Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

A Game Apart

Previous Posts


original feed Subscribe to my feed

A Game Apart


London Evening Standard



Paddy Power

Oakwood Estates

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Ashley Cole considers quitting as Arsenal confirm Aaron Ramsey is out for season

ASHLEY COLE is considering quitting football as he lies in a Biarritz rehab centre, conetemplating his post-operative ankle - and a divorce from the nation's darling, Cheryl Cole.
The 29-year-old was injured by Everton's on-loan USA international Landon Donovan - unintentionally - three weeks ago and needed surgery which may put him out of the World Cup in South Africa which starts on June 12 when England, ironically, play the USA in Rustenburg.
Though Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti says he is confident Cole will play again before the end of the season, there are no doubts about his mental state.
While he has been rehabilitating, Cole's private life has self-destructed. Four different women have claimed to have had affairs with him since the first stories involving illicit text messages emerged in The Sun three weeks ago.
And Cheryl Cole officially announced that Britain's dream couple - second only to David and Victoria Beckham - had split on Tuesday.
With Chelsea losing 4-2 to Manchester City yesterday amid the whole Wayne Bridge/John Terry dispute, the Sunday Mirror's Paul Smith reckons Cole has told friends he's had enough.
Officially Chelsea are saying what they said when Terry was revealed to have had an affair with Bridge's ex-partner Vanessa Perroncel - that they would support him.
But the club's billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, is believed to be unhappy about the negative publicity surrounding two of his leading English players.
Though Abramovich himself has recently been through a very public marital split, he does not want the club dragged through the gutter.
The club moved last night to deny they would fine Cole or force him to be sold - despite reports in Spain that Real Madrid were hovering, ready to pick up the pieces.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has apologised to Cole for the way the club have handled matters,s an X-Factor judge, does not appear to be forthcoming.
Meanwhile Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, horrifically injured after a tackle from red-carded Stoke midfielder Ryan Shawcross, is out for the season. The club confirmed both bones in his shin, the tibia and fibula, were broken in the challenge.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, 12 February 2010

The moment Ashley's World Cup was thrown into doubt... and according to The Sun he's in trouble off the park too

THIS was the moment the World Cup dream may have been shattered for Ashley Cole, ironically against Landon Donovan, the man he would have marked in England's opening game against the USA at Rustenburg on June 12.
Everton's on-loan Yank Donovan is blameless - he played the ball and Cole damaged his ankle in the 57th minute as Chelsea slid to a shock 2-1 defeat at Goodison on Tuesday night.
I broke the story that he was out for three weeks yesterday after scans, today comes news that the 29-year-old former Arsenal left-back is off for surgery on the injury.
His World Cup is now in serious doubt. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was the first to react, saying: "Ashley is probably the best left back in the world. He's got three months, let's hope he makes it for the World Cup."
With Wayne Bridge two games into his comeback from injury, City boss Roberto Mancini came out strongly this morning insisting he was the best in the position for England. He said: "Wayne is a big man. It's important for him to play in the World Cup, the first eleven for the national team.".
But of course that would put him alongside axed captain John Terry, disciplined by Capello for having an affair with the mother of Bridge's child, Vanessa Perroncel. When this all broke there was talk of Bridge wanting to give up international football. Not any more judging by Mancini's enthusiasm this morning.
And that's got the whole world talking. Everyone knows footballers have copious affairs - Ashley Cole himself is on the front of The Sun today over sending naked pictures of himself to some model or other - but what happens in the dressing room when this sort of situation crops up?
Will the England players be model professionals and ignore the obvious tensions for the sake of the nation? Will there be petty squabbling and nasty tackles at training?
Some of the Manchester City players wore Team Bridge t-shirts when the story broke a fortnight ago, while Chelsea players, who saw Bridge move to City a year ago, would line up for Team Terry.
And of course the big man himself, after a stinker in the Everton defeat where he allowed Louis Saha to score twice, is in Dubai for Valentine's Day with his wife and three-year-old twins for Valentine's Day. The club has given him permission to miss the weekend FA Cup clash against Cardiff to patch up his marriage.
Boss Carlo Ancelotti said today: "I'm very disappointed. Ashley is a very important player for me. I hope he will be quick to rest and he will come back before the end of the season. It is a realistic possibility. He will go surgery today.
"I think that in three months he will be ready for play, also for England. I think he can play in the World Cup."
And Terry? Ancelotti said: "He will be back for the next game against Wolves. I think he will come back strong and make a recovery." Terry and Bridge? "It's not my problem this."
Question is, will Capello avoid the issue and play Gareth Barry as his emergency left-back against Egypt on March 3? Or will he go for the regular understudy and call Bridge into the starting eleven?
Cole has been Capello's first choice at left-back, playing 16 times while Manchester City's Wayne Bridge has played nine, Joleon Lescott five and Aston Villa midfielder Barry three.
Me? I'd pick Bridge. Let him have it out with his former mate if necessary. Word is he hasn't been taking calls from Terry during the uncomfortable situation which has arisen in the last fortnight.
Bang their heads together, Fabio. This is England's year. An easy Group C, the Yanks, Slovenia and Algeria. Back to Rustenburg near the training ground for the first knock-out game if we win the group. And then it's the quarter-finals.
Even Sven Goran Eriksson got us that far on a regular basis. This is England's year. South Africa won't be too hot. And after three weeks of preparation at the best training facility in the country at the highest altitude available, nobody will be more ready.
As long as the off-field disputes are firmly thrust behind them.

Labels: , , , , , , ,