Ashley Cole left the Gunners after their final season at Highbury in 2006. Defined as one of the best/better full-backs in the world, he decided that Stamford Bridge offered him a warmer home. Being booed and hissed at was a daily routine for the England international, and now he receives even more boos, and is despised by the footballing community – with his tacky obsession with dressing like Kanye West the catalyst for the hatred.
However, Cole says he is ‘gunning’ for this weekend’s game against the Gunners. Arsenal are on top and Chelsea not far behind, and this match is expected to be a thriller. He said:
“What do people think I’m scared of? Fans booing me? I had it all last season and nearly all my life. It’s stupid but I can’t stop what people think. I will go there and prove that I’m not scared.”I was gutted when I couldn’t play at Arsenal last season, but there was nothing I could do. I’d had a bad ankle all season and the manager felt it was the right time to get it fixed so I could be fit for the FA Cup Final. There were a lot of people saying I was scared and too afraid to play, but that never was and never will be the case.
“We showed a lot of spirit at Arsenal last season and proved how determined we were to win the championship, but it wasn’t enough and it was very disappointing. Arsenal are the team to beat in the Premier League at the moment and hopefully we can do just that.”
Chelsea manager Avram Grant also rose to the defence of the defender, saying:
“I have no fears about him dealing with the atmosphere on Sunday. He will be OK. He is a professional and he is in good shape lately.
“Each game he has played has been better than the one before and that is more important than whether the crowd boo him or not. It is not a problem for him. He has a good, strong character.”
Are Arsenal really the team to beat this season? And if so, will it be Chelsea who damage the hopes of the young – yet fantastic – Arsenal squad?