Chelsea left back Ashley Cole looks likely to be left out of the England team to face San Marino, following the abusive tweet he directed at the FA following the John Terry racism case. The Football Association had described the evidence given by Cole in the case as being "unreliable", leading the defender to respond with an outburst on the social networking site.
Cole subsequently apologised for the tweet, but the smart bets at sports betting and online casino sites are now very much on him being excluded from England’s line-up against San Marino, as the FA is under considerable pressure to censure the player. He is currently close to achieving the milestone of one hundred England caps, and prior to this latest controversy, many considered that he would be made the captain, in recognition of this – with manager Roy Hodgson having stated that he was considering this option.
Now, however, you would get long odds at any sports betting site on him featuring in the game at all, with Hodgson seeming likely to judge his presence to be a distraction that the team doesn’t need ahead of a qualifying match. Furthermore, there is considerable anger amongst many England supporters at the behaviour of high profile players like Terry and Cole, and both Hodgson and the FA will be aware the Cole would likely receive a hostile reception from the supporters – which in turn would create a difficult atmosphere for the other players.
Should Cole be left out of this match, and the following one against Poland, it means he could have to wait until 2013 to secure his one hundredth cap, but there is a strong feeling within the game that his actions need to be punished. His club manager – Roberto Di Matteo – has confirmed that he will be disciplined internally by Chelsea, and it would be hard for Hodgson to persist with him for the upcoming games in the wake of this.