Friday 23 March 2018

Defiant Cole launches Twitter attack on Shearer as England axe hovers after FA slur

Sam Wallace

Ashley Cole will find out today whether Roy Hodgson intends to leave him out of England's squad for Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino as punishment for him describing the FA as a "bunch of twats".

No decision had been made on Cole as of last night, with the player having assured Hodgson personally that he will be part of the 25-man squad that reports to Staffordshire, today. The England manager is yet to decide whether he will punish the player by leaving him out of Friday's game, potentially his 99th cap.

It would appear inevitable that the governing body will charge Cole with misconduct for his tweet. Hodgson could still choose to punish the player at his own discretion. The conversation between the two men on Friday after Cole's attack on the FA was, it is understood, simply a case of Hodgson checking whether the player was effectively retiring from international football.

There were also strong words from Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo, who was outspoken about the "high standards" he said the club were entitled to expect of their players -- this after the commission hearing John Terry's race charge verdict delivered a damning verdict on the player and the club.

Cole was back on his Twitter account @TheRealAC3 yesterday endorsing fellow tweeters who criticised Alan Shearer.

The former England captain said on 'Match of the Day' on Saturday night that Hodgson should take action against Cole and drop him.

Shearer said: "I think the FA can put a big statement out here by actually not fining him but actually banning him on Friday against San Marino. Because we've seen players fined £50,000, £60,000, £70,000. That's not a deterrent to them.

"Stopping them from playing football will be a deterrent. If they do it quickly -- which they haven't done in the case, which has taken 14 months -- if they do it in four to five days, it puts a big statement out to the rest of the players."

In response, Cole retweeted a follower's tweet: "Alan Shearer says @TheRealAC3 needs to be banned for comments. I want his opinion on bans for kicking Neil Lennon in the head. #GlassHouses".

It referred to the episode when Shearer was controversially cleared by an independent commission having kicked Lennon during a game between Newcastle and Leicester City in 1998. The decision meant that Shearer could play in that year's FA Cup final. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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