Sport

Monday 28 July 2014

10 times Ashley Cole hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons

Published 12/05/2014|14:57

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It remains to be seen if Ashley Cole has played his last game for Chelsea
Ashley Cole has called time on his international career

One of the greatest left-backs of the Premier League era without a doubt but as a role model Ashley falls short.

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His performances on the field have been so consistent that he rivals Denis Irwin as the best Mr Dependable but that's where the similarities end.

After he announced his international retirement, we look at 10 instances when Ashley was making headlines for all the wrong reasons:

1. The tapping up scandal

The nature of his acrimonious Arsenal exit still leaves a sour taste with the club that gave him his chance and nurtured his undoubted talents.

The story of how Jose Mourinho came to sign Ashley Cole was one of modern football’s most divisive stories, beginning in a meeting room of the Royal Park hotel in January 2005 and ending with the most controversial transfer in Chelsea’s history 18 months later.

The debacle ended with a very public Premier League tapping-up enquiry and as a result Cole's welcomes at  Highbury and the Emirates have been tinged with a caustic atmosphere.

The whole incident led to Cole keeping the press at arms length and rarely doing interviews and yet his name was never far from the headlines.

2. His marriage to Cheryl Cole

His marriage to singer Cheryl Cole lasted four years with the constant stories of alleged infidelities plagued their relationship contributing to their split.

Cole married pop star Cheryl Tweedy in 2006 and the pair advertised the National Lottery.

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3. Alan Hutton tackle and reaction

Cole has issued a public apology following an act of dissent towards referee Mike Riley and a bad tackle on Tottenham’s Alan Hutton in 2008.

The tackle was very high but he missed out on a red card rather than thank his lucky stars he turned his back on Riley.

4. Arrested for being drunk and disorderly

Police arrested the England defender in the early hours of a Thursday morning in 2009 after he swore and became embroiled in a heated argument with a photographer outside the Collection Bar in South Kensington.

Cole had spent the night there with team-mates John Terry and Michael Mancienne and they racked up a £1,000 bill on drinks and Japanese steaks costing £50 each.

He apologised afterwards.

5. United States tour controversy

In 2009, it was also alleged that he smuggled a woman into the club’s team hotel during the pre-season tour to the United States.

6. Air rifle debacle

In February 2011, he was back in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons after firing an air rifle at a club intern at Chelsea's training ground in Cobham.

He was fined two weeks wages but the club stood by him. The police investigated the incident but nothing came of it.

7. Twitter rant after Terry testimony

In October 2012, the FA called into question his testimony after he gave evidence to the disciplinary hearing dealing with John Terry's alleged racist comments towards Anton Ferdinand and the defender flipped.

He launched a scathing attack on the FA on twitter, he would quickly apologise but a £90k fine followed.

8. Pizzagate

After Manchester United ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run, Cole and his Gunners team-mates were famously involved in a series of skirmishes which would later be dubbed 'pizzagate'.

In a scuffle in the tunnel between players and staff on both sides, a slice of pizza was hurled at Ferguson. The former Arsenal defender Ashley Cole describes the shock of the incident in his autobiography: "This slice of pizza came flying over my head and hit Fergie straight in the mush ... all mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off this famous, puce face and roll down his nice black suit."

9. Petulance

Cole has frequently been criticised for acts of petulance. He famously refused to shake hands with England manager Fabio Capello after Chelsea lost the Community Shield to Manchester United in 2010.

10. Speeding

Cole was nowhere to be seen as he received a four-month ban from driving and a £1,000 fine after being clocked doing more than 100mph in a 50mph zone in January 2010.

The millionaire defender asked for 21 days to pay his fine after his claim that paparazzi had been chasing him failed to stand up in court.

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