To boo or not to boo

So finally it looks as if Ashley Cole is going to leave us and join the wonderful family club that is Chelsea. The question is, is this the sort of decision that is going to make Arsenal fans boo him or are we all now becoming used to the undoubted fact that almost all modern professional footballers are greedy mercenaries, interested solely in money.

As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to treat Ashley Cole any differently to any other player who has left Arsenal in the past – we should applaud him when he comes back to play against us. Why should this man be singled out for any more abuse than any of the other current crop of players around the world who are chasing around desperately trying to find a way to join one of Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid or Barcelona?

It is, I will admit, a great shame that someone who joined the club as a youngster and has proved that he is a truly world class player feels it necessary to leave a club like Arsenal in search of more money at a company like Chelsea. He can whinge all he likes about being “made a scapegoat” by Arsenal in an attempt to get back at Chelsea, but that doesn’t take away the fact that he DID talk to them illegally and he HAS been talking about leaving for a long time now. Ashley Cole’s main problem is that he is too thick to at least try and cover all this activity up and leave the club, head held high, to move onto (possibly) better things. Just because he isn’t hugely blessed in the brains department, doesn’t mean we should choose him as the recipient of all our anger about the state of the modern game.

It is utterly ridiculous that an already very well paid player wants to leave the 4th best club in the country and one of the most well-run clubs in the world to join a characterless company set up by a Russian oil billionaire in order to launder his cash. Chelsea have no history as a football club (and no amount of money can buy some) and have no history of treating their players fairly or with respect. They throw money at everything and, for now, it is working. Cole is desperate to be even richer than he already is, and Chelsea are desperate to win as many trophies as they can by buying every single rich footballer who wants to be even richer, so it is a match made in heaven.

Which is more than can be said of the Premiership if this carries on.

Chelsea are 2/5 to win the league this season and we are still 2 weeks away from the first ball being kicked.
Tottenham are 66/1 to win the league – the 5th favourites in the Premiership. In Leagues 1 and 2, betting at that price will see you urging on the teams that are predicted to finish 2nd bottom and 3rd bottom respectively.

There is no longer any competition in the Premiership – if even Arsenal have to resign themselves to losing their best players to the teams above them then there has to be something wrong with the system because all this can only lead to one thing and that is that football at the highest level will cease to become of any interest to the true supporters of the clubs involved. Why would anyone bother travelling from Middlesborough to London to see their team get thrashed 7-0 by Arsenal? Why would Chelsea fans bother to pay to go and see their team win the league when, according to the bookmakers at least, they have won it before the end of July? It all becomes pointless without competition and the chance that sometimes, Arsenal WON’T beat Middlesborough and sometimes Chelsea WON’T win the league.

And what is Ashley Cole’s part in all of this horribleness? He’s a stupid, rich person who wants to be even more rich. A shame, I think you’ll agree, but not exactly HIS fault, is it?