Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCole joins 100 club - did anyone notice? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Cole joins 100 club - did anyone notice? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Cole joins 100 club – did anyone notice?

In taking on Brazil at Wembley last night, Chelsea full back Ashley Cole reached the 100 cap milestone for his country, did anyone even know in the build up to the game?

In the run up to last night’s friendly, it is fair to say that there has not been anywhere close to the same level of build up to Cole’s century as there was when both Steven Gerrard and David Beckham reached the same milestone in recent years.  Does this simply come down to likability?

There can be no doubt that throughout his career Cole has not endeared himself to too many football fans.  For a start there was the infamous near car crash that was instigated by Arsenal’s derisory contract offer of a miserly £55k a week, a year after Cole had been found guilty of holding illegal transfer talks with eventual employers Chelsea without his parent clubs permission.  I for one cannot believe such disloyalty was only rewarded with £55k a week!

The downfall of Cole’s marriage to wife Cheryl, played out in the public eye also did the left back no favours.  There were a series of infidelity accusations against the player and the nation were to side with their sweetheart Cheryl and make Cole public enemy number one, leading him to at one team being voted the most hated man in Britain.

There also appears to be a feeling within football that Cole has the aura of a man who feels his is above the law, on the pitch he regularly launches into verbal tirades against most officials.  While off the pitch, Cole deems it acceptable to take a firearm to his clubs training ground and shoot a youth team player, in what other walk of life would this be acceptable?

 It is fair to say that had it not been for the instances above, Cole may have received a lot more praise for what has been an outstanding international career in the build up to last night’s game.  On the pitch, Cole has remained a loyal servant to his country since making his debut under Sven-Goran Eriksson against Albania in 2001.  All 100 of Cole’s caps have come from the start, he was fast tracked into the senior side at the age of 20 and has remained first choice left back ever since.  Many of his appearances in recent years, particularly at Wembley have come under a chorus of boos from the home fans, hammering home his unpopularity on the terraces.

Maybe more would have been made of this outstanding individual milestone had Cole endeared himself to more throughout his career, but make no mistake, not once has his performance suffered as a result of his unpopularity.  In fact, he is the leading candidate at England’s most consistent performer throughout Cole’s 12 years as an International.

Aaron Sharp