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Level-headed Baines flies under the radar

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Phil McNulty | 22:30 UK time, Saturday, 6 October 2012

As Ashley Cole faces disciplinary action after his Twitter abuse of the Football Association, Everton's Leighton Baines was busy presenting the acceptable face of England's left-back fraternity.

The 27-year-old Merseysider has lived his England career in the shadow of Chelsea's Cole as an able deputy to a defender of undisputed world-class, one whose enduring quality is amply illustrated by 98 international caps.

And Cole will claim the headlines once more in the build-up to England's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland following his ill-judged profanity aimed at the FA after an independent commission queried his evidence in the hearing which found team-mate John Terry guilty of racial abuse against QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

The notion of Baines taking to Twitter is unthinkable - the idea that he would use the platform to abuse the FA even more so. He is a thoughtful personality who prefers to get lost in the crowd away from the field of play, rather than attract attention and raise his deliberately low profile.

Leighton Baines celebrates after scoring a late penalty to give Everton a point against Wigan on Saturday

He is more likely to engage England manager Roy Hodgson in a chat about 1950s music - apparently it was a subject for discussion between the pair recently - than be taking calls from him asking for explanations about outbursts on Twitter.

This will be of comfort to Hodgson, and perhaps the FA, and his growing maturity as a defender of the highest class will be of even greater reassurance, as anyone who watched Baines in Everton's 2-2 draw at Wigan will testify.

If Hodgson does not already know that England's left-back berth will be in safe keeping in the post-Ashley Cole era, then any spies he had in attendance at The DW Stadium could have confirmed it for him.

Cole, in my opinion, still has the edge as the superior left-back but the gap is narrower than it has ever been and on Saturday's performance Baines has time to improve even further.

Off the pitch, those who know Baines well speak of an understated but highly intelligent character - traits which should not be taken for any lack of desire and passion to represent his country.

There may have been times when a shortage of self-belief could have held Baines back for club and country but he is now a talent in full bloom and much appreciated by Everton manager David Moyes.

After watching Baines earn Everton a point with a late penalty, his third such strike against his former club in his Goodison Park career, Moyes could barely contain his admiration for what the defender had offered his team. His old admirers greeted him warmly in recognition for his time at Wigan but there is no doubt he is becoming a rather large pain in the neck for manager Roberto Martinez.

"Leighton Baines was fantastic - his performance and his penalty," said Moyes. "His performance was right up there, as good as anything. He drove us on. Just outstanding."

The penalty Baines struck high and powerfully beyond Ali Al Habsi was fitting reward for him and Everton after an absorbing encounter in which Wigan led twice through Arouna Kone's early offside goal and Franco di Santo's strike, with Nikica Jelavic's equaliser sandwiched in between.

Baines was the game's outstanding figure, performing defensive duties while also striking a post in the first half and inspiring Everton's wave of second-half attacks before his crucial late contribution.

In short, it was a display virtually without a flaw and personified by a 96th-minute sprint, albeit in vain, to try and retrieve a wayward pass in an attempt to forge an unlikely Everton victory. The instant beam delivered by Moyes when his name was mentioned confirmed it.

Baines has been instrumental in Everton's fine start to the season as a creator and now scorer of goals and his left-flank partnership with Steven Pienaar is as potent as anything the Premier League has to offer, after he was reunited with the elegant South African following his return from Spurs.

It was all done on a tough afternoon for the Merseysiders when a high-octane Wigan took full toll on a lacklustre and uncharacteristally lazy Everton start that carried some of the hallmarks of a team that seemed to be daring to believe its own good publicity.

This would have been a surprise in a club and team that does not do "big time" and Moyes made the necessary adjustments required at the interval. John Heitinga was given the merciful release of being kept back in the dressing room after his lack of pace was exposed by Kone and promising young Belgian Kevin Mirallas was moved from the right flank to play alongside the predator Jelavic.

This finally gave Everton momentum and carried them forward in front of the massed ranks of their 5,000 fans. Moyes felt they were undermined by referee Kevin Friend's refusal to accept penalty appeals after the break, and Kone's questionable first goal was an understandable sore point.

Wigan deserved their point, however, and so did Everton as the belief injected into their system by a fine start eventually led to concerted pressure and a point.

Whether Everton can maintain their current lofty position cannot be answered yet and the midfield mix does not look quite right without the stable base provided by the unsung and currently injured Darron Gibson.

But there is no doubt this is a different Everton from this time last year. Jelavic is a constant threat and that Baines-Pienaar pairing is one of rare, almost telepathic creation. The style is more expansive, the threat more obvious, even if it has led to more gaps at the back.

The pieces came together to ensure Everton's morale was not dented by defeat - and the most important piece of all on Saturday was Baines.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Baines is in wonderful form at the moment - as are Everton. With him and the emerging Bertrand and Gibbs we have plenty of options at left back. I agree with you Phil that Cole is probably still our best left back but there is not much to choose between him and Baines now.

  • Comment number 2.

    By the way another Shearer classic tonight. He says the FA should ban Cole from the England match on Friday as heavy fines are not enough.

    I'm sure Cole will be devastated if he can't play against San Marino!

  • Comment number 3.

    @ 2

    Do you think Shearer would have been saying the same thing had it been a Euro/World cup Quarter final?

  • Comment number 4.

    @3 Liverpaul85

    No.

  • Comment number 5.

    @ 4

    Thanks for reply. Next time is possible to condense it into fewer words though. I got kind of bored reading your response.

    Personally I think that Baines should be picked over Cole anyway at the moment. I do think Cole is probably the better player but Baines is the man in form. He has been outstanding this season for Everton and his partnership with Pienaar down the left flank has been a massive reason for that. Great understanding between the two of them.

  • Comment number 6.

    Only watched MOTD highlights tonight but Everton got a couple of raw deals from the officials, did well to get the draw out of it. They are looking a pretty handy unit.

  • Comment number 7.

    #5 Liverpaul

    Baines is a very good player without Pienaar but far better when they play together on the left. When he plays for England he is not so effective because there is no one in the mould of Pienaar for England.

  • Comment number 8.

    @5 Liverpaul85

    People often say I talk too much :-)

    In the scenario you described I imagine Shearer would have said something like:

    'Ashley has done wrong, he knows he's done wrong and that's why he's come out quickly and said he's done wrong, which is right. We need our best players to be playing in a match as important as this and for me Ashley Cole is the best left back in the world.'

    I would have no problem with Baines being selected ahead of Cole. It's a pity we can't get Pienaar to play for us - we are generally good at recruiting South Africans in other sports.

  • Comment number 9.

    Baines is now better than Cole. End of.

  • Comment number 10.

    @ 8

    Yeah I agree with what you say about Shearer. I definitely think he has come up with this response because we are playing a team that we really should beat by a large margin.

    I wouldn't have a problem with Baines replacing Cole in any game at the moment to be honest. I think he looks really good going forward and has the energy and positional sense to be effective defensively too.

    I do think the relationship he has with Pienaar is a big reason for his improvement, I can't see him playing the same way for England just because we don't have the same type of players and will probably play a different system, although on Friday I think who ever plays left back will be able to get forward much more reguarly than in recent matches just due to the level of opposition.

  • Comment number 11.

    @10 Liverpaul85

    He also takes a cracking penalty - you would definitely back him to score in a shootout.

    Actually thinking about it a bit more maybe Cole would be disappointed not to play against San Marino. He may never have a better chance to score a goal for England.

  • Comment number 12.

    @ 6

    Yeah I tohught Everton got a slightly raw deal today from the officials, then probably got given the softest of all the penalty appeals. I don't think either the Anichebe or the Mirallas challenges deserved to be penalties, but the the Jelavic one would have been given as a free kick anywhere else on the pitch so today that probably evened itself out. But they had other shouts as well.

  • Comment number 13.

    England should really be turning their attention to the game against Poland, a game they must not lose. San Marino are no threat to anyone.

  • Comment number 14.

    @ 11

    Thas a good point. Maybe we should ban him then!

    To be honest, apart from the Euros I haven't seen Cole take a bad penalty. Not that I can think of anyway. But Baines, I think, is a better passer, crosser and has a better shot. Just think that cole is probably better defensively

  • Comment number 15.

    @ 13

    I think going into a game thinking about the next one is a very dangerous thing to do. You have to be professional in every game. While San Marino shouldn't be a threat, we all know what England can be like!

  • Comment number 16.

    #15
    I would normally agree but it is San Marino who have only ever won 1 international match along with a few draws. England could put out a second eleven and still win comfortably leaving little chance of injuries affecting the Poland game which is vital.

  • Comment number 17.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 18.

    @16 parisian818

    Yeah the San Marino match is just a case of how many England can score. They did score against us back in '93 but that was only because of a shocking backpass by Pearce.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think Baines is fantastic. Love his style of play and he gets forward so much he could be a left winger.

    I reckon Cole left back and Baines left midfield is a very good option for England especially away from home.

  • Comment number 21.

    The only crime that Ashley Cole has committed is to give evidence, under oath, in a court case.

    He was racially abused for this by Rio Ferdinand, and has now been vilified by the FA.

    What indication is this for anyone who is called to give evidence in a court of law.

    I expect the authorities to be making arrests around the FA for witness intimidation and contempt of court.

    At least I would expect this if we lived in a just country where the rule of law was applied evenly.

  • Comment number 22.

    The very idea that Cole could negotiate the intricacies of a keyboard
    by himself is laughable - almost as laughable as the idea that the FA
    would deal with this in an appropriately swift and rigorous manner.

  • Comment number 23.

    @21.

    Couldn't agree more. IMHO the whole terry affair has been a complete embarrassment to our country and the FA, taken to ridiculous levels by the FA continuing to persecute Terry after his acquittal in UK court.

    They should have been both called to Lancaster Gate (or wherever the FA live these days) and made to talk it through, before apologising to each other and finishing it with a handshake.

    Sometimes crude things get said in the heat of the moment but they don't end up in court. If they did, my best mate and I would have been locked up years ago for some of the things we have said during boisterous Sunday league matches.

    A sense of perspective should have been maintained.

    Baines or Cole; we should count ourselves lucky we have such quality choices for the same position.

    Shearer's comments are beyond contempt and so typical of the bitter and twisted ex-player he has become. As if he was such a saint with his elbows and the rib digging he got away with throughout his career.

  • Comment number 24.

    @21

    But the allegation made by the FA is that said evidence was falsified, which definitely is a crime (perjury, I believe).

    I wasn't there, so I'm in no position to point the finger at either side. My point is, though, that the FA simply do not believe John Terry's side of the story, nor that of his witnesses. We can debate the merits of this until the cows come home, but that is not the issue, Cole's reaction is.

    Ashley Cole is perfectly within his rights to feel aggrieved at having his integrity questioned - we all would. However, this does not mean he should take to a public forum (Twitter) to air his displeasure. It was, at best, naive in the extreme. Based on his rant and what was said, one can hardly suggest that the FA are unjust in issuing any kind of punishment. If players/public figures are incapable of considering the consequences prior to tweeting, they should not use the site - end of.

  • Comment number 25.

    Yes but Gibbs and Bertrand are the long term left backs.

  • Comment number 26.

    ashley cole - englands best performer for many years, only player to have shown up at the world cup
    best left back in the world
    constantly plays in top level football
    seems to get better with age

    yet baines is better than him on the back of 5 performances?

    i know people dont like cole because of his attitude off the field, but why do people take that into account when we are talking about how good he is as a FOOTBALLER

    cole is still the best left back in the world

  • Comment number 27.

    Cole should be left out of the England squad for the upcoming game due to his outburst towards the FA and his testimony that has come into question over the JT investigation for racial abuse towards a fellow football player.

  • Comment number 28.

    @23 Oh dear, someone's still not understood the order of things.

    I don't think any manager can afford to ignore Ashley Cole for whatever reason when on such form. If he were to begin declining you'd have Baines ready and willing, what more can a manager ask for?

  • Comment number 29.

    Why all this attention on a footballer's behaviour in the heat of a game. When corrupt people some in government have been stealing peoples private pensions paying themselves massive bonuses whilst dragging the economy down.

  • Comment number 30.

    16.
    At 01:17 7th Oct 2012, parisian818 wrote:

    #15
    I would normally agree but it is San Marino who have only ever won 1 international match
    ------------------------------------
    Out of interest, who was their only win against?

  • Comment number 31.

    @ 30

    San Marino - Liechtenstein 1–0 in a friendly in 2004.

  • Comment number 32.

    @29. What on Earth are you on about? What has the government got to do with this story? Why are you bleating on about pensions when Abu Hamza has been extradited and X-Factor has started?

    Were you wandering around the News section and got lost?

  • Comment number 33.

    Perhaps I'm just showing bias to an English left back but I think Ashley Cole has been the best left back around at almost all of the major tournaments he's been involved in. I do however believe that last season and this season Leighton Baines has been the better of the two.

  • Comment number 34.

    Could someone clear up for me how to spell Paddy Kenny's name - In the FA report it's spelt 'Kenney', yet wikipedia and the Leeds official website it is spelt 'Kenny'.

    I thought the most shocking part of the report was where it said that if he'd left out the word 'black' he wouldn't have received any punishment at all, therefore allowing the use of the f-word and c-word as an insult to someone during a match.

  • Comment number 35.

    The best players don't always make the best team. Give those bubbling just under a chance, and they may well do better than the usual suspects that always seem to get picked. Time to drop Lampard, Gerrard and Cole for good and replace them with players who may not be individually better, but will be much more willing to work as hard as possible for the team. This is why Grant Holt should be in the squad right now.

  • Comment number 36.

    Baines has earned his call-up. Consistently played well for the last few years, not just the last few games. Personally I think his attitude to the game is spot on as well - He doesn't seem the type to throw his toys out of the pram like Cole does.

    @23 Anyone saying that Terry was persecuted by the FA and did nothing wrong - Did you actually follow any of this? In court they basically said we know you're lying but can't prove it. He was never likely to be found guilty with Ashley Cole backing his mate up. The F.A don't need to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, they can apply common sense to the situation. Did you read the report on Ashley Cole's "evolution" of statements? No wonder they think he is lying. His response? Some foul mouthed rant on twitter. I would just love Terry to be a man and apologise, yet he just sticks to his farcical story!

    Anyway - Baines to play both games for me. Cole of 5 years ago should play regardless, but he's not the player he was. Would love to see a better player in front of Baines as well, we all see what he can do with Pienaar. Or, stick Baines left wing - If we do go with Caroll, i'm sure he'd appreciate a player who can cross as well as Baines.

  • Comment number 37.

    Baines has been a really good left back for the last 3/4 seasons. The media talk up young players who have done nothing yet and ignore very good players, often in unsexy positions, until they are really flying. So for me Baines has not flown under the radar at all. I'm not an Everton fan

  • Comment number 38.

    Cole is hugely overrated.

    Okay, so he can kick a football around, but he's a total energy drain.

    If he takes a throw-in, especially in an international, I find that the perfect moment to go make a cup of tea. I'm usually back in time to see him throw the ball to the feet of the opposing team. He's slow thinking and dull - as a friend described England v Brazil before the Olympics - 'Them, samba in their boots, us, concrete in the heads'. It's one of the eternal flaws in the English game, and Coles is the classic example of it.

    Bring on Baines and make it permanent.

  • Comment number 39.

    Chizzle its alright you saying drop the likes of Lampard Gerald & Cole bring on the youngsters instead,only problem with that is you won't have the exprience in the team to help them till they gel together,think about it aload of young players havn't played together could be chaotic first time.

  • Comment number 40.

    @39 or like Alan Hansen said, "You won't win anything with kids".

  • Comment number 41.

    Two bandwagons at once Phil? Well done!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Cole and Baines both good players though I'm not sure why Shearer was using his position as a prime time BBC pundit to call for a player to be banned for one international game. Would he be advocating the same line if you were playing a bigger opponent and the result was critical? Very much doubt it.

  • Comment number 43.

    Didn't say that,just saying you need a little bit of experience in the team to start with ,was a trainer for about 15ys with kids through to first team players just saying from what i've seen.

  • Comment number 44.

    Yes, Baines is a wonderful player. I have admired him since he emerged at Wigan.
    England have strength in depth in that position, the worry is on the right as there is no real challenge to the somewhat erratic Glen Johnson

  • Comment number 45.

    @43 but is having experience really beneficial when that experience has been of abject failure over 15 years?

  • Comment number 46.

    hOW DO YOU MEAN

  • Comment number 47.

    @46 well we've not exactly done anything meaningful since Euro 96, and over the years the talk has been more of player power, wags, factions in the dressing rooms etc. Is that the kind of experience we really want to be passing down to our younger players? I'd say no. If the young'uns are good enough to play for England, then let's let them loose - leave the so-called experience behind, and let these young players forge a new way for English international football.

  • Comment number 48.

    Am i the only person who's totally uninterested in what the players have to say on twitter?

    We know the likes of Joey Barton, Ashley Cole, John Terry and Luis Suarez are bad people, so why follow them on twitter?

    The people who follow them probably do so because they love controversy. The sort of people who watch soaps and the x-factor six hours a day.

  • Comment number 49.

    Quality player. Would have had him in the team last year. Now in awesome form, with Cole making an utter of himself, it would be madness not to pick him now.

  • Comment number 50.

    Agree to some point with you about the player power &factions in the dressing rooms. But that is down to the manager and his staff to deal with if they are not strong enough to do this then they should not hold thier positions.

  • Comment number 51.

    As a Leeds fan who loves the England national team I would feel a lot happier if Ashley Cole was representing us than Leighton Baines, especially in any matches concerning World Cup or European Championship qualification.

    Ashley Cole lets himself down constantly with silly remarks, but he is still an absolutely superb player and just recently popped up to score a late winner to sink a stubborn Stoke team.

    Left back - Ashley Cole is still the man, by miles.

  • Comment number 52.

    re 48
    Have to agree with you there. I've never understood why anybody bothers with twitter and facebook.

    Have to agree with all in favour of Baines over Cole. It really is time some of these older players were replaced. A number of them have been described in our media as world class in the past but if we've had/got so many world class players why don't we ever get near winning anything.

    I really thought that Hodgson wold shake things up but he'd still pick Terry if he was available and now he's brought in Shawcross. He obviously wants us to play with ten men.

    His only plus for me is that he won't pander to media and pick Ferdinand who has not been worth his place for a couple of years.

  • Comment number 53.

    I have always prefered Baines he goes about his business with no fuss and rarely makes mistakes.

    and @ 2. I know what you mean about the San Marino game but I think Shearer said it because in his day playing for your Country actually meant something no matter who they were playing.

  • Comment number 54.

    as Micha Richards has already discovered, being the best performer in a particular position is no guarantee of an England call up. Sadly, it would appear the Leighton Baines may be about to discover the same!

  • Comment number 55.

    Ashley Cole hasn't even been the best left back in the EPL, Evra anyone oh I forgot he's not English, as for Baines he has been outstanding for Everton for the last 3 years and deserves a chance.He creates chances, he scores pens he scores free kicks he rarely gets booked wins most of his tackles oh but he doesn't play for one of the SKY big 4

  • Comment number 56.

    Why not have Baines playing in front of Cole? That would give us a solid left-side, with an actual left-footer on the left wing and also give us good delivery into the box. It would allow them to swap if and when they want/need during the game as well

  • Comment number 57.

    Well I may be stupid or naive but I dont believe in the 'rules' that say you cant criticise the FA, FIFA, UEFA, etc. are reasonable. In life everyone can be wrong but frequently it is a difference of opinion. Adults can/should be able to agree to differ and still remain friends.
    Also I dont understand what the problem is with using a saying '"Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT***S"." That is his opinion - forever or in the heat of the moment. It doesnt change the opinion that it is public or not, as it may or may not be true as it is his opinion. In fact past history shows that his comments are probably more accurate about the FA. The handling of this whole situation by the FA has been woefully poor. It should not have taken 15 months to sort out a set of stupid comments by two players (Terry/Ferdinand), both were at fault, one more than the other. The whole thing should/could have been sorted out within a couple of weeks of the event.

  • Comment number 58.

    @55 even as a united fan i cannot agree Evra is superior to Cole. Evra was on par with Cole in the past but for some reason he's declined since last season. I'd be happy if we replaced him with a quality left-back, someone like Baines.

  • Comment number 59.

    @57 you try saying that whoever makes the rules in whatever organisation you work in are a bunch of thats. In public, in a place they will see.

    Do you think they will just ignore it as opinion?

  • Comment number 60.

    MOTD director - "OK Gary, let's have a short filler at that point. Alan, you have a "rant" about Cole, Martin you take the moderate role, Gary you smile a neutral smile and intro the next game".

    Believe me, that's how they do it.

  • Comment number 61.

    @59. All rules have to be seen to be reasonable to be accepted as standards. If you are not allowed to criticise your employers or organisation then it becomes a slavery or dictatorship.
    BTW: I dont work for any organisation I had enough of petty politics and retired early. Also I agree with Alan Shearer that Twitter is a complete waste of time and its use by employees should be banned by sports clubs and organisations. This has been shown with the recent events involving Cole, Hamilton and others.

    But if the FA are allowed to accuse AC of being a liar then they need to prove this and act accordingly. If he is proven to have lied then he should be disciplined. Producing a 63 page report of hot air and woffle doesnt mask the FA incompetence in handling the whole situation. I believe that is time that the FA and FL were amalgamated to provide a unified handling of football in England. Having two somewhat 'governing' bodies is crazy.

  • Comment number 62.

    Phil- I suspect most people would agree to give Baines the England LB spot against San Marino and Poland, based on his current form and whether or not Ashley Cole receives a ban from the FA.

    As #24 McTash

    "...If players/public figures are incapable of considering the consequences prior to tweeting, they should not use the site - end of.........."

    and others have said, Cole has, with his tweeting, brought down the (for once) the rightful wrath of the FA on his own head. Its very hard to feel any sort of sympathy for such 'clown -like' behaviour!

    David Moyes seems to have got the right blend of players at Everton this season, 'those who can' and 'those who will' perform regularly. If they steer clear of any serious injury they could be a good outside bet for a top four spot come next May!

  • Comment number 63.

    @61 there is a big difference between disagreeing with your organisation, criticising their procedures, and pure facile childish abuse. If Cole disagrees, then fine, he is free to say so. But he is NOT free to proffer up the kind of abuse he did, and rightly so.

  • Comment number 64.

    Gotto agree with you there Chizzle.

  • Comment number 65.

    Baines excellent left-back, Cole World Class left-back that would make any International team or European Champions League team as first choice. If England lose Cole along with Terry (both players have without doubt been two of Englands most consistent and best players over the years) - I would say that qualifying for the World Cup will be much more difficult. As a Chelsea fan I think Cole should retire from the England team being called a liar by The F.A. is beyond acceptable and makes his position untenable as an England player. I also think Hodgson should quit as well for having to say sorry to Ferdinand for talking to a England fan openly about the players and their chances of being picked. Obviously Hodgson was angry about Terry resigning I think by telling the F.A. to get lost that would put them where they belong "up their own a...."

  • Comment number 66.

    #62 Georgiesthebest7
    "...If players/public figures are incapable of considering the consequences prior to tweeting, they should not use the site - end of.........."
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Do you really believe Cole cares about the consequences of tweeting.
    Do all players really care about playing for England. Do all players care about what the FA thinks.
    If all players did, then no player would ever call a halt to their international careers.

  • Comment number 67.

    56.At 11:34 7th Oct 2012, james0002 wrote:
    Why not have Baines playing in front of Cole? That would give us a solid left-side, with an actual left-footer on the left wing and also give us good delivery into the box.
    ________________________________

    Baines was a left winger when he was at the Liverpool academy , Wigan turned him into a left back.
    Ashley young is probably a better choice on the left wing for England.

    Cole has been Englands best performer over the last 10 years and still is our best left back.
    Baines is a good player but not as good as Cole at left back. Baines will also be 28 in December so he is not exactly a long term term replacement for Cole either.

  • Comment number 68.

    67.
    At 12:32 7th Oct 2012, repo wrote:

    56.At 11:34 7th Oct 2012, james0002 wrote:
    Why not have Baines playing in front of Cole? That would give us a solid left-side, with an actual left-footer on the left wing and also give us good delivery into the box.
    ________________________________

    Baines was a left winger when he was at the Liverpool academy , Wigan turned him into a left back.
    Ashley young is probably a better choice on the left wing for England.
    _________________________________

    Not if he plays like he did at Euro 2012.

    The Baines and Cole combo might be worth trying - Baines certainly knows how to deliver a good cross.

  • Comment number 69.

    Time to wind your neck in McNulty. Ashley Cole "again in trouble"... And while we're on the subject of winding necks in can we include Shearer who got off one of his many very dodgy elbows into opponents' faces because England desperately needed him for an upcoming international... oh yes and there a the time he kicked a player on the floor...

  • Comment number 70.

    Can't wait for Terry and Cole to retire and be finished with football. Fed up hearing about them. They and are such poor role models for our youth. Let's get Cahill and Baines in the team and move forward.

  • Comment number 71.

    Chizzle, @61 there is a big difference between disagreeing with your organisation, criticising their procedures, and pure facile childish abuse. If Cole disagrees, then fine, he is free to say so. But he is NOT free to proffer up the kind of abuse he did, and rightly so.

    I agree with you. It is about the way and tone you do it rather the actual words.
    I guess we all use different letters in the #BUNCHOFT***S which means that its real or intended meaning is somewhat dubious.
    I may be doing AC an injustice :lol: but I'm sure that spelling is not his strong(est) point.
    I do think he may have done a lot better for himself by playing the injured party with the FA and maybe even asked for an apology from them but instead he will no doubt get a fine (and suspension) for bringing the game into disrepute!! Silly boy!

  • Comment number 72.

    Let's wait until Baines has done anything under pressure like Cole routinely does before we say he's a better full back. Brained plays for a small friendly club with low expectations, which is why their manager is loved despite winning NOTHING in all his time there. At the city's other club, the boss got fired for delivering one more trophy that season than Moyes has in ten.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm a huge Liverpool fan, and I generally dislike everything to do with Everton - except Leighton Baines. I would have him in any Liverpool line-up, from any era, such is my admiration for the man. Baines is everything you want to see in a professional footballer, both on and off the pitch.

  • Comment number 74.

    Cole said what he said. Even if you agree that he was wrong to say it and people may use it as another stick to beat him with, I wonder how many agree with the sentiment?

    Let's take the amount the FA have paid for managers and the timing of some of the contract enhancements, let's take the cost of the new Wembley, lets take the length of time and eventual cost of a national training facility. Let's take the high profile resignations, let's take Faria Alam, let's take missing in action 'root and branch review. Let's take two failed World Cup bids. Am I missing anything else?

  • Comment number 75.

    Quite simply, Ashley Cole is one of the worst human beings to have walked the planet......

  • Comment number 76.

    #75 theonlywayisoldham

    Quite simply, yours is one of the dumbest, over the top, exaggerated for effect comments to have graced these blogs.....

  • Comment number 77.

    @28.

    Have you got your posts numbers confused? I never said anything about Cole being ignored or in decline.

  • Comment number 78.

    #76 MrBlueBurns

    Fair enough, on reflection a little dramatic, but most definitely one of the worst human beings to have played in the Premier League....

    He epitomises everything that is wrong with football in this country, and why we have such a bad reputation the world over...

    Chelsea fan are we?? Truth hurts??

  • Comment number 79.

    #78 theonlywayisoldham

    Chelsea fan, yes. See post #74. Be interested to hear your comments in perspective.

  • Comment number 80.

    I agree with all your points regarding the FA, the place is a complete shambles and in a way I suppose you can't blame Cole for the outburst because the way football is ran in this country you are pretty much allowed to get away with it...

    Yes he will recieve a fine and a slap on the wrist (possibly a 1-2 game ban) but this clearly isn't a deterrent and he will have known that before he posted what he posted.

    If there was a clear structure in place of if you do a and b then x and y will happen then this will at least make people stop and think before doing these ridiculous things time and time again....

    A £220,000 fine to me and you (I assume) would mean financial ruin, but for a well paid footballer it would probably bring the response "oh right, no problem Ill get that now for you from the boot of my car, £50 notes OK?"

    These situtaions ultimately are of the FA's making. The players know they can get away with it, therefore there is nothing there to stop them.....

  • Comment number 81.

    68.At 13:00 7th Oct 2012, BaggiosPonytail wrote:
    67.
    At 12:32 7th Oct 2012, repo wrote:

    56.At 11:34 7th Oct 2012, james0002 wrote:
    Why not have Baines playing in front of Cole? That would give us a solid left-side, with an actual left-footer on the left wing and also give us good delivery into the box.
    ________________________________

    Baines was a left winger when he was at the Liverpool academy , Wigan turned him into a left back.
    Ashley young is probably a better choice on the left wing for England.
    _________________________________

    Not if he plays like he did at Euro 2012.

    The Baines and Cole combo might be worth trying - Baines certainly knows how to deliver a good cross.
    _________________________________

    I am inclined to disagree.

    The game at International level is completely different concerning pace and tactics. We have seen many a time that a "good un" in the EPL just cant cut it at International level.

    Young may have flopped at the Euro´s but he has far more weapons in his armoury than Baines.

  • Comment number 82.

    78.At 14:42 7th Oct 2012, theonlywayisoldham wrote:
    #76 MrBlueBurns

    Fair enough, on reflection a little dramatic, but most definitely one of the worst human beings to have played in the Premier League....

    He epitomises everything that is wrong with football in this country, and why we have such a bad reputation the world over...
    __________________________________________

    On what basis do you arrive to that conclusion ?

    I live in mainland Europe and the only thing they ever say or write about Ashley Cole is that he is one of the best full backs in the world.

    I dont think there has been one word spoken or written about his personal life , unlike the British gutter press who love to vilify certain individuals.

  • Comment number 83.

    Some Everton fans complain that our players don't get enough attention or credit. I like it that way, please stop talking about us.

  • Comment number 84.

    #82 Repo

    I'm not talking about his personal life, I couldn't care less. I don't touch the tabloids for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I am talking about him as a FOOTBALLER, his actions surrounding FOOTBALL and his general attitude over the years....

    He epitomises everything that is wrong with FOOTBALL in this country.....

    I agree he is an exceptional left back... Lucky for him he has at least got that....

  • Comment number 85.

    80.At 14:57 7th Oct 2012, theonlywayisoldham wrote:
    Yes he will recieve a fine and a slap on the wrist (possibly a 1-2 game ban) but this clearly isn't a deterrent and he will have known that before he posted what he posted
    _______________________

    Just after losing to Spain in the world cup 2010 in a live interview Cristiano Ronaldo called Carlos Queiroz a clown.
    What did the Portuguese FA do , did they discipline Ronaldo .... no , they sacked Queiroz.

    I hardly think making a tweet about the FA is a reaon to Hang ashley cole out to dry.

    By the way I am not a Chelsea fan.

  • Comment number 86.

    84.At 15:12 7th Oct 2012, theonlywayisoldham wrote:
    #82 Repo

    I'm not talking about his personal life, I couldn't care less. I don't touch the tabloids for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I am talking about him as a FOOTBALLER, his actions surrounding FOOTBALL and his general attitude over the years....

    He epitomises everything that is wrong with FOOTBALL in this country.....
    ______________________________

    Now I am curious , what he has done on the football pitch that is so wrong ?

  • Comment number 87.

    Defending someone who clearly said a racist remark when you're stood watching them say it (on a football pitch).... for a start

    You must have seen the footage? Or have they not reported any of that on mainland Europe...

  • Comment number 88.

    #80 theonlywayisoldham

    Actually, I would say that if punishments are too prescribed you leave yourself no room for case by case discretion. How often do we hear in criminal cases that a given sentence is 'all the law allows'.

  • Comment number 89.

    #87 theonlywayisoldham

    Not sure why you are having a go at Cole really. Terry was cleared in a court of law. You say he said what he said, actually we only know he PROBABLY said what he said. And this was from an independent FA panel. How is it independent? Why is it the sentence comes before the verdict? Why is it the FA report?

    The FA have chosen to take all this because of the high profile. I think there is an irony that the FA have come out of it worse that the parties on the football pitch that day and I wouldn't say they have furthered the cause against racism at all.

  • Comment number 90.

    #82 Repo...

    Oh and i don't know what language offends you in mainland Europe but calling someone a "clown" and calling the FA a #BUNCHOFTW**S" isn't really considered in anywhere near in the same breath..........

  • Comment number 91.

    #89 MrBlue Burns

    I admire your loyalty to your players, I really do, but you seem like an intelligent bloke, you have seen the footage... Come on!

    I am an oldham fan and am therefore completely neutral, and I personally don't think Terry is a racist, how can he be in all seriousness, but he said what he said in the heat of the moment and has to pay for that....

    Terry not admitting it and subsequantley Cole defending him would surely make any self respecting decent person lose what little respect they had for them both.....

  • Comment number 92.

    There have always been spats in football but today they are publicised. It is unpleasant reading but it only shows football is just the same as any profession.

  • Comment number 93.

    For Cole to be mentioned in the same breath as Charlton, Moore, Shilton, Wright and even Beckham as the recipient of 100 caps would be a travesty!
    He should never play for England again.
    Additionally, Terry should have all his caps expunged from the record books. He is a disgrace.

  • Comment number 94.

    87.At 15:22 7th Oct 2012, theonlywayisoldham wrote:
    Defending someone who clearly said a racist remark when you're stood watching them say it (on a football pitch).... for a start

    You must have seen the footage? Or have they not reported any of that on mainland Europe...
    __________________________________

    You are right , nothing of any note was reported.

  • Comment number 95.

    #91 theonlywayisoldham

    Forget loyalty, I'm looking at facts and the impact on the bigger picture.

    And I still don't understand your point at #84.

  • Comment number 96.

    90.At 15:31 7th Oct 2012, theonlywayisoldham wrote:
    #82 Repo...

    Oh and i don't know what language offends you in mainland Europe but calling someone a "clown" and calling the FA a #BUNCHOFTW**S" isn't really considered in anywhere near in the same breath..........
    _________________________________________

    I think that if I stood up in the office in front of all the employees on Monday morning and called my boss a clown it would have the same consequences as calling him the "w" word.

    Dont you agree ?

  • Comment number 97.

    #96 Repo

    Not in my world mate....

    "Clown" - I would be reprimanded and i could probably but it down to stress or a bad day.

    "Bunch of Tw*ts" - My feet wouldnt touch the floor.

  • Comment number 98.

    Accepting the fact that the FA have made themselves look ridiculous, by not acting more quickly when they should have, the biggest loser in this is RDM at Chelsea.
    Going efficiently about his job, and with great success, the idiot behavior of players employed by Chelsea has heaped nothing but disgrace upon the name of Chelsea.
    Surprised they have not learned from how LFC handled the Suarez case.

    BTW......there really is no doubt about what Terry said is there? Forget club loyalty, EVERYONE can see what he said. Admit it, and get on with it.

  • Comment number 99.

    #98 lalx3

    Oh, come on, apart from a little work for the PR department, I doubt that Chelsea care very much. Many fans don't care so why should Chelsea?

    Di Matteo is doing fine irrespective of the questions that the media want to answer. Chelsea will stick to football. The media stick to selling column inches.

  • Comment number 100.

    97.At 15:55 7th Oct 2012, theonlywayisoldham wrote:
    #96 Repo

    Not in my world mate....

    "Clown" - I would be reprimanded and i could probably but it down to stress or a bad day.

    "Bunch of Tw*ts" - My feet wouldnt touch the floor.
    ___________________________

    I think you got that the wrong way around ?

    In the real world making it public that you think your boss is incompetent will certainly finish your carreer.

 

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