Why Chelsea continue to dominate the headlines... for all the wrong reasons
MUST be a hell of a dressing room at Chelsea. If you believe everything the tabloids are currently throwing at us every morning, it's packed with international footballers taking pictures of themselves naked to blonde models.
First we had the John Terry story - his affair and subsequent abortion with Wayne Bridge's ex-partner Vanessa Perroncel resulted in him losing the England captaincy.
Then, when French underwear model Ms Perrroncel had been paid an alleged £750,000 to stop, The Sun switched targets to Ashley Cole, married to the nation's darling, Cheryl Tweedie.
Today were are told he sent naked pictures of himself to a SECOND blonde, and apparently Cheryl didn't spend much time together on Valentine's Day.
Page five of The Sun has a magnificent picture of ultraslim Cole, pictured from the chest down with just a pair of underpants on. Mouthwatering stuff it ain't.
Elsewhere, on page nine, Terry and wife Toni are pictured in a pool in Dubai, where they are patching up their marriage. Allegedly. In front of the cameras.
Other papers add further spin to the Chelsea goings-on. The Mail claims Ashley and Cheryl are now living apart and has accused Terry of play-acting throughout the trip to Dubai.
Of course the former England captain had to miss Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round tie over Cardiff to sort things out with Toni, his childhood sweetheart.
While he was away, having blundered in their last Premier League game against Everton (Terry was at fault for both Louis Saha's goals in a shock 2-1 defeat), the Blues crushed Cardiff to reach the quarter-finals on the road to Wembley.
And that of course, resulted in a last eight clash with Manchester City, who drew with Stoke over the weekend and will need a replay to reach Stamford Bridge next month.
Why is this relevant? Because Bridge moved to City last January, leaving Vanessa in London with his son. Somewhere around this point in our tawdry tale, his former pal Terry began stopping off at their Oxshott neighours for post-training hanky-panky.
Over the weekend, the News of the World assured us Bridge refuses to respond to Terry's calls or texts about his betrayal. But now we have the prospect of Bridge v Terry in the Premier League on February 27, the pair of them in the England dressing room together for the friendly against Egypt at Wembley on March 3, followed by the FA Cup quarter final the weekend after.
Yes, having been at loggerheads for a few months, they'll now be forced to see eachother three times in a week.
The tabloids are lapping it up. I assume the fans are too. A Man City source tells The Sun today: "Wayne acted with dignity and he doesn't need anyone to tell him what this FA Cup game would mean.
"If City needed any extra motivation to beat Stoke and get back to Stamford Bridge, this will be it."
Meanwhile Ashley Cole, whose broken ankle sustained against Everton last week has left a place for Bridge at left-back in the England team - possibly for the World Cup too - has to hope Cheryl will invite him for a let's-make-up holiday in an expensive overseas resort sometime soon. Though he will be in a plaster cast after undergoing surgery on Friday, so it may be uncomfortable for both of them.
The real football stories - like Crystal Palace being robbed of victory over Aston Villa by a dodgy decision , England struggling to overcome Italy in the Six Nations and David Beckham preparing to take on Manchester United for Milan in the Champions League tomorrow, must remain on the back burner.
That's what happens when you have the Premier League leaders’ high profile stars making silly mistakes away from home.