Is Cole paying for being Merry with the Arsenal?

Is Cole paying for being Merry with the Arsenal?

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has refused to criticise defender Ashley Cole for attending Arsenal’s Christmas party on Monday evening, however in his pre-match press conference he made a point of explaining that the England man would remain on the bench.

When asked about the incident Mourinho said “I keep my opinion to myself – it was a free day for them,” I’m not a father, I’m a manager.

“From the beginning Ashley’s not playing.”

He continued: “But today is Friday, the game is Monday. Something can happen in between.

“I play Branislav Ivanovic right-back, I play Cesar Azpilicueta left-back, I play John Terry and I have to choose between Gary Cahill and David Luiz.”

Cole has lost his place to Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta in recent weeks and Mourinho does not seem inclined to get Cole back into the team, even when his side are struggling for clean sheets.

Knowing how much Mourinho values loyalty it seems unlikely Cole will be recalled anytime soon and questions will be raised over his long term future at Stamford Bridge.

Cole will be able to meet up with his old Arsenal team-mates once again on Monday when the teams meet in a top of the table clash at The Emirates Stadium.

For more details on this story go to BBC online.