Ashley Cole: The Ups and Downs of the Chelsea Defender
The tweet has since been deleted, and Cole has apologized, but he has not escaped a fine from Chelsea and a charge of misconduct by the FA.
It is not the first time the left-back has courted controversy in what has been a mixed career. Usually excellent on the pitch, his off-the-field shenanigans have made him constant tabloid fodder and an easy target for opposing fans.
Let's take a look at some of the ups and downs of Ashley Cole's professional career.
Up: Joins Arsenal, Wins Trophies, Becomes "Invincible"
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Cole started as a youth player for Arsenal and his exceptional talent became evident when he received his full debut for the club in 1999, going on to make 227 appearances for the club.
He soon became a regular—playing a part in Arsenal's 2001-02 double-winning season—and later the starting left-back for the Gunners during their undefeated season in 2003-04.
An integral player for Arsene Wenger's side, Cole was well on his way to staking his claim as the world's best left-back.
In fact, his departure from the club was among a few others that sparked Arsenal's recent decline in silverware.
Down: Leaves Arsenal After Pay Dispute
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Despite being an important player in Arsenal's 2003-04 title-winning season, as well as the year after, Cole did not leave on amicable terms with Arsenal fans.
Earning himself the nickname "Cashley," Cole was involved in a "tapping up" scandal with then-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
He later revealed in his autobiography that he was outraged at being offered a mere £55,000-a-week contract. He then became the target of many fans, accusing him of being the epitome of all that is wrong with professional football.
Down: Injured Four Months in First Chelsea Season
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After a good start to his Chelsea career, Cole suffered a knee injury in a January 2007 match against Blackburn Rovers.
The injury put him out for four months, almost ending his season.
Up: Wins FA Cup with Chelsea
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Despite missing four months, Cole was able to make a comeback in the 2007 FA Cup final against Manchester United.
The defender only played the last 12 minutes of the match but was able to claim his fourth FA Cup medal as the Blues emerged victorious, thanks to a Didier Drogba goal in extra time.
Down: More Controversy at Chelsea
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Cole did not manage to stay out of the tabloids during his first few seasons at Stamford Bridge.
His rap sheet included turning his back on referee Mike Riley after receiving a yellow card for a poor tackle in a Premier League match against Tottenham in 2008.
He also had a few minor brushes with the Police.
One was in 2009, when he was brought in and fined for being drunk and disorderly and another was for a speeding offense. Cole was caught driving over 100mph in a 50mph zone. He later blamed the paparazzi for chasing him.
Up: Wins the Double with Chelsea
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After a drought of a few years, Chelsea reclaimed the Premier League title in 2010.
Cole scored the final goal of the 8-0 thrashing of Wigan on the final day of the season, in which, Chelsea secured its first Premier League title since 2006.
They added the FA Cup a few days later and became Chelsea's first double-winning side.
Down: Cheating Allegations and Divorce
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After a string of previous allegations, the Chelsea defender's wife, Cheryl, had finally had enough, asking for a divorce from Ashley after four years of marriage.
The left-back was accused of cheating on his wife multiple times, while on both England and Chelsea duty.
Down: Shoots Student with Air Rifle
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More off-the-field attention was brought to Cole when he accidentally shot a work experience student with an air rifle at Chelsea's training ground in Cobham.
The incident was said to be an accident as the player did not know that the gun was loaded. However, it caused a great stir in the media, who could not wait to bring more negative attention to the left-back.
Cole received a reprimand and apologized to the student.
Up: First Champions League Title, Cup Double
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A first Champions League trophy for Chelsea coincided with a first Champions League medal for Cole.
Probably the highlight of his glittering career, the defender scored in the penalty shootout that gave the Blues a dramatic win over Bayern Munich.
The Blues added this to an FA Cup victory, and, despite a poor finish in the League, celebrated one of the most successful seasons in the London club's history.
Another great season for Cole meant that few can dispute his position as best left-back in the world.
He should also be able to make it to 100 England caps in the near future, becoming the first left-back to do so.
That is, of course, if he can keep his tweets to himself.