Ashley Cole is widely regarded as one of the best left backs over the last decade, but at 33 years of age, he was deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea in the summer. The former Arsenal man not only announced his retirement from international duty, but he also surprised many by joining Roma on a free transfer. Since moving to the Italian outfit, he has been playing on a regular basis. This persuaded manager Rudi Garcia to start with the experienced campaigner in the Champions League group match against Bayern Munich.

Roma came into the match with a real opportunity to cement their position in the group after getting a 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the previous round. City were seen as the early favourites to finish second in the group behind Bayern, but the Premier League outfit are yet to get a win.

Hence, Garcia went with a strong line-up against Bayern but his players performed very poorly and were thrashed 7-1. This was one of the highest scores in the Champions League group stages. Cole was having a tough time against Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben and he was substituted at half-time. Garcia, though, has defended the performance of Cole by saying that the former Chelsea man was not the only one to play poorly against the Germans.

“The defeat against Bayern wasn’t just down to one player. Everyone got things wrong, the Coach included. Ashley has also had big games where he’s played well, such as the game with Manchester City not long ago [a 1-1 draw at the Etihad].

He’s feeling good, he’s always positive and he’s a great champion, he’ll be involved in the upcoming games,” said Garcia. Roma started the season in brilliant fashion, but their form of late has been rather worrying with just one win in the last five.