Derby’s signing of Ashley Cole smacks of a jobs for the boys

Derby County have signed up 38-year-old Ashley Cole to aid their promotion push and our writer feels it’s a step in the wrong direction for the club…

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Frank Lampard is showing signs of negligence by signing Ashley Cole for Derby County.

Not too many will argue that Cole would make most all-time Premier League XIs at left back, but at the tender old age of 38, this smacks of a ‘jobs for the boys’ gesture.

Considering he was released by LA Galaxy as they failed to make the playoffs under his captaincy, it’s not even a good PR stunt to bring him in anymore – a serious undertone to Lampard’s appointment in the first place.

Let’s be realistic for a second if we may – he’s hardly coming in to set an example for any youngsters either.

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So what exactly is this? Derby County plough millions every year into youth development, but a bloke whose next stop could be Celebrity Big Brother if this ends badly is given free reign to bring in an old colleague in a move that makes absolutely no footballing sense.

It’s actually borderline farcical and you’d be mortified as a Derby County supporter.

It’s not as if they haven’t experienced enough heartbreak over the last decade, is it?

But regardless of their near misses in recent times, they’re a proud club whose fanbase deserve better than being a notch on the Wikipedia page of Chelsea’s all-time top scorer.

Ownership have sacrificed history to be little more than a publicity stunt in a footballing nation already trending in that direction in the first place.

Some footballing environs have been kept relatively untouched though and the prestige associated with Derby County isn’t one that’s been manufactured by uninterested billionaires nor bloated by parachute payments.

In the top two tiers of English football, very few clubs can actively say they represent the population local to where they play. Derby is one of those and this acquisition puts that in jeopardy.

The Rams could easily be hijacked and sent into the corporate stratosphere like so many are done by their owners; this PR-driven push might actually be coming from the manager’s office and that’s alarming.

To grant the power to Lampard to bring Ashley Cole in and undercutting a relatively successful youth policy is harmful.

It doesn’t aid Derby County’s ambitions to produce players, it doesn’t make an immediate impact on their promotion hopes and he’s far from an ambassador for the club.

So, what exactly is going on?

Is Lampard too young for managerial exposure? He’s showing signs of real strain; resorting to tried and tested, but outdated methods.

Relying on your friends might be a good life principle, but dear Frank must be reading too many self-help books if he thinks this move will benefit his career.

If the board are okay with this signing, regardless of cost, then they’re accepting the changing of a tide at the club.

If you have aspirations to play in the top tier, your signings should either reflect that or fit in with the policy of the manager you’ve backed financially.

Cole certainly doesn’t tick boxes for the first criteria, and if he fits into Lampard’s plans, then Derby County’s exodus from the top tier will be extended beyond the wildest dreams of the spineless decision-makers.

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What do you think?