Tag Archives: gerrard

Rio Ferdinand voted in to PFA team of the year

Rio makes players' team of the year… so will Roy pick him for England now

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

18:12 GMT, 25 April 2013

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UPDATED:

01:00 GMT, 26 April 2013

Roy Hodgson will come under renewed pressure to pick Rio Ferdinand for glamour games against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil after his fellow professionals voted him into the PFA team of the year.

Ferdinand, 34, will be named in the side, announced on Sunday, for a fifth time.

England’s manager is determined to pick a strong squad for the friendly against the Republic at Wembley on May 29 and the trip to Rio on June 2.

Selected: Rio Ferdinand is in the PFA players team of the year

Selected: Rio Ferdinand is in the PFA players team of the year

Ferdinand made 21 starts as Manchester United charged towards their 13th Barclays Premier League title.

Hodgson’s assistant, Ray Lewington is being sent to Arsenal on Sunday to watch Ferdinand in action.

Hodgson is already without England captain Steven Gerrard, who needs surgery on his injured shoulder at the end of the season.

Pressure: Roy Hodgson (right) faces a tough decision about whether to call up Rio

Pressure: Roy Hodgson (right) faces a tough decision about whether to call up Rio

Ferdinand pulled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers last month. He said his treatment schedule for his back meant he could not join the squad.

Ferdinand then caused outrage among England fans when he travelled to Doha to be an analyst for Al Jazeera for the 8-0 victory over San Marino.

Incredibly, Hodgson left the door open for Ferdinand to play for England again.

Fancy seeing you here: Rio Ferdinand bumped into former TOWIE star Mark Wright in Alderley Edge

Fancy seeing you here: Rio Ferdinand bumped into former TOWIE star Mark Wright in Alderley Edge

Rio and Wright

Steven Gerrard to be sidelined with shoulder operation – EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool and England blow with Gerrard set for shoulder op

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

21:41 GMT, 23 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 24 April 2013

Steven Gerrard faces an operation on a shoulder injury that could rule him out of England's friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

Sportsmail revealed this morning that the England captain, 32, has been advised to have surgery after Liverpool's final Barclays Premier League game of the season against QPR on May 19.

Gerrard's ongoing problem with his shoulder will come as a massive blow to England's manager, Roy Hodgson, ahead of the two glamour games.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Blow: Steven Gerrard is expected to miss England's game against Brazil in June with his shoulder injury

He is expected to play in Liverpool's final four games of the season against Newcastle, Everton, Fulham and QPR before using the summer to recover.

The news has since been confirmed by Reds first team coach Mike Marsh.

'It's looking more and more likely that he might require surgery,' Marsh told Liverpoolfc.com.

'He has been playing with a shoulder injury for quite a while now. We'll try to find the right time for him to get it fixed properly.

'It's not ideal timing, it's going to take quite a while for him to heal. It's a funny injury – it's pretty similar to Joe Allen (who has already had surgery which has ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign).

'If it needs repairing, it needs repairing and when he's back fit, he's back fit. There's not much we can do about it.'

If, as expected, he undergoes an operation Gerrard is likely to miss internationals against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 and Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on June 2.

England play the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 and then travel to Rio de Janeiro to play Brazil in the Maracana on June 2.

Hodgson insisted after last month's disappointing draw against Montenegro in the World Cup qualifiers that he would pick his strongest squad for the two friendlies and he wants Gerrard, who has 102 caps, for both matches.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

International duty: Gerrard is still expected to play in Liverpool's remaining four games of the season

England's manager is reluctant to pick young or inexperienced players for the games because he doesn't expect them to be selected for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Despite Gerrard's commitment to his country, the Liverpool captain has been urged to have the operation at the end of the Premier League season.

Gerrard has played in all 34 games for Liverpool this season and scored nine goals.

He remains a crucial part of Brendan Rodgers' planning and is scheduled to return from the operation in time for pre-season.

Show: The Liverpool skipper is hopeful of being fit for his testimonial at the beginning of August

Show: The Liverpool skipper is hopeful of being fit for his testimonial at the beginning of August

Gerrard also hopes to be fit for his testimonial game against Olympiakos, which has been scheduled for August 3 at Anfield.

Hodgson already has an eye on the end-of-season fixtures and sent his assistant Ray Lewington to Old Trafford on Monday to watch a number of players.

Rio Ferdinand was a substitute for Manchester United as they beat Aston Villa and secured the Barclays Premier League title.

Road to Rio: Roy Hodgson could hand Ferdinand a recall to the England setup despite turning his back on his country

Road to Rio: Roy Hodgson could hand Ferdinand a recall to the England setup despite turning his back on his country

Ferdinand turned his back on his country last month and went to Qatar to work as an analyst for Al Jazeera.

Incredibly, Hodgson is preparing to offer the Manchester United defender another chance to resume his England career next month.

England players sneak headphones back on despite FA ban

Those cans are banned! England strugglers sneak headphones on despite crackdown

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

13:57 GMT, 28 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 28 March 2013

England stars' shameless tactic of wearing headphones to avoid requests for interviews from reporters following international matches appears to be creeping back in.

Ashley Young was the latest star to cover his ears after England's 1-1 draw in Montenegro – despite Football Association rules specifically outlawing the practice.

In the aftermath of games, players pass through an area known as the mixed zone where journalists wait to talk about matters of importance and interest.

Ashley Cole

Wayne Rooney

Can you hear us Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Young show off their oversized headphones last summer on England duty. They are often worn to dodge post-match interviews

Theo Walcott

Steven Gerrard

Ashley Young

There was a time when these discussions would be open and frank but then came the trend for certain players to wear headphones in order to swerve any post-game chat.

Last October, the FA issued wide-sweeping guidelines on player conduct and included a directive aimed specifically at stopping the practice. If there was a breach, it said, an investigation would be carried out by Club England.

The media clauses led to FA personnel ensuring England players did not go through the interview zone after England's match against Poland that month wearing headphones.

Mario Balotelli

It's not just England players who wear them: Mario Balotelli, Rio Ferdinand and Sergio Ramos with their cans

Rio Ferdinand

Sergio Ramos

Young, however, shuffled through following the disappointing draw in Podgorica on Tuesday. Ashley Cole has also been known to employ the tactic.

This latest headphone headache comes after last year’s Olympics ambush by Dr Dre’s popular brand of Beats headphones.

Customised versions with Union flag colours were delivered to members of Team GB, despite strict IOC rules regarding any non-rights holder advertising. Goalkeeper Jack Butland sent an ill-advised tweet praising the gear, leading to a reprimand from senior BOA officials.

Ben Foster ends England exile

Foster ends England exile by giving Hodgson green light to pick him again

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 28 February 2013

Ben Foster has ended his England exile and decided to return to the national team squad at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The West Brom goalkeeper has told Hodgson that he is ready to come back for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Former Albion boss Hodgson is struggling to find top-class competition for Joe Hart and will be boosted by the news that a man he knows well from the year they spent together at The Hawthorns last season is ready to play international football again.

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

Foster

For the last England game, the 2-1 friendly win over Brazil, Hodgson only named two goalkeepers in his squad, Hart and Jack Butland.

Foster announced towards the end of the 2010-11 campaign, when he was still at Birmingham City, that he was withdrawing from the international scene because of injury concerns.

His last game was a 2-1 defeat by France in November 2010.

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Jack Butland against Italy

The former Manchester United keeper suffers from groin problems and earlier this season underwent surgery to cure the nagging issue.

However, since returning he has been in superb form, saving a penalty from Steven Gerrard during West Brom's 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

He has been a massive factor in Albion's push for a Europa League spot.

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Steven Gerrard: My Liverpool and England team-mates are always ribbing me for my dress sense

Gerrard: My team-mates from London and abroad are always ribbing me for my dress sense

By
Vaz Sayed

PUBLISHED:

11:33 GMT, 22 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 22 February 2013

It seems captaining club and country doesn't exclude Steven Gerrard from a bit of friendly ribbing from team-mates.

The Liverpool skipper has revealed he and old friend Jamie Carragher are often made fun of for their fashion sense.

Gerrard told players from London and abroad like to poke fun at the 'Scouse style', while Carragher conceded the two of them have been responsible for some 'rascal' gear.

Shell shock: Steven Gerrard (centre) has revealed his teammates make fun of his clothes

Shell shock: Steven Gerrard (centre) has revealed his teammates make fun of his clothes

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard shows his dejection during the UEFA Europa League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Jamie Carragher during the Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Liverpool and Zenit St Petersburg

(Above) Stephen Gerrard (left) and Jamie Carragher (right) in action for Liverpool in the Europa League, it was Carragher's last European game for the club. The pair in training (below)

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher during a training session at Melwood Training Ground, Liverpool.

Suited and booted: (left to right) Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing and Steven Gerrard before the FA Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool which the Blues won 2-1

Suited and booted: (left to right) Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing and Steven Gerrard before the FA Cup Final match between Chelsea and Liverpool which the Blues won 2-1

In a joint interview with Four Four Two magazine Carragher said: 'You've had some real rascal gear haven't you'

Gerrard said: 'I think we're both guilty of wearing some rascal gear over the past 14 or 15 years. We try to keep our feet on the ground and stick to what other Scousers are wearing. We don't want to change too much.

'The London lads and foreign lads don't appreciate the Scouse dress sense, so we've developed some thick skin from the stick we've taken!'

Scousers have had the mickey taken out of their fashion sense for years after they became notorious for wearing shell-suits and white trainers.

Trend setter: Liverpool legend John Alrridge in his Tranmere days

Trend setter: Liverpool legend John Alrridge in his Tranmere days

Infamous: Liverpool wore white suits to the 1996 FA Cup final, they lost 1-0 to Mancheter United

Infamous: Liverpool wore white suits to the 1996 FA Cup final, they lost 1-0 to Mancheter United

Outside influences: Liverpool's foreign players like Daniel Agger (right) often mock the local stars for their clothes

Outside influences: Liverpool's foreign players like Daniel Agger (right) often mock the local stars for their clothes

And their WAGs haven't escaped criticism either with their Scouse-brows, going out in public with hair curlers in and even led to the Liverpool Fashion Show from banning the 'Scouse look' last year.

A source said: 'It's fair to say both Steven and Jamie have had some fashion howlers over the years.

'When Steven was younger he tried to keep up with emerging fashions more but he ended up with some huge fashion disasters.

'Over the years he's taken a bit of stick so him and Jamie now stick to a more conventional dress which ties in with what a lot of the Scousers are wearing.

'But that has also led to a lot of mickey taking because their more stylish team mates tell them that they haven't got a clue about clothes. They'll never be able to pull off what the likes of David Beckham and Mario Balotelli can get away with.'

At your side: The pair have been loyal servants to the club and are adored by the Kop fans

At your side: The pair have been loyal servants to the club and are adored by the Kop fans

Liverpool 3 Zenit 1 (agg 3-3): match report

Liverpool 3 Zenit 1 (agg 3-3): Reds bow out on away goals at Anfield despite Suarez's free-kick brace

PUBLISHED:

21:56 GMT, 21 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:56 GMT, 21 February 2013

Liverpool's Europa League campaign ended on Thursday night despite a spirited effort in their attempt to score the four goals needed against Zenit to progress.

Jamie Carragher's error allowed Hulk to score a priceless away goal for the Russians in the 19th minute and give Liverpool a mountain to climb.

A free-kick from Luis Suarez followed by a goal from Joe Allen gave Liverpool a 2-1 lead at half-time, but they still needed two goals without response in the second half to progress.

But, despite Suarez scoring a second free-kick early in the second half, Liverpool couldn't force a fourth goal.

More to follow

Beauty: Luis Suarez curled in a free-kick in front of the Kop to put Liverpool 3-1 ahead on the night

Beauty: Luis Suarez curled in a free-kick in front of the Kop to put Liverpool 3-1 ahead on the night

Beauty: Luis Suarez curled in a free-kick in front of the Kop to put Liverpool 3-1 ahead on the night

MATCH FACTS

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen (Shelvey 59), Downing (Sterling 84), Gerrard, Henderson (Assaidi 59), Suarez.

Subs not used: Gulacsi, Coates, Suso, Wisdom.

Booked: Shelvey.

Goals: Suarez 28, 59, Allen 43.

Zenit St Petersburg: Malafeev, Aniukov, Luis Neto, Lombaerts (Criscito 46), Hubocan, Witsel, Denisov, Shirokov, Danny (Faitzulin 46), Hulk, Semak (Rodic 84).

Subs not used: Zhevnov, Bruno Alves, Bukharov, Kerzhakov.

Booked: Denisov.

Goals: Hulk 19.

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)

Latest Europa League results, fixtures and stats

Steven Gerrard Coronation Street visit pictured

PICTURED: Gerrard in top-secret meeting in Manchester… in tour of Coronation Street!

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

15:19 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:40 GMT, 18 February 2013

What's this Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in a top-secret Manchester meeting It can only mean one thing, of course… he's on a guided tour of Coronation Street!

The England international entertained his daughters on their half-term school break by taking them for a walk down the famous cobbles of Weatherfield on a special tour with Liverpool-supporting actress, Sue Johnston.

Set play: Steven Gerrard takes a tour of Coronation Street with actress Sue Johnston

Set play: Steven Gerrard takes a tour of Coronation Street with actress Sue Johnston

Johnston, who plays battleaxe gran Gloria Price in the ITV1 soap, greeted Gerrard on the set before showing him around.

After losing to West Brom and Zenit St Petersburg, Liverpool ended a miserable week on a high in Sunday's emphatic 5-0 win over Swansea at Anfield.

Meet and greet: Gerrard thanks fellow Scouser Johnston after treating him to a special tour of Weatherfield

Thanks for the memories: Gerrard hugs friend Johnston after the tour

Meet and greet: Gerrard thanks fellow Scouser Johnston after treating him to a special tour of Weatherfield

Gerrard, 32, was on the scoresheet with a 34th minute penalty to ensure everything went according to script for the hosts.

Indeed, his manager Brendan Rodgers might have deemed it enough to reward the goalscoring star with a treat.

However, there were no signs of Gerrard popping into the Rovers Return for a well-earned pint. But he probably did visit in the 'Korner' Kabin…

Happy days: Gerrard scored from the spot in Liverpool's 5-0 win over Swansea

Rovers return: Sue Johnston plays the character of Gloria Price in Coronation Street

Rovers return: Gerrard, who scored against Swansea, visited actress Johnston (who plays Gloria Price, right)

VIDEO: STEVIE G SCORES AGAINST SWANSEA

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VIDEO: SUE JOHNSTON AS GLORIA PRICE IN CORONATION STREET

Liverpool will wear charity sponsor for West Brom game

Gerrard delight as Liverpool stick charity sponsor on shirts for West Brom clash

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:26 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:22 GMT, 11 February 2013

Liverpool will wear a charity logo on their shirts for their clash with West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard and Co will have the 'Seeing is Believing' logo on their chests, rather than the usual 'Standard Chartered'. The shirts will be signed by the players after the game and then auctioned off.

Among other Reds stars, Gerrard took part in some events to support the charity and was happy to be involved with the charity which tries to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries.

Scroll down for video

Positive contribution: Lucas Leiva models the shirt with the charity sponsor

Positive contribution: Lucas Leiva models the shirt with the charity sponsor

He said: 'You realise at the time how difficult it is without your sight. Especially doing activities. We were involved in a penalty shoot-out using a blindfold and it's so difficult.

'It was really enjoyable to take part and very important for myself and the club as well to play our part and try to help these people.'

Liverpool wore shirts with the same logo on last season in their final home match, against Chelsea, and the cash went to supporting the Standard Chartered charitable initiative.

Taking part: Steven Gerrard joined in with some events put on by the charity

Taking part: Steven Gerrard joined in with some events put on by the charity

On the ball: Gerrard plays keepie-uppie

They raised over 86,000 last time around and managing director Ian Ayre was glad to be able to try and do the same again.

He said: 'We’re once again proud to display the Seeing is Believing logo on our home shirt.

'Since Standard Chartered became the club’s shirt sponsor, we’ve worked closely with them to raise awareness for Seeing is Believing, both in the developing world and here in the UK.

'It’s a fantastic initiative and we hope
to raise as much as possible from the shirts to cure avoidable blindness
in developing countries.'

Throwback: Liverpool used the sponsor last season, here on Andy Carroll (centre) and Maxi Rodriguez (right)

Throwback: Liverpool used the sponsor last season, here on Andy Carroll (centre) and Maxi Rodriguez (right)

The Baggies will go into this evening's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield on the back of five defeats in their last six games.

Skipper Chris Brunt is convinced his side will emerge from their current slump now they face a less demanding schedule for the remainder of the campaign.

Brunt said: 'We are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment but, for a club our size and for the money we've got and spent, we are still ninth in the league, 34 points.

'We are moving in the right direction but the last few weeks we haven't been great. We know that ourselves and know where we've got to improve to get it right.

Happy memories: Last time Liverpool wore the sponsor they smashed Chelsea at Anfield

Happy memories: Last time Liverpool wore the sponsor they smashed Chelsea at Anfield

'December and January is a pretty hectic period and it's one where we have tended to struggle a bit in the last few seasons and then picked up in February.

'Hopefully that will be the case again – starting on Monday. Our squad has been really stretched over the last few months, a lot of games and a few injuries have really hurt us.

'The boys have just had to play through it or play out of position because we don't have the luxury of rotating the team other clubs can to keep players fresher.'

VIDEO: Gerrard speaks about Seeing is Believing

If you want to bid for the shirts after the game, head to www.ebay.co.uk/perfectmatch.

Ashley Cole deserves appreciation for reaching century of England caps v Brazil

Rival fans can't stand him and he even broke the heart of the nation's sweetheart Cheryl… but is it time we gave Ashley Cole a little love as he joins England's 100 Club

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Standing the test of time: Ashley Cole has turned in consistently excellent performances for England ever since his debut – against Albania in a World Cup qualifier back in March 2001. He is set to win his 100th cap – becoming the seventh player to do so – against Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night.

THE 100 CAP CLUB

Peter Shilton – 125
David Beckham – 115
Bobby Moore – 108
Bobby Charlton – 106
Billy Wright – 105
Steven Gerrard – 100

They’re being told to just put aside for a few moments all that inherent, seething dislike of a man who’s been regularly vilified at grounds up and down the country for the best part of a decade, and show some appreciation, however forced, for a wonderful achievement.

Yesterday, fellow centurion Steven Gerrard had to appeal to the Wembley crowd to treat Cole with respect. The captain said that ‘nobody in the ground can take away that achievement’ and that the Chelsea player ‘deserves’ to be a hundred cap man.

Can you imagine a teammate having to go on the record to justify to England fans that Moore, or Charlton, or indeed any of the others, is ‘worthy’ of their accomplishment

As might be expected, the praise has been pouring in this week. Stuart Pearce called him the ‘best left-back that’s ever played for England’ and, continuing the theme, said that he would be ‘standing and cheering when his name gets announced.’

Best in the business: Cole has been hailed by a number of former England internationals as the best left-back to ever play for the national team

Best in the business: Cole has been hailed by a number of former England internationals as the best left-back to ever play for the national team

Glen Johnson said Cole was ‘one of the nicest guys you could ever meet’ and former Arsenal teammate Martin Keown said he was a ‘lovely fella.’

It’s extraordinary that Cole is so universally unloved that players past and present need to come out with such comments to justify why he’s deserving of a simple round of applause from a crowd of people.

Whatever Cole’s misdemeanours in the past, whatever his alleged shortcomings and infidelities as a person, husband, Twitter-user and work experience student mentor, nobody can dispute his status as a consistently world-class player.

The highs... Cole celebrates with David Beckham after the latter scored a free-kick against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup

The highs… Cole celebrates with David Beckham after the latter scored a free-kick against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup

And the lows... Cole is consoled by Roy Hodgson after England lose on penalties to Italy at Euro 2012

And the lows… Cole is consoled by Roy Hodgson after England lose on penalties to Italy at Euro 2012

You hear of Cole being run ragged by a winger or making a match-defining error so rarely that you’re led to believe that his performances have been flawless since the beginning of time. In a decade or more at the top of the game, Cole has faced all the best attackers in the world – and he’s never been mastered by any of them.

When these glamorous England friendlies roll round, it’s only natural to play that game where you try and fit English names into the opposition eleven. Who is good enough to play for Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, whoever The truth is, all of those nations would love to have Cole in their team.

Cole’s reading of the game is second to none. His instinct to interpret and be in the right place at the right time is unrivalled. How many times has Cole saved Chelsea or England by winning a foot race to tackle a striker bearing down on goal, or been on the post to head the ball off the line

In Chelsea’s run to European glory last season, he cleared Christian Maggio’s goalbound effort from underneath the crossbar to prevent elimination to Napoli and he denied Barcelona a crucial away goal in the Stamford Bridge leg of the semi-final.

Indeed, his marshalling of Dani Alves in that game was up there with his shackling of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Euro 2004 quarter-final – both in Cole’s “pocket” as it were.

Shackled: Cole keeps a tight rein on Cristiano Ronaldo, then of Manchester United, in the 2007 Community Shield

Shackled: Cole keeps a tight rein on Cristiano Ronaldo, then of Manchester United, in the 2007 Community Shield

And in an age when wing-backs are expected also to fulfil attacking obligations, Cole excels. He tears up and down the flank tirelessly – a tackle here, an interception there, a whipped cross, a neat shimmy or flash of skill.

The breadth of his role on the left-side requires a slavish devotion to working on and developing every facet of his game. Cole’s professionalism in training and self-education in the ways of football have never been questioned.

Nor has his commitment. Unlike some others, he’s always been ready, willing and able to play for the national team. He’s never let the failures of the ‘Golden Generation’ discourage him from providing the kind of full-bloodied, lion-hearted performances England fans demand.

Medallion man: Cole (right) celebrates with Daniel Sturridge after winning the European cup for Chelsea last May

Medallion man: Cole (right) celebrates with Daniel Sturridge after winning the European cup for Chelsea last May

Cole has been rewarded handsomely for his ability, he’s won everything in the club game and it’s perhaps this doesn’t help his image. Cheats and ‘love rats’ seem to prosper, his detractors would say.

But Cole is having the last laugh. He’s long learned to live with the Pantomime booing on opposition ground and even from his own fans at Wembley – it doesn’t affect the consistently excellent performances he puts in. It doesn’t permeate the thick skin.

He can also retort by pointing to three Premier League, seven FA Cup, a League Cup and a Champions League winners medal in his collection with a smugness and a satisfaction.

And as he again soaks up the acclaim on this grand occasion of a century of caps, it’s time to get on our feet, applaud and cheer for one of the best left-backs the game will ever see. And mean it too.

Can we feel a bit sorry for unfaithful Cole Never, argues Liv Lee

Can you ever really appreciate a sportsperson purely for what they do on the field No.

No-one self-sabotages like a Premier League footballer.

They achieve it with impressive frequency. Admittedly, they have the eyes of the world on them, and when every mistake turns up the next day in national headlines, well, that can’t be easy.

So can we feel just a little bit sorry for Ashley Cole Absolutely not.

Split: Cole's reputation will always be tarnished by allegations he cheated on wife Cheryl

Split: Cole's reputation will always be tarnished by allegations he cheated on wife Cheryl

Everybody makes mistakes. Sleeping with someone who wasn’t his wife (allegedly) was probably a mistake, and he’s not the first person to betray a spouse. Sleeping with multiple people (allegedly), less so – unless you go down the Tiger Woods line of claiming an addiction to sex, multiple indiscretions can’t be ‘mistakes.’

But sleeping with people who he met in less than discreet circumstances and who went on to sell their stories in graphic detail (allegedly) – Phenomenally, unforgivably stupid.

He’s not the first. Wayne Rooney’s indiscretions have been made equally public, but when it comes to women paid for sex, you’d assume you were also paying for them to keep their mouth shut. Cole had no reason to expect that any one of his lovers would keep quiet.

And if only there was just the one reason to despise him.

Never forgiven: Cole helped Arsenal win silverware, but he's never been forgiven for the manner in which he left for Chelsea

Never forgiven: Cole helped Arsenal win silverware, but he's never been forgiven for the manner in which he left for Chelsea

‘I couldn't believe it when they [Arsenal] weren't prepared to pay me 60,000 a week.’ Need I say more

And he shot a work experience student. As I said, the capability to footballers to self-sabotage is just outstanding.

His achievements on the field will make sure he is remembered as one of the greatest players England ever bred. And his actions off the pitch don’t diminish those achievements in any way.

But the incidents surrounding Cole are inextricable from the man you see on the pitch. People love sport not only because of the basic viewing of a game, but also for the personalities involved, and the dynamic in teams and between oppositions that these personalities create.

It really would be great to love and respect that man for what he’s achieved, but he just makes it too damn hard.

Match fixing latest: Liverpool v Debrecen alleged to be rigged, by Danish newspaper

Was this the rigged Champions League game Danish paper claim Liverpool clash with Debrecen part of match-fixing scandal

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

21:20 GMT, 4 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 4 February 2013

Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet has claimed the Champions League game in England allegedly involving match-fixing was Liverpool against Debrecen in 2009.

Their report places no suspicion on Liverpool whatsoever and instead claims Debrecen's Montenegrin goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was ‘bribed to ensure the match ended with at least three goals’.

The clash was the first match of the group stage and took place at Anfield on September 16, with Liverpool beating their Hungarian opponents 1-0.

Winner: Dirk Kuyt scores the only goal of the game in the match alleged to be part of the scandal (Liverpool are not said to be involved in any match-fixing)

Winner: Dirk Kuyt scores the only goal of the game in the match alleged to be part of the scandal (Liverpool are not said to be involved in any match-fixing)

Boom: Goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic sees Kuyt's shot hit the back of the net

Boom: Goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic sees Kuyt's shot hit the back of the net

In text messages obtained by police the people behind the alleged match-fixing were angry that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard had not capitalised on some easy chances.

Later in the group stage Poleksic was allegedly bribed for a match against Fiorentina, which Debrecen lost 4-3.

The goalkeeper has already been banned for two years for failing to report being approached by fixers before the Fiorentina game.

His case was taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who rejected his appeal although conceded they could not prove the match result had been manipulated.

On Monday morning it was revealed European police agency Europol are investigating more than 380 suspicious matches in 15 countries, including a Champions League game played in England in the last three or four years.

Rob Wainwright, director of Europol – the European Union's law enforcement agency, told a news conference that the match which took place 'in the last three to four years' was one of 380 under investigation.

Europol said a total of 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix matches.

When the news of the investigation broke on Monday, a spokesman for The Football Association said: 'The FA are not aware of any credible reports into suspicious Champions League fixtures in England, nor has any information been shared with us.

'While the Champions League comes under UEFA jurisdiction, The FA, alongside the Premier League, Football League and Conference, monitor markets for the top seven leagues and three major cup competitions in England and take matters of integrity in football extremely seriously.'

It is understood UEFA were similarly unaware of an investigation into an Champions League match in England.

A Europol spokesman said he was unable to comment when asked why neither the FA nor UEFA had been informed.

More to follow.

VIDEO: Dirk Kuyt's goal against Debrecen in the 1-0 win at Anfield