Belfast Telegraph

Ashley Cole: I didn't blank Capello

Ashley Cole was last night denying accusations that he blanked England manager Fabio Capello after Manchester United defeated his Chelsea side in yesterday’s Community Shield.

The controversial full-back was pictured walking past the outstretched hand of the England coach as he strolled past dignitaries in the Royal Box — causing a stir among those who saw the incident.

Sources close to Cole last night claimed that the player didn’t see Capello as he walked along with his head bowed and that the snubbing of the handshake was not intentional.

Despite a number of World Cup squad members being axed, Capello did include Cole in the England squad for Wednesday’s home friendly against Hungary when it was named on Saturday evening.

Other England players, including John Terry and Wayne Rooney, did shake hands with Capello.

Meanwhile Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted his side deserved to lose after they went down 3-1 to a slick Manchester United side.

“It was a better day for them; they played better than us. They deserved to win,” he said.

The defeat was Chelsea's fourth in a row in the build-up to their defence of the Premier League, which starts against West Brom on Saturday.

Ancelotti once again shrugged off their poor pre-season form, insisting his World Cup players had not had enough time to get back up to speed.

“We need for the players who came back on July 26 to have more time to train,” he said.

“Obviously, we are disappointed because losing the game was not good for us. Now, we have to look forward with optimism, with trust.”

However, the Italian admitted the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba would not be match fit for another fortnight.

He confirmed goalkeeper Petr Cech would be fit for Saturday's opener, while Alex will also return to training this week.

The Chelsea boss also revealed Deco's move to Fluminense was not yet a done deal, but admitted his departure would open up a spot in the Stamford Bridge midfield.

That is set to be filled by Brazil midfielder Ramires, whose £18million transfer from Benfica has still to be rubber-stamped.

“Nothing is decided,” Ancelotti said.

Belfast Telegraph


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