Thursday, 13th February, 2014

Ashley Cole's lack of game time at Chelsea this season could have serious implications at this summer's World Cup, as Roy Hodgson prepares to make some tough decisions.

Cole has been on the bench in the last five Premier League games, after a similar period of inaction last year – he went unused in seven-straight games.

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The left-back is facing some intense competition in the England ranks through Leighton Baines, with Cesar Azpilicueta doing the same at Chelsea.

It does not bode well for the 33-year-old's World Cup campaign, despite having long crossed the 100-cap mark with England.


Hodgson remains on the fence over Cole for now, but was quoted by the BBC as saying: "I certainly wouldn't write Ashley Cole out of any plans because he wasn't playing in his club team.

"But he will have to accept like everyone else that competition for his place in the club team and international team gets stronger all the time, and I will have a decision to make.

"We know what Ashley can do. We know how fit he keeps himself, how experienced he is.

"It's a bit of a problem when you are a full-back – you either play or you are an understudy. For years people have been understudy to Ashley. Now it's Ashley's turn to sit back."

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