Ashley Cole's demotion to second-choice left back (behind a second-choice right back, no less) has been generally seen as marking the end of his Chelsea career. After all, he has seven months to run on his current deal. Surely this is his last season?
Think again, says the manager:
I think sometimes even if you are not playing every game and are not a first-choice player, like he once was, sometimes it means you are not in good condition or deserving a new contract. I think that he’s fine and he will show that.
Naturally, with the evolution of the season, he will play matches. Can he recover or not 100 per cent his position? I don’t know. But he will always play and I think naturally he will get his contract because he’s a valuable player for us.
I'm not entirely sure that this makes a lot of sense, because paying Cole requires quite a lot of money, and that doesn't make much sense if he's not going to be a first-choice player. Mourinho's also not in charge of whether Cole gets his contract or not, and I'd suspect that Michael Emenalo has a different view of things, especially in light of Patrick van Aanholt's progress at Vitesse.
Oh, and Cole will start against Steaua Bucharest.
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