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.
"Cesar Azpilicueta is fit," Mourinho told reporters. "I play Ivanovic right-back, Azpilicueta left-back. From the beginning Ashley Cole is not playing."