Ashley Cole joins Twitter - and the abuse is fast and furious
What on earth possessed former Arsenal full-back to think that joining Twitter would ever go well?
ASHLEY COLE has signed up to Twitter and already it's turning into one of the more colourful events in the short history of the social networking site. Within hours of opening his account on Sunday, the Chelsea and England left-back was swamped with abuse from football fans. The vast majority were disgruntled Arsenal supporters, who still haven't forgiven Cole for leaving the club for Chelsea six years ago.
The abuse, it has to be said, hasn't been very articulate. "Ugly smelly greasy oily sonofasmellybitchin prick shit cxxt. I hate ya pal", was about par for the course, this despite the fact that during John Terry's recent race trial Cole stuck up for Arsenal fans.
On that occasion a dim-witted barrister attempted to make a joke at Arsenal's expense as Cole stood in the witness box. "You used to play for Arsenal," the prosecution asked Cole. "Nobody makes any noise at the Emirates do they?" To which Cole replied acidly: "Am I supposed to laugh at that?"
But that hasn't appeared to soften the hearts of Gooners, who continue to loathe Cole for what they see as his betrayal of the club in 2006.
But is Cole bothered? It doesn't appear so. TV presenter and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan got the ball of bile rolling by tweeting: "You sold your soul for 5000 pieces of moolah", while the Chelsea star was also accused of being a "Judas" and a "vile little rat". Cole responded by uploading a photo of himself cradling the Champions League trophy.
Cole, a member of the Chelsea side that beat Bayern Munich in May to win Europe's premier club competition, then reminded Arsenal fans that in recent years their trophy cabinet has been doing nothing but gathering dust. "I am what I am!!! Winnerrr!!!! Hahahahahahah, 11 to me 0 for you!!!"
Eleven is the number of trophies Cole has won in his career, seven of them since leaving Arsenal for Chelsea. In contrast the Gunners have failed to add to their silverware collection since Cole departed for Stamford Bridge.
As the abuse continued to flood his Twitter account, Cole took it all in his cocky stride, writing: "Tut tut tut, love to give it out but cant take it when the truth is told, babies!!!! thought people on here had sense of humour!!!!!"
Realising that in fact genuine humour on Twitter is about as rare as, well, an Arsenal trophy, Cole attempted to reach out to Gooners. "Look, im not dissing arsenal, or the fans, i had many great years with the club, and have respect for you all, but dont all get upset."
When that didn't work Cole joked that he could "feel the love" for him coursing through cyberspace before suggesting that on Twitter "some people are crazy".
But is Cole the crazy one for signing up for Twitter? As one of his 114,500 followers wrote: "On what planet must Ashley Cole be living if he thought for one moment that joining Twitter was ever going to go well?"