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Ashley Cole hits back at critics, takes a swipe at Major League Soccer

Jul 23, 2014, 8:07 AM EDT

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New AS Roma left back Ashley Cole has been picking fights with fans on social media.

This could only go one way…

After leaving Chelsea this summer after eight years at the West London club and winning every trophy known to man, 33-year-old Cole had plenty of options on the table. Reportedly, plenty of those were in Major League Soccer as Cole was long-linked with a move to the New York Red Bulls.

However, after fans criticized his decision to sign with Roma this summer, Cole has had enough and has hit out at the negative comments towards his move and a potential deal to join MLS. Inadvertently Cole has slapped MLS in the face, a little.

In a series of Tweets, Cole had the following to say.

“Before I signed at Roma people were killing me about (possibly) playing (in the USA), saying it’s for the money and easy lifestyle, I choose to play in a more demanding place and team and people still feel the need to moan. How about you just worry about your team and I’ll worry about mine.”

Fair enough.

Cole specifically mentioned the MLS in the series of Tweets as he publicly stated his opinion that the Serie A is a more demanding league. It may well be. However, is there really any need to have a shot at MLS?

We all know and love the league and it’s on the way up, plus we all know the league is working hard to improve its level of play on the pitch and to keep improving overall. Do we really need Cole’s opinion? Eh, he’s entitled to it but it does seem a little tasteless.

You stay classy, Ashley.

  1. mj2sexay - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Really? I don’t think it’s taking a shot at MLS as it is stating the obvious. I get that Serie A isn’t the powerhouse it once was, but it’s still miles ahead.

    • mvktr2 - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      It’s Europe, they’re kilometers ahead. ;)

  2. mdac1012 - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    He isn’t purposely going after MLS, it’s just a guy who has tended to be a punching bag in the past for the English media defending himself. Nothing he stated wasn’t true, plus he still gets Champions League football at AS Roma, something he might not have gotten if he stayed in England.

  3. 5thliner - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    I love the MLS and my city doesn’t even have a team but if someone wanted to “take a swipe” at the league, it wouldn’t be that hard. The league is still new and is progressively growing. We’ll get there!

  4. nychalla - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    but he’s not lying tho…MLS has a handful of really good players(ex-euro league players included), but overall, its not even a contest to most of the Euro leagues…

  5. ydj1120 - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Stop being so sensitive, Joe. Cole said nothing but the truth.

  6. rjbjronline - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    I won’t be able to take the MLS seriously until they drop the “Sporting”, “Real”, and “City” from their team names. These words have meaning in other countries, they are meaningless in the US. It makes the MLS look silly.

    • mdac1012 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:27 AM

      I don’t know what the names would really have to do with the quality of football on the pitch? Real Salt Lake may sound a little silly, but Sporting Kansas City is “Sporting” because it is owned by the Sporting Group, which also holds other properties besides a MLS franchise. NYCFC has “City” because one, they will play in New York City, perhaps you have heard of the place. And two, because all the teams owned by Manchester City ownership have “City” in the name, i.e. Melbourne City of the A-League.

    • lyleoross - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Not to mention that a big chunk of our towns and cities have names based on European cities. Those that don’t took Native American style names. Even more so, peruse European clubs that came on line after the first tier of clubs did, take a look at South American clubs. Utilizing name structures from European clubs or from more established clubs is a fine tradition. I think it shows respect to the traditions of the game.

      • mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Not to mention that the clubs are piggybacking on the European tradition, trying to assoceate themselves with a long history of excellence that they themselves lack.

      • lyleoross - Jul 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad strategy. I can’t count the number of companies with great names and lousy products. Marketing 101.

    • lorenzo463 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      I used to feel the same way, but there is actually a long history of naming your club after a previously existing famous club. There are Arsenals in Argentina and Brazil, Wanderers in Uruguay and Chile, an Everton in Chile, and a Rangers in Chile, all probably named after the European clubs. Corintians in Sao Paulo were named for an English club who no longer exist. There are “United” “Athletic” and “Sporting” teams everywhere. Why isn’t it silly for the team in Lisbon to be called “Sporting” when in Portuguese it should be “Esportivo”? So while the idea of taking a word or name from a team where the word had a specific meaning and applying it to your team without that meaning may seem like classic Euro-snob behavior, it is actually a very old tradition.

  7. dubdiz12 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    I’m fairly certain he references MLS based on what was said to him. He called Roma a more demanding place and team (Serie A and Champs League) which is nothing but true. It’s not a swipe at all.

  8. Scott Ludwig - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    And where is this “swipe at MLS” here? Sounds like Cole was tired of defending a move to Serie A, nothing more.

  9. lunasceiling - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    How on earth was that a “shot at MLS?” That Serie A is the more demanding league is obvious. His language wasn’t demeaning. Tempest, meet teacup…

  10. drewvt6 - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    People are missing the point. Serie A teams are more demanding than MLS teams. That was Juergen’s biggest axe to grind with US players playing in the United States. There’s little accountability in the public eye for mistakes. If Omar makes 3 mistakes in 3 major games in LA, he may come under pressure from the coaches but there’s not public pressure to never make that mistake again. If a guy makes a mistake for an NFL team or an NCAA football team, he can’t turn on his radio, his tv, can’t go to the store, can’t pickup the paper without hearing about it. That pressure drives people to perform at a higher level. Some people have that drive without that pressure (see: Thierry Henry, David Beckham) others do not (See: Every failed DP).

  11. ricktcarr - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Seems the writer is more offended than the commentators.
    Look, get over it!!!
    Whatever it is, US mentality (old English style soccer), US coaches and most definitely the grip that low soccer IQ people have over US youth soccer must be changed; both Rafa Marquez and Beasley showed that the Mexican League is more demanding and prepares you better than the MLS does.
    Someone has to realize that the model is wrong, and they need to look for models elsewhere rather than the English style which clearly is not working. How about the Dutch for instance..
    So suck it up, and enjoy old fading stars..

    • dkerth01 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      Rafa Marquest couldn’t cut it in MLS, Mexico (ful of Liga MX players) was ousted from the World Cup earlier than the US, and Beasley was Beasley long before he played in Mexico. Liga MX is not more demanding or better preparation than MLS… Ashley Cole is 100% correct and Serie A is absolutely more demanding.

      There’s nothing wrong with the direction of MLS or the caliber of player it’s producing… it’s just not quite “there’ yet, but it gets closer every year. And it’s already closed the gap with Liga MX.

      Don’t forget Liga MX is a relegation/promotion league, which means it’s top-heavy with a lot less parity than MLS. MLS teams play the top-flight Liga MX teams almost exclusively. Top to bottom, the quality of MLS is every bit equal to Liga MX. I watch some Liga MX games and America, Cruz Azul, Chivas (in the past) usually field strong teams, but some of those bottom-table teams can be absolute junk… nothing close to the quality of a lower-placed MLS team.

      • mvktr2 - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Gave ya a thumbs up dkerth01 but diagree about the quality of lower level Liga MX teams. I believe they’re still better than lower level MLS or mid-level MLS teams. I’m a huge MLS fan and believe in the vision ‘The Don’ has laid out, can’t wait to see what salary structures look like after the new CBA. That said because of the salary constraints the majority of bench/squad players on every MLS team are not good soccer players. Generally speaking MLS teams possess 5-13 players of some quality. The academy system has already impacted this in a positive way and should produce rather substantial and surprising results for the uninitiated over the coming decade.

        As for ricktcarr he’s the guy that’ll be saying yep I was a fan way back in the day in 25 years when MLS is a top 5 league in world football.

      • ayevarviva - Jul 24, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        You only have to see the results of the CONCACAF champions league to see which league is superior. Grew up watching Liga MX but I still love MLS. Liga MX>>MLS

        But Liga MX will fall flat on its face if owners can continue to own multiple clubs

  12. mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    “How about you just worry about your team and I’ll worry about mine.”

    Exactly. Cole is damned if he signs with a BPL team, damned if he signs with a Serie A team, damned if he signs with a MSL team, and I have no doubt that he’d be damned if he signed with a team in La Liga, Bundesliga, or any other league.

    I don’t know what the problem is with this alleged writer, but Cole’s response was as neutral as it could be. It seems to me that someone is just stirring the pot, and it’s not Cole.

  13. dkerth01 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Wow… I love me some MLS… but this article is ridiculous. Somebody get Joe Prince-Wright a tissue!

    I’m shocked this guy can function, being this easily offended must make it difficult to get out of the house.

  14. braxtonrob - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    He needs to stop reading other people’s tweets; they’re twits.

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