Ashley Cole endures the 'Conlon' treatment...

By Sam Bartfield
Last updated : 13 October 2008
Ashley Cole and Barry Conlon probably dont have a great deal in common, but this weekend Barry Conlon can probably sympathise with Mr Cole. He shouldnt waste his emotions. Whilst Conlon must have felt a little hurt at the unfair treatment dished out by the intellectually challenged at VP, Cole probably chuckled to himself in the dressing room whilst slipping in a diamond studded earing, and wondering how best to utilise the £60'000 that fell into his bank account the night before. 

By Sunday lunchtime I was getting a bit heated watching Sky Sports News and listening to the various pro's and ex pro's making themselves look stupid or trying to make us look stupid by making references to Cole's mistake, which for my mind had very little to do with his error. People boo him because, like me, they dont like him. Yes, anyone can make a mistake, and no one disputed this. No one wanted to berate Cole because he made a mistake. If Wes Brown, or Upson, or even David James had made such a howler the boos would barely be audible, but because it was Cole a sizeable part of the Wembley crowd 'let him have it'.

I'm not out to get Cole just because of his wealth, there are players on considerable money who I do have time for. I have time for Owen, I have time for Heskey, I have time for Joe Cole. Ashley Cole, however is the embodiment of everything the fans dislike about the modern player. The scowling, ill tempered petulence, the unfortunate disposition of falling over when a player comes too close followed by an astonished pleading gaze at the referee, and like another of his Chelsea colleagues who suffered at the hands of the boo boys the blatant motivation of money above all else. Money for moneys sake, money to look rich and to flaunt it. 

Sadly no-one on SSN yesterday made a reference to this and I for one saw Saturdays afternoon as a great success. Not only did England put 5 past Kazakhstan but Ashley Cole found out what a large section of our fans think of him. I don't blame those who booed him. True booing does not help the team, but lets be honest we were in no danger of dropping points realistically and those who had paid their entry fee are entitled to let the likes of Cole know that he isn't popular.

The only thing that remains a surprise to me from the weekends action, despite our dramatic comeback of course, is the amount of discussion that the Cole booing received. I love it when the media give a lot of airtime to contentious issues from the weekend but there is nothing contentious here. Should a player be booed for a mistake? Of course not. Should a player be booed if you dont like him? Well, you pay your money, why not. Will it help the team to boo a player you dont like? No, probably not although in reality it wont really have any substantial affect.

One question remains. Would you have booed if you were there? I know I would. 

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