Chelsea Should Send a Message and Suspend Ashley Cole

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IMarch 1, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Ashley Cole of Chelsea controls the ball during the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 8, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Throughout this season, Chelsea have witnessed an underwhelming season after completing the English double last season.

Ever since a miserable stretch that eclipsed through last November and December, Chelsea have struggled to maintain consistency in the Premier League.

A major reason for Chelsea's disappointing season have been injuries, with key players Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry all suffering from massive injuries this season.

But somehow, one of Chelsea's most controversial players in left back Ashley Cole managed to stay out of the news for his actions off the pitch.

But on February 26, news broke that Cole accidentally shot an club employee a week earlier following a training session.

It turned out that Cole decided to take out an air rifle while in the changing room and started to walk around the room with the gun.

Cole then accidentally shot 21-year-old Tom Cowan, who was standing approximately five feet away from the rifle.

Cole's shot was struck with enough force that the bullet broke Cowan's flesh. This was covered up by Chelsea's public relations department, as they knew that this could have became a public relations disaster.

But ever since News of the World reported this story, Chelsea now find themselves with a massive distraction going into a crucial clash against Premier League leader Manchester United today.

Since this story has broken, Chelsea have decided to privately investigate the incident and have claimed that they will take appropriate action for Cole's actions. But it appears that Cole will not be suspended by Chelsea over what happened.

But if Chelsea are to send a message, they would suspend Cole for his actions. Despite the shooting being accidental, Cole still took out the gun and was walking around with it.

What is still extremely baffling is why does a Premier League player have to carry around a weapon at a training ground? After all, Chelsea do have adequate security at the Cobham Training Ground.

As an added plus, it now appears that Carlo Ancelotti's job could be on the line following this incident.

This season has not been kind to Ancelotti, but a Chelsea source said, "The problem of lax discipline has been one going around the club for some time now. The incident with Ashley Cole only adds to the feeling that the manager is not exercising full control over the players."

Even if Ancelotti allows an atmosphere in which players can carry around a toy such as an air gun, the players should have enough sense to know what is right from wrong. These players should be focused on allowing Ancelotti to keep his job and aiming for both a top-four finish and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

However, Carlo Ancelotti should not be reprimanded whatsoever over what Ashley Cole did. The only person who should be punished is Cole.

Following what Cole did, the most effective punishment that Chelsea could do is suspend Cole starting after today's match against Manchester United. Cole should then remain suspended until an investigation is complete by both the police and Chelsea.

Cole's incident is similar to an incident involving Gilbert Arenas and the NBA's Washington Wizards in January 2010.

During this incident, Arenas pretended to get into a "fight" with fellow Wizard Javaris Crittenton in the locker room that resulted in the two pulling unloaded guns on each other.

Arenas and Crittenton ended up getting suspended for his actions for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Obviously, the incident involving Arenas and Crittenton was much more serious than the one involving Ashley Cole, but still no player should have to pull out a weapon of any sorts in a work environment.

Cole also should not face any major legal charges over what happened, but this incident should still warrant a suspension of some sorts as not only is this a public relations disaster, but it also involved Cole injuring an employee of the club. 


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