What do you make of the Ashley Cole situation now at Chelsea?
Ashley Cole remains on the Chelsea bench week in, week out now under Jose Mourinho and I am won...
Ashley Cole remains on the Chelsea bench week in, week out now under Jose Mourinho and I am wondering how you see the situation at the moment. Is Mourinho right to leave him out?
I will admit to being surprised to see Jose Mourinho make a single change for the FA Cup game at Man City last weekend. I thought players that have hardly featured of late would be given a chance because let's face it (and I mean no disrespect to the competition), the Premier League and Champions League are our priority this season.
Once again though Ashley Cole remained an unused substitute and you have to wonder just where he stands with Mourinho at the moment.
Dropped for a poor performance (with others) at Newcastle, Cole played against Hull away a few weeks back but time and time again he was roasted down the wing. His lack of pace really became apparent. As a result, Cole has hardly featured since and with his contract up at the end of the season, you have to wonder whether or not this could be the last we see of him in a Chelsea shirt.
Asked if Cole could be given a run in the team in the coming weeks, Mourinho said:
"I don't know. I'm very happy with the way Azpilicueta is performing."
Without question the performances of Cesar Azpilicueta has played a huge part in Cole's absence. You can only imagine that Mourinho put him in the side at left back just to do a job for him and if anything he has now made that position his own.
Whether or not the left back position is where Azpilicueta should be playing is up for debate. Personally, I am a firm believer in playing these players in their strongest positions and that's right back for the Spaniard.
So what of Ashley Cole? Do you think at any time he has deserved a recall? Has there been any games in particular that he should have been brought back into the side?
The problem Cole has and it's the same with anyone of a certain age, that yard of pace you had begins to fade and in certain positions it makes a real difference.
He is 33 now (34 in December) and I do fear for his Chelsea future and his chances of making the England squad for Rio. He isn't playing games whereas others are despite Jose Mourinho stating recently that the fact that Cole would be fresh compared to others.
I still think that Cole has a part to play between now and the end of the season but it's choosing the right moment to play him.
Whatever happens, no one can ever thank Cole enough for making the switch from North to West London and playing such a huge part in our success.
Ashley Cole is and will remain a Chelsea legend.