Ashley Cole has announced his retirement from playing yet there doesn’t seem to be much interest in goonerdom. I find that incredibly sad.
What happened that resulted in a player of his calibre, that came through our ranks, to be so overlooked by the gooners fan base.
Well I want to revisit the alleged crime, call it a cold case if you like, to see if there has been a miscarriage of justice. I feel there has been, and have felt this for a while now, especially in light of other later events with other players.
Ashley was arguably the worlds best left back for 4-5 years at his peak, which included him playing in the famous red and white. Not only that, he was one of our own and an invincible.
The following analysis is based upon the generally accepted version of events and the publisher accepts no responsibility in regard to any unconfirmed falsified aspects of the said generally accepted version.
“The court invites the prosecution to make its opening statement”
“Well your honour, Mr Cole joined Chelsea, a rival, and wrote a book that was critical of certain aspects of the club (Arsenal’s) contract negotiating team. These 2 factors have infuriated the fan base and now any relationship between Mr Cole and the Arsenal fan base is irreconcilable. The prosecution Sue’s for divorce”
“And now the court invites the defence to make its opening statement”.
“Well your honour’ you see Mr Cole didn’t actually write the book but agreed to have his name attached to it. It was explained to him by the publisher that certain things should be exaggerated more as it was better for sales. In addition Mr Cole really wanted to stay at Arsenal, the club he grew up at and loved, so much so that he agreed to a lower wage than he was being offered elsewhere. He thought he had a gentleman’s agreement but was shocked when the club negotiators reneged on the agreement. He felt incredibly hurt and didn’t feel the club truly wanted him to stay. At this point he decided it would be best to move on”.
Personally I feel Ashley has been overly maligned by some margin, especially considering what a special player he was for us in such a special period.
The book was most likely ghost written and more poor judgement on Ashley’s part in my opinion. He will not be the first or last footballer to fall foul of making a wrong call based on poor advice of those around him.
Can we really not also see how hurt he would have been that after agreeing to stay on wages less than he could get elsewhere, just because he loved the club that had brought him up, to find that they didn’t value him quite so highly and were happy to go back on their verbal agreement.
Ashley was probably the first of the modern generation footballers, at Arsenal, to have a high profile fall out with the fans, but I feel this case needs revisiting.
The crime now, so many years on, seems so much less, and in reality I feel the club’s negotiators were far more culpable for that situation and that fallout than the player himself.
It is time to bring Ashley in from the cold and for the fans to show Ashley the love again. We need to treat him as the legend he is. He deserves a place in the stand at the Emirates and he deserves the applause and appreciation from us all.
The defence rests its case.