Never Look Back
“What makes players like me is fight, spirit, determination and ambition to be a winner” (Cole 357).
To truly be great, it takes dedication, and sacrifice. Cole voices his perseverance to play the game he loves more than anything else. This drive and determination, though not always welcome, was fundamental in the development of him becoming one of the world’s best footballers. My Defence, is an autobiography written by Ashley Cole, himself, outlining the ups and downs that many athletes endure throughout their careers.
At the young age of nine, Cole is recruited by the highly regarded Arsenal Academy. Cole continues to improve his game, while loving life at Arsenal, and receives a first team call up under Arsene Wenger. When Cole becomes a regular starter on Wenger’s squad, Arsenal’s “continental revolution” (14) of football propelled them into becoming the most feared team in England. In 2002, this dream team carves its name in history with the FA Cup and Premiership double along with the ‘invincible’ English Premier League (EPL) run of 49 league matches unbeaten. Everything seemed to be too good to be true for Cole and he wonders what could possibly go wrong. The following season, Cole requests a raise in his salary from £25,000 to £60,000 a week considering all the contributions he had made in the past few seasons. Cole, a key figure to Arsenal’s success, thought this is a reasonable request because he was amongst the likes of top players such as Thierry Henry and Sol Campbell. It took a bit of time for Arsenal to realize Cole’s quality and finally decided to agree to his request. What Cole didn’t know was that at the last minute, the board took £5,000 off his salary. This is when Cole realizes there are issues between him and the club. Cole believes that the club he once loved, as a player and as a fan, let him down too many times for him to stay happy and ultimately decides that his time with the North London club is over....
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