Football Football

Mourinho goes cold on Cole


ASHLEY-COLELONDON, England, February 19-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists he won’t be pressured into selecting Ashley Cole despite the defender’s fears of losing his starting place for England.

The 32-year-old full-back has been on the fringes at Stamford Bridge this term, with Mourinho preferring to deploy right-back Cesar Azpilicueta in place of the England international.

Cole, who is out of contract in the summer, was recently handed the chance to stake his claim for a starting berth in the absence of the injured Branislav Ivanovic, but has been consigned to the bench once more following the return to fitness of the Serbia international.

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil arguably presents Cole with his last real chance to taste success with the Three Lions, although he faces stiff competition from the likes of Leighton Baines and Kieran Gibbs for that coveted starting berth at left-back.

However, Mourinho feels a lack of playing time could be beneficial if England manager Roy Hodgson is looking to start with a player who is not fatigued after a long domestic campaign.

When asked if Cole’s World Cup aspirations would influence his team selection between now and the end of the Premier League season, Mourinho said: “I cannot think in national teams at the same time as thinking about my team.

“There are national team managers that are very clear: they go with their players. It doesn’t matter if their players are playing in the club, (if) they are not playing, they go with their players.

“All these years as a club manager, I found lots of them like this.

“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.”

-TEAMtalk Media