Cole pays price for late night

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Carlton Cole will be fined by West Ham for a breach of club discipline after he was arrested by police while out driving in the early hours of Tuesday.

The 24-year-old striker was stopped in his Audi Q7 on Victoria Embankment near the River Thames at 4.25am. He was given a roadside breath test and taken to a nearby police station, where he was later bailed to return in mid-November.

"He will be fined, he knows that. We are going to deal with it but the player understood 100% that he made a mistake. He is ready to take the fine the club is going to give him." said Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola.

"I spoke to him and he is very sorry at being out at such a time. He wasn't drunk, which was a very good thing. He has just been out late in the night.

Zola has been impressed by Cole's development, both on and off the field, since he last encountered him as a team-mate at Chelsea.

Last weekend Zola suggested Cole had the potential to play for England after his performance as a lone striker in West Ham's 3-1 victory over Newcastle.

Now Zola has warned Cole any international aspirations could be scuppered by a lack of discipline.

"I am disappointed with him but that doesn't take away all the chances that he has got," said the Italian.

"He knows that he can't do this kind of thing, especially if he wants to achieve high levels. If he wants to play for the national team he can't afford to do things like that.

"He has realised and he is very sorry for that. Carlton is a changed player. He is very much matured. He knows he has got a great chance and I am sure he is going to take it."

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Carlton Cole
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United

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