We’re about to make you all feel very old: Carlton Cole turns 34 in October. 34!
We can vividly remember when he first broke onto the scene with Chelsea during the early 2000s.
Back then, Cole was widely regarded as one of English football’s most promising young strikers; a teenager with an extremely bright future ahead of him.
Fast forward a decade-and-a-half and Cole is now in the autumn of his career, plying his trade for Persib Bandung in the Indonesian Super League.
Cole joined Persib back in March, signing a 10-months contract and reuniting with his former Chelsea teammate Michael Essien in the process.
However, the one-time England international has failed to hit the back of the net since joining the Indonesian champions.
Persib boss Umuh Muchtar has already seen enough of the misfiring centre-forward and wants him out of his club, according to the Daily Mail.
“He plays very badly compared to the other (foreign players) who have joined Persib,” Muchtar told AFP, per the Mirror. “He had the worst performance.”
Cole issues measured response on Instagram
Cole, needless to say, has been shocked by his manager’s personal - and very public - criticism.
The striker has now responded with a lengthy Instagram post. It’s a measured response and Cole has confirmed that, as things stand, he remains a Persib player.
Reports suggest Cole will have his contract terminated but, for now at least, he remains employed by the Indonesian club.
“I will be professional and calm as I usually am. But this direct attack on me for the whole season must stop. Look at yourself first before you point fingers at good people,” Cole posted.
“I was very surprised and disappointed what came out of Umuh Muchtar's mouth on sky sports news in England. And I would like to clarify I have a great relationship with Persib and everyone connected to the team. But this manipulation of the media has to stop somewhere because when you intentionally try to damage my career that I have worked so hard for it starts to get personal.
“I have not once mentioned this mans name in a bad way, he has not once supported me since I arrived at the club. And I haven't been treated fairly but I kept my mouth shut and worked hard and kept everything professional.
“I am still Persib player until I tell you otherwise. I have a 1 year contract here and I have enjoyed it so far even though I have had to turn a blind eye to these direct attacks from this man in the media.
“Anyway let's hope for the best in the near future for Persib Bandung. 💙🐯“
Cole: The manager doesn't want me to play
Cole also told talkSPORT that Muchtar didn’t want him at Persib, who are owned by Inter Milan president Erick Thor.
“I am fit as a fiddle," Cole revealed. "The manager didn’t bring me here and he doesn’t want me to play. That’s what’s going on.
“I have the full backing of the board. There’s a war going on in the club that I am a part of.
“He wants to bring his own players in so he can get paid. There’s a lot of things going on behind the scenes.
“I have started two games out of 16 because he has not wanted to play me.
“Me and Michael Essien are playing catch up. There’s no reserve league here.
“He’s trying to point fingers because of his bad management.
“I don’t like to leave unfinished business. I don’t want to be in the middle. The fans have been unbelievable.
“It’s very political, but I want to carry on here and progress with the team. I get the blame for everything!
“I am flabbergasted. The manager is trying to get me out. It’s difficult because of one guy. I will resolve it.”News Now - Sport News