernandez before //

      Exactly. He’s very much the “dust yourself off and crack on” type. Definitely not a cynical player.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    hernandez has dived on numerous ocaasions tbf

  • Spike

    captainhormone said:
    ffs, when i played we didn’t wear shin pads…i’m no “sissie”…nor do i have a benders name

    fuck…yes i do

    ffs

    When I ever needed a laugh, I can be sure Cap will come good…cheers, now bend over my dear.

  • vlad

    That’s one of the best threads ever.

  • captainhormone

    Shauno..who do you play for mate?
    I agree with a lot of what you say, but there has to be an element of physicality involved. We teach our lads to never pull out of tackles where i have recently started coaching, as this is as bad as doing a bad tackle…the risk of getting injured can be just as high if you dont follow through…a half hearted attempt at a tackle versus someone going full bloodied leads to more injuries than both at full throttle….
    Granted, what Cole did was terrible, and it was no way a block it was clearly malicious..but the only way these lads are going to get physically toughened up , is by physically toughening up…..I know there has to be a line, but the lads have to condition themselves for these type of eventualities as it is unfortunately part and parcel of the game now at all levels….
    God, i feel bad typing that, as i’d rather be talking to them about technique and touch, than physicallity, conditioning and fitness…
    FFS…

    LKHF

    faffing