Zola defends Cole's omission

CARLTON COLE S surprise omission from the starting line-up at Chelsea was down to a lack of training during the week, according to boss Gianfranco Zola. Cole (left) was used for just the last 23 minutes as West Ham crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Stamford Brid

CARLTON COLE'S surprise omission from the starting line-up at Chelsea was down to a lack of training during the week, according to boss Gianfranco Zola.

Cole (left) was used for just the last 23 minutes as West Ham crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, but the manager had an excuse for his demotion to the bench.

"The reason why I played Mido is because Carlton Cole has been struggling recently, he has only trained twice," revealed Zola.

"Sometimes the knee problem he has, after certain games he might need to take a bit more rest.


You may also want to watch:


"It's not a big deal, it isn't a big issue. I just thought it was an opportunity to rest him and give a chance to somebody who has been training very well."

Zola's revelation prompted suggestions that Cole's knee injury may be something that will affect him in the future, but the manager was quick to pour cold water on that idea.

Most Read

"It has just been this week where he has not been able to train all week," he insisted. "This time was an opportunity to give someone else a chance."

Zola also left out Alessandro Diamanti from the starting line-up as the boss looked for more pace in his 4-5-1 formation.

"I believe when we play away from home, especially in games like this one, I need a quicker player, somebody that could help defensively and at the same time break quickly," he said.

"I thought I wanted to play a counter-attack game, so I played Kieron Dyer and Ilan. They are quick players and they could cause problems to Chelsea on quick breaks.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter