It’s Time To Bring Ashley Cole In From The Cold.

September 5, 2019

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.

GoonerB

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Arsenal’s Worst Injury News Ever

October 15, 2012

Following Theo Walcott’s worrying injury against San Marino (who knew you could bruise a lung?) this seems like a good time to ask what has been the most damaging injury we have ever suffered.

I don’t mean damaging to the player (because surely Ramsey and Eduardo would jointly walk away with that one… well, hop away at any rate).

I mean damaging to Arsenal’s fortunes at the time.

Yes I know it’s a downbeat subject, but I’m feeling downbeat during this ridiculous two-week interlull*.

I know we’re supposed to be all “Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George” when Ingurland are on international duty, but I really couldn’t give a Gareth Bale’s uncle.

And so to the injuries which, given our abysmal history in recent years, should be a topic close to the hearts of most of us.

Fabregas Fractured

In the 2009-10 season Cesc Fabregas is proving to be an inspirational player. As the final day of March arrives, we are entertaining his DNA buddies from Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final (first leg); we are also sitting just four points behind Manchester United in the EPL, with six games to go. The Barca game finishes a 2-2 draw, with Captain Fabregas grabbing a memorable equalizer.

Unfortunately it emerges afterwards that even as he hit that goal to send the Emirates into ecstasy, he was suffering a leg fracture. Cesc misses the rest of the season and, without him, our form slumps. We lose the second leg in Barcelona and in the EPL we win only two of our remaining six matches to finish the season in third place, 11 points behind United.

If Fabregas had stayed fit, might we have ousted Barca and pushed on to CL and league glory? The answer to the first question is almost certainly “no” and to the second… “maybe.”

Van Persie (1)

Same season, 2009-10, and Robin van Persie is in fine form. He is named Player of the Month for October after a string of goals and assists. On November 14th he turns out for Holland in a “friendly’ against Italy.

A nasty tackle by the Italian defender Chiellini leaves him with an injured ankle and, supposedly, a six week lay-off. Clearly not wanting to become another of the “Disappeared Ones” in the Arsenal treatment centre, Robin pops over to Europe for some treatment with horse placenta and – Bingo! – six weeks out becomes five months.

Would a fit Robin have potentially sent us into the final run-in several points AHEAD of United rather than behind them? With the form he was in – very possibly.

Eduardo Horror Tackle

We probably all remember that day at Birmingham a bit too well. Arsenal are top of the league, the team are looking strong and, surely, glory awaits. Then, within minutes of the kick off, a lumbering Brummie oaf – Martin Taylor – dives in on our in-form Crozillian striker Eduardo and snaps his ankle in two.

The team are traumatised; captain William Gallas sits in the centre circle crying at the end of the game and, subsequently, our form drops quicker then a Towie girl’s knickers on a night out in Basildon.

Could we have won the league in 2008 but for Eduardo’s break? Most definitely YES.

Snap! Ramsey Horror Tackle

It is unbelievable when our boys have to experience an almost identical assault on another of their team mates, Aaron Ramsey, two years (almost to the day) later. In this case the offender is the Orc’s Orc, Ryan Shawcross, and the venue is the Britannia Ground where those classy Stoke fans boo young Aaron as he’s stretchered off to hospital.

In fairness, the team’s reaction was stronger this time round but we still had a disappointing finish to the 2009-10 season.

Did Aaron’s injury make a crucial difference? Given his youth and inexperience, probably not – but with the subsequent loss of Fabregas a month later it certainly didn’t help our midfield options.

Van Persie (2)

Come to think about it, this whole Post could have been about Brave Sir Robin, but I’ll keep it to two. In 2007-08, following the departure of Thierry Henry, it’s BSR’s turn to step into the limelight. He starts just as we would have hoped, with seven goals in 10 games. Then – yes, you’ve guessed – he goes off on international duty and comes back crocked. His involvement for the rest of the season is sporadic, to say the least.

Notwithstanding the trauma following the Eduardo injury, Robin’s full time presence in 2007-08 might well have given us the edge to find our way to silverware.

Ashley Cole

Football’s most charming man misses most of the 2005-06 season through injury, before following the smell of Maureen’s filthy lucre over to West London. We finish third that year, just ahead of the Spuds.

Flamini does a good job filling in in an unfamiliar position, but we undoubtedly lose something with not having Cole’s defensive solidity and attacking threat.

Could we have won silverware with him? A long shot, but it’s a possibility.

Those are the most telling ones from recent memory. There must have been devastating injuries from previous eras but I can’t seem to recall them.

Players just didn’t seem to get injured so much in the pre-Premier League age. Or maybe they did, but they were just pumped full of cortisone and sent out to get on with it: “Bruised lung? You’re havin’ a larf. Here, hold still while I give you this jab… that’s it – now get out there and kick someone.”

For what it’s worth, I believe the Eduardo injury was the most damaging of the ones I have listed.

The team was cooking on gas and I – and many Gooners – really felt the title was there for the taking.

The collapse in the team’s morale after the injury was disappointing (whatever happened to “let’s win it for Stumpy”?) but I do feel that we might have celebrated a 14th league title if it hadn’t happened.

What do you think?

And what injury blows have I missed off?

RockyLives

* © Arseblog


Who is our Best Youth Player over the last 20 years?

May 22, 2012

Who is the best player to come through the Arsenal Youth Programme? Not signed as kids like Theo, Cesc and Kolo from other clubs but actually raised at THOF

We have seen some wonderful players come through in the last 20+ years (which is my time frame). On a quiet day why don’t we have a little reminisce?

First up has to be Mr Arsenal. Tony Adams: TA joined AFC as at 15 and played in the first team at 17. He was captain at 21 having already won a trophy (the League Cup ’87). He then went on to Captain the club for 14 seasons, have a statue outside the Emirates and become a true AFC hero. Was he our best homegrown?

My 2nd Fave TA goal v THFC at Wembley

Or was it Rocky Rocastle? How many players are still sung about 20 years after he left the club? Rocky joined us at 16. Played in the Double team of ’89.  Sold when GG got sick of players with any flair, but left behind unforgettable memories to those lucky enough to see him in the jersey.

My Fave Rocky Goal (WHL 1987)

Or The Merse? Paul Merson was a special talent, capable of the most delightful lob I have seen. Not pray, not strong in the tackle but graceful and intelligent. It must be said that thanks to his off-filed activities he could be frustrating as well.  Injuries, off-field problems, lack of form all hindered him yetThe Merse remained a fan’s favourite.  AFter 12 years at AFC, Mr Wenger offered Paul a 2 year contract but The Merse went to *Boro who offered twice the wages (history repeats!).

A couple of years later and Ashley Cole forced his way into the first team, taking over from club legend, Nigel Winterburn. So much has been written about Cashley but whatever your standpoint on the man’s morality and general demeanor, he is without doubt a fantastic footballer. At 31 he remains the best LB in the PL if not the World, and I wish AW had paid him the extra money -he is that good.  3 PL medals, 7 FA Cup winners medals CL winner, 93 Caps, 5 times PFA team of the Year, twice UEFA LB of the year – a wonderful career, which shows that it is not always the nice guys who come first!

Wilshere. The Great Arsenal Hope. the player future England teams will be built around, let alone  The Arsenal. Who knows what would have happened had JW not missed the season?  The future midfield squad of O-C, Wilshere, Ramsey, Song, Coquelin and Frimpong (+ any signings) is frightening. Those early YouTube clips of JW controlling games at the age of 15 were so exciting. Jack is the Real Deal. Can he keep his feet on the ground and not become another Merse? Can he fully recover from his ankle injury and not become a Diaby? If the answer is Yes, then Jack Wilshere is very likely to be cast in bronze.

I have missed out some great homegrown Youth players: Parlour, Keown, Micky T etc ( I am sure there are others). For that I apologise.

Roll me down Coopers Hill and cover me in pig fat but in my opinion our greatest Youth player over the past 20 years has been Ashley. Odious man but top quality player.

What do you think?

Written by Big Raddy