Ashley Cole will, according to the Telegraph, not be heading to Brazil this summer. The left back, behind Cesar Azpilicueta for much of the season, has reportedly been left out of Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad and refused the chance to be named on the standby list.
Presumably, Southampton left back Luke Shaw -- rumour has it that Manchester United have lodged a 27 million bid for him, by the way -- will be on the plane in Cole's place. The teenager's inclusion makes some sense, since he'll be part of the England setup for far longer than 33-year-old Cole, but you'd have to imagine that in the later stages Hodgson will rue the fact that neither Shaw nor probable starter Leighton Baines have the experience or talent to conduct a rearguard action against the world's top attacking talent.
Even if Cole's not heading to the World Cup,107 caps isn't too bad a haul.
I got the call from Roy and agree England team should be about the young players. I think it best I retire from England team now.— Ashley Cole (@TheRealAC3) May 11, 2014