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Football: Ashley Cole dropped against Arsenal after attending Gunners party

Published on Dec 20, 2013 10:30 PM
Chelsea's English defender Ashley Cole runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group E football match between Chelsea and Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge on Dec 11, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Ashley Cole will not start Chelsea's crucial English Premier League clash with leaders Arsenal, manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday, confirming the England international is no longer first-choice left-back at Stamford Bridge.

England international Cole, who has been out of favour in recent weeks, raised eyebrows by attending his former club Arsenal's Christmas party just days before the sides were due to meet at the Emirates Stadium.

"I have an opinion I keep for myself," Mourinho said about Cole's social life. "It was a free day for them, I am not a father, I am a manager. I cannot control what they do when they are not with me."

Mourinho, though, gave Cole three day's notice that he will not be starting on Monday, with Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta continuing in his position.

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