Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ashley Cole inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame

Ashley Cole has become the latest Arsenal-affiliated player to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.

The England international was instrumental in the Gunners’ success at the turn of the century, coming through the academy to become a regular at left-back.

In total, Cole made 385 228 appearances for Arsenal in the space of seven years winning two league titles and three FA Cup medals along the way.

He was well on his way to becoming an Arsenal legend when negotiations over a new contract turned sour leading to a spectacular and very public falling out with the club hierarchy.

He was later found guilty of speaking to Chelsea without informing the Gunners which led to hefty fines from the Premier League for him, his agent and Blues boss Jose Mourinho.

The guilty verdict only delayed the inevitable. A year later, in the summer of 2006, he finalised a move to Stamford Bridge that saw William Gallas move in the other direction.

“Cashley” as he became known was persona non grata at the Emirates for the rest of his career although the homophobic chants periodically directed at him were deeply regrettable.

Cole definitely had the last laugh. As Arsenal laboured under the weight of their new stadium debt, the defender consolidated his credentials as one of the world’s best in his position.

He added another Premier League title to his CV, four more FA Cups, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League. Few players have won more in their careers.

Cole would later play for AS Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby County before hanging up his playing boots in 2019. Over the last five years, he’s been learning the ropes as a coach and has held positions with England’s under-21s, Everton and Birmingham City.

While Cole wasn’t alone amongst the Invincibles in pushing for an Arsenal departure, his willingness to take the £50 notes being fired by Roman Abramovich’s tanks was far more contentious than departing for the continent. Slowly but surely, it feels like his reputation is being rehabilitated in N5 and it’s great to hear him speak so fondly about his time as a Gunner.

He told Arsenal.com: “Being a boyhood Arsenal fan, I was living out a dream just pulling on the shirt and playing for the first team. Playing in front of amazing fans so close to the pitch at Highbury, so intimate and for me one of the most beautiful stadiums.

“Winning my first Premier League title was certainly special. To lift that trophy in front of my friends and family and celebrate with your teammates after a gruelling 38-game season is amazing.

That feeling is hard to explain. Growing up, all I knew was loving Arsenal Football Club.”

Former manager Arsene Wenger, who cultivated Cole’s talent, added: “He’s honestly one of the few players who I always say that moved on and continued to develop, and that shows remarkable intelligence and remarkable consistency in the effort. It’s always difficult to make a hierarchy, but he’s certainly the best left-back.”

Cole joins Wenger and former teammates Tony Adams, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Petr Cech in the Hall of Fame. Ian Wright is the other Gunner to make the list.

Two more Gunners could be added in the coming weeks; Sol Campbell and Cesc Fabregas are nominated alongside 13 others. You can vote for them here.

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@jbrusty

Everyone vote Sol Campbell to be inducted (if you haven’t already)

A club legend, deserves to be in there, and will rattle plenty of cages

What’s not to love?

John

No rehabilitation for Ashtray Cole in my mind. He furtively went over to the dark side for grubby, stolen Russian money and he got into bed with the rudest, most objectionable manager of the premier league era.

Johnny 4 Hats

How weird is it that the last time we won the league was the invincibles?

Imagine telling those guys after the last game of ’04 that we wouldn’t win the league for another twenty years (and counting).

They’d laugh their arses off.

What the fuck happened man? Makes no sense.

A Different George

The financial constraints of the new stadium (necessary to compete in the old world, with Man United) came at exactly the moment when Abramovich’s financial doping created the new world we still live in. A world where a few draws away against top teams is how you lose the league not, as in the past, how you win it. A bit of luck and Arsenal might still have won another title—but in the long run, unless PSR actually works (and not just against Everton), we face a future like Liverpool’s recent past: brilliant teams 99 points (!), one title.

John

Financial doping & many Cashley Coles happened. Without the Russian money being used as tax haven bribes, we would have gotten atleast 2 more titles in the past decade. And sometimes, one title fuels the next. So, I firmly believe Arsenal suffered the worst during with the Russian money at Chelski. Our stadium build & selling of top players to fund that coincided with this financial onslaught.

Fatgooner

Football has been warped and disfigured ever since the Russian turned up at the Bridge. City got in on the act later and made it even worse. We never had a chance competing against those two.

All the City/Chavski trophies are tainted: they weren’t won fairly. It’s nice to see that things are finally catching up with those two clubs. Shame it’s many years too late.

John

Plus the fact that talentless thugs were sending our best players to the x-ray department with their legs snapped in two at the same time.

Ozzie

True Fats. Instead of points, they should have titles deducted..

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

The only ex-Arsenal player, I have zero time for.

John

Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, William Gallas, David Bentley…

Lord Bendnter

Please sing David Bentley in that list is a little bit harsh

Lord Bendnter

Damn this autocorrect.
Placing David Bentley in that list is a little bit harsh

John

No it’s not. He played for Spurs. As did Adebayor and Gallas. No way back after playing for the scum.

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

cheers for reminding me that RvP existed, grrrr,
that’s two then.

No problem with Adebayor, he was a strange character admittedly,
cash-hungry on the one hand, but handing it out to kids on the other hand.

The other two aren’t favourites, but they aren’t Cole.

truj

ColeDown

TeeCee

Na$ri..

Ozzie

I’m in a minority here, I think RVP got a rough deal from gooners. He was honest about his reasons and it wasn’t about money, he didn’t just stall talks then run down his contract until value was zero (like Aaron Ramsey). I’m ready for the downvotes.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Totally agree. It was a time when we were a complete shambles and he was reaching the end of his career. I couldn’t blame him for actually wanting to win something when things were being so badly managed at Arsenal and he’d been carrying us.

Emi Rates

Koscielny, to use the word of my favourite pod host Vlad Vexler, came across as rather unlovely after his shirt shifting antic.

William Nilliam

I almost crashed my car when I heard this?!

Glocken

Cashly
Ungrateful
Narcissistic
Tit

Glocken

Quite why the club had to make social media posts celebrating this I don’t know.

Sol by all means but no reason to mention Cashley.

Fezec

Thankfully there are more arsenal legends like Thierry, Adams and Wrighty who always remained one of us than there are Ashley Cole’s who just wanted to get paid.

Read about the Cyprus payments Chelsea made under the table that funded their success.

To think they came in and changed football forever with their blood money makes me absolutely sick. We all knew it was fucking corrupt at the time.

I hope those Chelsea cunts get litigated out of existence.

215Arse

Excellent footballer. Total douche of a human being.

John

One request. we haven’t bothered with Cashley Cole in last 2 decades after he sold Arsenal out for pittance! So, let’s please keep it that way here!!!
It’s very convenient for him to cosy up to Arsenal now, isn’t it? His beloved Chelski is going under. Both on & off the field with those corruption charges. Serves them right!!

Emi Rates

It’s a choice made by the Coles and RVPs of the world. One day they retire and they don’t get to have a relationship with their old club.

Ozzie

RVP didn’t leave for money

Eric Blair

Misspelt ‘Shame’.

AusGunner

“ Slowly but surely, it feels like his reputation is being rehabilitated in N5” I think that’s right to be honest. I was thinking about this issue just last year for some reason and submitted a question to the Arsecast Extra about it. I became a fan in 2006 and the done thing was to histrionically shitcan Cole in the football fan style, and I get it. But looking back, two things occur to me: given what football has become in the nearly two decades that have followed, could we really not have pushed the boat out that extra £5k… Read more »

Amb

No.

2003/4 Arse were struggling to actually pay the wages month by month.
By 2006, not much had changed.

Ozzie

Imagine not being able to pay Lord Bentdner and Emanuelle Eboue what they were worth!

Billy bob

Ash who? Ash hole!!!

truj

Real Chelski legend.

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