Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You Are Awful, Ashley, but No Doubt PSG Would like You

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You Are Awful, Ashley, but No Doubt PSG Would like You

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick Barclay

THE institutions headed by Roman Abramovich and Roy Hodgson face the same question -- and it is beginning to look as if club, rather than country, will be the first to lose patience with Ashley Cole.

The Chelsea left-back is expected to slip back into the England shirt in Poland despite the form of Leighton Baines. But Abramovich's executives refuse to grant Cole, who will be 32 in December, more than a year's extension to a contract expiring at the end of this season.

They are right and shouldn't weaken. This is what Financial Fair Play is for: even the financially favoured clubs must guard against over generosity. Chelsea can look to the development of Cole's understudy, Ryan Bertrand, and ask whether the public persona exuded by the elder is consistent with the reputation the club would like to acquire.

Let's not mince words. For the best part of a decade, a catalogue of everything from pointed insolence to referees to tweeted swearwords has rendered Cole little more than Exhibit Z in the evidence of those who caricature English footballers as an embarrassment to society. …

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