If one was to name the top 3 most disliked footballers in the premier league, 31 year old Ashley Cole’s name would certainly be among them. Arsenals fans don’t like him because he switched to local rivals Chelsea, Newcastle fans don’t like him because Cheryl Cole is their lady of the north, and the rest of the known world believe that there is a special place in hell for a man that wears frilly y-fronts.
He is often regarded as the best left back in the world, and his consistent performances for both club and country have proven no matter what happens off the field, he will always provide on the pitch. As a Chelsea fan, I recognise this may be a biased opinion, however we are the only ones left to stick up for him.
Is it any wonder then that a certain Manchester United are touted to have coming sniffing around one of Chelsea’s prize assets? No, not really. Any team would surely froth at the mouth at the thought of having Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra on the same team sheet.
There are however a few factors that I think that this particular rumour is nothing but paper talk.
Sir Alex is renown for running a tight ship at United. With harsh sanctions for players misbehaving on or off the field, and the promise of the hair dryer treatment at any given moment, United players tend to keep themselves out of the headlines (with a few obvious exceptions: Rooney, Rio Ferdinand to name a couple). There would be obvious squad tension between Rio and Ashley Cole after the whole John Terry saga; racial disputes tend not to be very good for squad moral.
Another factor is the rise of the promising Alexander Buttner. In the past couple of seasons we have witness a youthful insurgence at United, with Sir Alex persevering in bringing through a crop of young talented players like Tom Cleverly, Smalling and Welbeck. Buttner appears to be Evra’s left back understudy, that Sir Alex is keen to give playing time and the opportunity to break into the first team squad.
As a top premier league rival, and someone Chelsea would not be keen on flogging one of their top stars to, United would have to pay a premium for Ashley Cole’s services. United’s American owners may not be willing to splash out on a man that could potentially disrupt a seemingly well nit squad.
So why would Sir Alex risk rocking the boat? He wouldn’t in my opinion.