- Squad No: 3
- Position: Defender
- Age: 31
- Birth Date: Dec 20, 1980
- Birth Place: Stepney
- Height: 5′ 8″ (1.73m)
- Weight: 151 lbs (68.6 kg)
On his return to domestic football, Cole was “tapped-up” by Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2005 and was fined £100,000 for meeting Blues’ representatives in a hotel. He eventually moved to Stamford Bridge in July 2006 following a contract wrangle with the Gunners that saw his popularity hit a new low.
Despite winning the double with the Gunners in 2001-02 and being part of the ‘Invincibles’ side that won the league unbeaten in 2004-05, he is not remembered fondly at the Emirates.
However, he has been a leading star at Stamford Bridge, winning more FA Cup titles than any other player, and his reputation as a trouble-maker has started to fade.
Strengths: Pacy, with great powers of recovery, and when he is on his game he is very difficult to beat. Very good at getting forward to supplement the attack.
Weaknesses: His size can leave him vulnerable in an aerial battle.
Career high: Scoring in the penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.
Career low: The ill-fated publication of his book, My Defence, which was supposed to set the record straight about his exit from Arsenal but backfired spectacularly.
Style: Quick, attacking, a defender with great stamina.
Quotes: “When I heard Jonathan [Cole’s agent] repeat the figure of £55k-a-week, I nearly swerved off the road. ‘He is taking the piss, Jonathan!’ I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard.” Ashley Cole after being offered a mere £55,000-a-week by Arsenal.
Trivia: In September 2007, the Daily Star reported that R&B diva Mariah Carey discovered she was a distant cousin of Ashley Cole whilst researching whether she was related to jazz legend Nat King Cole.