Has this Chelsea player really let down the game of football?

Footballers getting arrested appears to be more and more commonplace these days. Barely a week goes by without a player being nicked for driving too fast, drinking and then going behind the wheel or brawling in a bar. However, it appears as though the latest arrest has caused a bit of a commotion.

Let’s face it, Ashley Cole is not the most popular footballer in the Premier League, in fact he’s probably the most despised. The full-back appears to represent a lot of the things that are bad about modern day players, not least the greedy side shown in his book when Arsenal refused to budge on a pay increase. However, surely the Daily Telegraph is stretching things a bit far when they say he’s letting down the game of football.

Where is the healthy-living-for-footballers manual with a chapter on how to get drunk and win games? The rapid-recovery-from-rampant-excess chapter? You cannot be an athlete and a lounge lizard at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive.

Cole does not bring down himself alone with this episode, he dumps his team and his sport in the midden. Chelsea are contesting three competitions, two of which, the Champions League and the FA Cup, are eminently winnable if they can present their strongest team.

Isn’t this a bit storm in a teacup? A footballer goes out and has a few drinks, big deal! You know that Ashley Cole will line up away to Coventry on Saturday, with the full-back also certain to start against Juventus on Tuesday. He was just stupid enough to lay into some photographers afterwards, rather than go quietly home. Are Chelsea fans disgusted by this episode or couldn’t they care less?

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