Date:Tuesday January 9 2007
Andy Cole may be the second highest Premier League goalscorer of all time, but you have to ask: while he was busy building a career as a respected marksman, did he ever set aside time to learn how to be a loyal team player?
On recent evidence you'd have to say not.
Since leaving Man Utd in 2002 Cole has had spells at Blackburn, Fulham, City and now Portsmouth.
To the disgust of the City faithful the veteran striker left Eastlands right at the end of the last summer transfer window, when Pompey waved a few extra quid in front of his nose - despite City nursing him through a six month injury which had ruled him out of fully half of the previous season.
Since recovering from an early season knock he has had to bide his time to break back into an over-achieving Portsmouth side - and he's clearly not happy about it.
'I don't expect to play 38 games, I don't think I could. But I do believe I could play 25 to 30 games," said Cole.
'I have sat about on the bench for four months. I am not going to lie, I do get frustrated.
"You won't score too many goals sitting on your arse. When I came here in the summer I said I wanted to play football, I hadn't just come here for a little jolly.
'That's not me, I'd prefer to jack it in rather than do that.'
Cole shouold take a look at the example of players like Solskaer and (latterly) Larsson, who have suppressed their egos for the good of the team whilst still giving their substantial all when called upon.
Did Larsson not win the Champions League from the bench for Barca last season?
The older Cole gets, the more unloveable he becomes - and at a time when City's finely-balanced season rests in the hands of an already impressive assortment of wasters and spongers (as discussed elsewhere on this site) it makes me glad in retrospect that we're shot of him.
Blood, sweat and tears beats innate talent any day of the week, in my book.
Look at Bolton...
(With City's current dearth of genuine striking options, do you think they should have made more of an effort to keep Cole in the summer?)
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