Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole had to sit out England’s 4-1 victory over Montenegro at Wembley on Friday night with a rib injury and has been ruled out of the final World Cup qualifier against Poland.
Roy Hodgson had hoped that the 32-year-old would be fit for the crucial Poland fixture on Tuesday night but has been left disappointed, it isn’t yet clear if he’ll be fit for selection for Chelsea’s home match against Cardiff on Saturday either.
The fullback has been a mainstay for the Three Lions for over a decade and has 105 caps to his name, but his stand-in Leighton Baines performed well against Montenegro and may even keep his place in the XI longer as Cole has not been in the best of form this season, and has looked uncertain for at least the last 18 months in my opinion with a lot of goals being shipped from his flank.
Anyway, that’s a debate for another day, it’s a pity that he won’t be in the England squad at Wembley for the Poland game as his sort of experience can prove invaluable in crunch situations and despite so-so form he still has a few big performances in him.
I’m curious to know if he will be risked against Cardiff though and would quite like to see Ryan Bertrand given a chance in the back four. Jose Mourinho has rotated in all sorts of positions this season but has largely kept with the same fullback pairing even though you could make a good case for Cesar Azpilicueta to play more often in particular, whilst Bertrand impressed when Cole was absent with injury last season.
Cole may be out for England but both Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill are fighting fit for the Three Lions and should feature tomorrow night.