Ashley Cole fully deserves his Hall of Fame Award – Once a Gooner, Always a Gooner

Ashley Cole has become the 7th former Gunner to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. No club has more representation than Arsenal. That number could grow with Fabregas and Sol Campbell on the shortlist to be inducted next.

It was classy of the club to acknowledge Cole’s accolade on their official website, given the nature of his transfer to Chelsea and not always an attempt from the player to fix a frosty relationship with Gooners.

Yet, taking any emotion out of your opinion, Cole is the best left back to have played in the Prem and at his peak perhaps the best in the world.

Arsenal Wenger said of Ashley’s Award: “He has spent a lot of time in the Premier League and always with success, so overall he has his just rewards.

“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.”

If many of our fans are honest, they hate him because they loved him.

Cole was one of our own, a rare youngster at the time trusted to progress from the Academy.

Having been part of our set up since a teenager Cole really should have been a future Arsenal captain, the face of the team as we transitioned from Highbury to the Emirates.

While the 43-year-old could have worded things better, with many struggling to relate to nearly crashing your car because your employer is ‘only’ offering you 55,000 pound a week, Cole felt it was an indication of him not being appreciated. He’s often talked about walking round the pitch saying farewell to Highbury with Thierry Henry and resenting the strikers name being chanted, on and off the pitch the priority being that the Frenchman stayed not the defender.

Cole would be proven correct. Accepting 5 million and Gallas from our London rivals was the first piece of evidence that the priority was now raising funds to pay off stadium debt.

While Arsenal haven’t won the title since Cole left, he lifted every domestic honour available at Stamford Bridge.

Working under Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, naturally he improved defensively but it remains North London where he was the most exciting to watch.

Due to his success across the Capital coinciding with our trophy drought it often gets overlooked he was successful with us as well.

He won two League Championships and Three FA Cups under Arsene Wenger, his understanding with Pires and Henry contributing to our most successful period in our history.

For someone who’s done it all at club level, got more FA Cup medals than anyone else, has represented his nation at 5 major tournaments and is the most capped English full back, Cole doesn’t get celebrated enough.

That might be because of choices he made in his personal life, but on the pitch, Cole was perhaps the one member of the Three Lions ‘Golden Generation’ to consistently perform at his level on the international stage.

Other young coaches would also have had more credit for being assistant coach under Lee Carsley to the England Under 21’s becoming Euros Champions last year.

Cole is getting his flowers this week though by being named the 22nd inductee into the PL Hall Of Fame. In terms of his position, he deserves his own wing.

Once a Gooner always a Gooner



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  1. Ashley certainly deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame along with the other players mentioned, he’s one of the best Premier League left backs ever, probably even the actual best, but whether he qualifies as a Gooner is a different argument.
    The two don’t necessarily go together.

    1. Yes, on overall playing ability alone , no question he was an all time great Prem LEFT BACK.
      But in NO WAY was he a Gooner legend or anything at all,other than a great player, but also a A LOW CLASS SNAKE!

    2. Funny though isn’t it ?
      A player wants to leave they are greedy because clubs wants him to stay
      When a player like Ozil wants to respect his contract he’s greedy because club want him to leave

      1. And WHY do you think our club wanted him to leave!!?

        Couldnt be, by any chance, because he never could be persuaded – and God know several managers tried- to get him to put in 100% EFFORT

  2. He is a Premier league legend but I don’t think that we as Arsenal fans and him as a former Arsenal player have that emotional attachment and respect for each other.

    It feels like Cole became just another good “No attachment player” that played for us and moved on. He gives me the same vibes as Van persie, Nasri, Adebayor, Ozil, Sanchez, Auba etc.. While I still have that bit of attachment for players like Xhaka, Giroud, Laca etc

  3. In my view the best left back this country has produced and arguably the finest player to emerge from our academy. A great addition to the PL Hall of Fame.

    The way he left us was unfortunate and justifiably caused great anger amongst Arsenal fans. Personally I believe the club made a strange decision by offering a player of his quality a new contract worth only an extra £5k a week on his existing £50k. But his reaction to that was immature, impulsive and wrong. To put the
    figures into context £50k in 2006 would be the equivalent of £90k today!!! Anyway in my eyes he will always be one of the invincibles and wish him well.

    1. Andrew, I respect your posts generally speaking. But al I much disagree with youon Cole, as I think Cole a low life ,for the way he lived his life , his ridiculous OTT anger at being offered a 10% rise on an already obscenely high salary and esp for the way he deceived the club that made him famous , by negotiating behind the clubs back with low life Chelsea and their corrupt owner Abramovitch.

      But I challenge your maths, as you seem to think in the last 18 years inflation has ONLY increased by a compound INCREASE of 80%. You are WAY, WAY under the figure it should be now , my friend.

    2. Andrew, he wasn’t on £50k, he was on £25k. Dein saw him at Sopwell House and told him that he was getting a wage increase of £10k. That pissed Cole off, as there were players earning more than double than the £35k he would be getting.

          1. A lot of different figures and perspectives being put forward. One can only assume that some of these are to justify Cole’s irresponsible behaviour and present the club in as negative a light as possible.
            It is generally understood that initial discussions were about increasing his pay to around £60000 from ~£25000. The board refused to ratify this; partly as it was understood that ~£5000 of this was related to agent’s fees.
            It was the drop from £60000 to £55000 per week which incensed Cole and many Arsenal fans felt that his reaction was ridiculous and unjustified.

  4. Jon, the figure I showed was taken from an online inflation calculator and following your query I decided to re-check it. Using the Bank of England inflation calculator £50 in 2006 would have a value of £82.73 in February 2024 using official CPI figures. For instance between 2006 and 2022 the highest annual UK inflation rate was 3.86% in 2011 and as recently as 20/21 was only 2.52% rising to nearly 8% the following year. It appears my earlier quoted figure was underestimated.

    1. Andrew, I commend you for checking your figures But I stillwildly disagree. We have had recent large inflaltion until this last two months of so and a time span of 18 years gives us far greater ACTUAL inflation than biased and untrustworthy BoE figures will ever admit to

      . Anyone who seriously believes we have had only 80%compounded inflation since 2006, is not a normal consumer living in England all that time. as I HAVE . Look at what house prices , food, petrol etc was back and compare to now! And that is even not mentioning players wages then and now!

        1. How sadly true Andrew.

          Godhelp Enlands inlation index IF all prices had increased as much as top level football has. With Everton in deep financial peril for their future existencs as aclub with many others roo wondring how they can continue spending as they have, it is certainly IMO heading for an almighty reckoning for all top clubs financial future.

          Let us perhaps try to loo kinto Citys not so distant future. IF they are relegated for breaking all sorts of rules and are relegated not one division, butttwo or even three, their Sheikh may wel l sell up and want out out asap.
          And then , where would a lower division City find themselves, without a crooked sugar daddy and in lower divisions??

          It COULD happen. Hope it does too. Where would EVEN THEY, be then!!

  5. Didn’t think we’d still be discussing this. Cole is an all time great. It’s a no brainer. Unfortunately we gunner fans can’t claim him as one of our special ones considering the fact that he deserted the cause and gave his best years to the Chelsea’s. ambitions.The fact that Arsenal allowed him to leave was the result of poor management and an under appreciation of his long term value. In Ashley Cole’s shoes the club were haggling while Chelsea’s negotiators showed him a future which was blue. Also Cole must have been aware of the annual contract bargaining tantrums which Patrick Viera was constantly putting up, until he finally flew the coop.

  6. He cheated on his employer by negotiating with the enemy, and by default cheated on the supporters who paid hard earned cash to watch him, and just for luck cheated on his wife with numerous women.
    Traitorous, treacherous, twat.

    1. Come on Jax
      Your better then that… cheated on his wife….
      It’s every day life where people tout for better jobs if given the opportunity
      It was down to the employers to ensure they satisfy the needs if possible to keep there assets if they want too
      We didnt and it was a total mismanagement by afc but I do agree with you that he is not a arsenal legend but was a great left back and deserves his Hall of fame.
      He is definitely more a blue then a red and white
      Onwardsand upwards.

      1. There are issues with your criticism of the club. The “wife” thing is none of our business but inevitably was something that he would be criticized for.
        Cole’s behavior was hardly exemplary. Yet you choose to ignore his involvement in the whole saga. There were some issues the club had with the transfer which are conveniently overlooked by those who blame the club’s approach for everything.
        Cole on the other hand was able to take advantage of the prevailing greed and Chelsea’s disgraceful behavior.
        It’s easy to blame the club now because Cole went on to greater success whilst Arsenal suffered, in part, from the financial doping of the times.

  7. I could not really care.

    The Hall of Fame is pointless and embarrassing.

    Everyone knows who these players are and what they won.

  8. “Once a Gooner always a Gooner”

    So he didn’t play for Chelsea then? Daft thing to say in this context.

    And like Nabilo says, who cares? I have more respect for a player like Matt Le Tissier who never won anything but stayed with Soton through thick and thin.

    1. I have more respect for winners
      If Arsenal offered him the going rate he stays simple as that
      David Dein went back on a deal.

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