Well at least it’ll make it easier for you to scapegoat him come June
If he hadn’t cheated on the apparent greatest living Briton, used hyperbole to show disgust at Arsenal’s stinginess or shot someone with a rifle, would Ashley Cole really be a 20/1 outsider with William Hill to replace John Terry as England captain?
Take all the role model nonsense out of the equation – and why not given that the other contenders have all hiccupped in the past besides those who are still too young or haven’t been on the spotlight long enough to disgrace themselves yet – and he’s the best man for the job.
For starters, he never shies away from international duty. Sure, he might update his BlackBerry status from time to time to express his hatred of the fans and press, but he always turns up to give his tireless critics a chance to have a good jeer.
As a result, he’s the most capped current England international and sixth-most of all time, and this is the criteria that Italian coaches consider the most important when deciding on a skipper. Or at least this is what the papers frequently tell us, no matter how often Fabio Capello ignores the idea.
What should be the most significant factor of all though, now that even Arsenal title challenges outlast stints as England captain, is that he’s the outfield player whose position is safest, he’s never missed a tournament through injury and he’s the Three Lions’ most consistent performer.
He’s the one guy who delivers club form for his country – well Emile Heskey once did the same but oddly that wasn’t seen as a positive – and yet he’s one of the least popular with the public, perhaps because England fans don’t know how to react to a star name meeting their ludicrous expectations.
Of course one disadvantage of the Cole candidacy, beyond being universally disliked, is a lack of experience as a leader, however that shouldn’t matter too much with his buddy Terry alongside him!