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Fuming Chelsea boss Mourinho benches Cole for Arsenal clash

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is furious with Ashley Cole after he celebrated Christmas with Arsenal's players this week. Cole was snapped at Arsenal's Christmas party just days before Monday's clash between the two clubs.

"On the bench or at home," was Mourinho's terse reply when asked about Cole's likely starting position. "He will not be playing from the beginning, no. I play Branislav Ivanovic right-back and Cesar Azpilicueta left-back.

"From the beginning, Ashley is not playing. Something can happen between now and then but, normally, I'll play Azpilicueta at left-back."

Mourinho, who said he had not confronted Cole, said: "I have my opinion but I keep it for myself. It was a free day for them, so I'm not a father. I'm a manager.

"I can control what they do when they are with me. I cannot control what they do when they are not with me. I don't want to comment.

"I've not even given my opinion to Ashley Cole because I don't have to. It was his free day, his free night. The next morning we didn't train. We only trained in the ­afternoon, so I have no right to make a comment. I won't. I just have my opinion."

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