Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that left back Ashley Cole will have to accept the bit-part role at the club, because of the continued good form of Cesar Azpilicueta.
Cole started as the first choice left-back this season, while Azpilicueta struggled to force his way into the starting XI. However, after Chelsea’s defeat away to Newcastle at the start of November, the England international has hardly featured for the Blues in the league. In fact, he just made one league appearance in the past six weeks.
The 33-year-old fears that lack of game time could hamper his place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad, but Mourinho insists that is not his concern.
When asked whether Cole can get a recall, Mourinho said as quoted in The Times:
“I don’t know. I’m very happy with the way Azpilicueta is performing. I cannot think about national teams at the same time as thinking about my team.
“There are national team managers who are very clear: they go with their players. It doesn’t matter if their players are playing in the club, or not. They go with their players.
“Others are influenced by whether the player is playing or not. There are different theories. There are people who like players who didn’t play particularly well in the season. Why? Because they are fresher, stronger, have more energy, don’t have the mental fatigue of competition, and are more ready. Other managers want players who perform fantastically well in the season. It’s up to them.”
Cole has only few months left on his contract and would become a free transfer next summer. Chelsea are willing to hand him another year of contract extension but whether the England defender will commit his future is still unknown.