MLS Player Tracker: Offseason Moves (Feb. 5-6)
Indeed, it was the first question asked the new Galaxy
signing, who has frequently vacationed in Los Angeles, had been tipped to be coming to MLS in 2014 but instead signed with Roma.
“Of course, I knew I was going to get this question,” Cole said at Friday's Galaxy press conference to introduce him and Jelle Van Damme. "I'm not going to come here and try to defend myself. It was said."
Jelly Van Damme, Brice Arena, Ashley Cole. Galaxy Photo.
He said it was taken out of context -- or rather he was repeating what he was said to him an interview with an Italian journalist.
"He kind of said it to me," Cole said, "'We're glad to have you at Roma, we didn't expect you to be here, we thought you'd go relax on the beach.' In the interview, I've said it, yes. It's come out my mouth. But, of course, you have to understand that I was at a new team and I have to kind of tell the fans that at Roma I was here to fight, I was there to influence and play in the Champions League in Europe. Of course, I hold my hands up. It was said. I have to deal with it. I hope I can kind of change the views of me coming here."
The view of many is that Cole is at 35 over the hill and won't be able to survive in MLS.
“I have had other offers from the USA,” he revealed then, “but I'm not ready to relax on a beach yet.”
Cole said he spoke with former England teammates Steven Gerrard at the Galaxy and Frank Lampard at New York City FC and Galaxy captain Robbie Keane.
"I've spoken to them on many occasions [about] how difficult it is," Cole said. "I spoke to the manager [Galaxy coach Bruce Arena] how difficult it is with the traveling, the demands of the game over here. I know it's going to be hard for me, for sure. But I'm happy to be here."
Cole said he wasn't coming to Los Angeles to sit on the beach.
"I'm here to play football and work hard," he said. "I'm not a diva, I'm not an egotistical guy that comes and thinks he's bigger than anyone. I'll come here and work as hard as I can."