July 22, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Chelsea FC defender Ashley Cole (3) controls the ball during the second half against Paris St. Germain at Yankee Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
A short while ago, Ashley Cole joined the world of Twitter. Ashley seemingly always displays excellent judgement in everything he does, so this seemed bound to be one of those boring, non-controversial types of accounts that probably wouldn't produce anything of interest. Sure enough, since he's joined we've all been treated to tweets like the following:
I am what I am!!! Winnerrr!!!! Hahahahahahah, 11 to me 0 for you!!! yfrog.com/h7i4jsoj— Ashley Cole (@TheRealAC3) July 22, 2012
Look, I love everything that Ashley Cole has done on the pitch for Chelsea since he came over from Arsenal. He's been the best left back on the planet for the majority of that time. I didn't lose any respect for Ashley due to the fact that he he was willing to move to a rival for a bigger paycheck, as frankly none of us are in a real position to judge him without bias here. This type of behaviour, though, I find very difficult to stomach. Having a bit of a laugh at obnoxious fans like Piers Morgan is one thing, taunting the entire fanbase for all the world to see is another thing entirely.
Footballers joining Twitter are going to open themselves up to loads of abuse, as rival fans will surely feel free to blast away at any opportunity. That's something that any footballer entering the social media world just needs to accept, as every fanbase has it's fair share of idiots. I'm sure this is easier for me to say from afar, but Ashley just needs to accept this fact and ignore these idiots if he's going to continue to use this account. The block button is his friend. Twitter can lead to some pretty bad things for those with little self control, as both Rio Ferdinand and Emmanuel Frimpong can clearly testify at this point.
At some point, I think it may be a wise thing for Chelsea to step in and moderate the use of social media by it's players. I love when guys like Yossi Benayoun of Ashley Cole give us a little insight to their future, but the behavior of Ashley in these instances just reflects badly on both the club and the player. With the potential for one poorly thought out comment to actually hurt the team on the pitch (or even laughing at one ridiculously offensive comment in the case of Rio), clubs really need to be proactive about monitoring this type of thing. Chelsea have always been excellent in terms of PR and marketing, so hopefully they continue that trend in their handling of social media. I fear that Ashley Cole will probably get himself in trouble if they don't.