Ashley Cole's fall from grace this season has been a sudden one, with the Chelsea star confirming yesterday he has played his final game for the club.
Cole made only 15 starts this season in the Premier League, and is now deciding upon his next move amid reported interest from abroad.
Real Madrid, AC Milan and Monaco have all been linked with his signature, and will have been impressed by his end of season performance against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.
That assured display caused many to ask why he played just 57 minutes of football between late January and early April.
Cesar Azpilicueta's emergence pushed him down the pecking order, but was his time out of the line-up accelerated by manager Jose Mourinho's lack of patience with off-field issues?
A report in The Mail claims so, hinting at two reasons behind Cole's season ending up without being offered a new deal.
The paper claims that Cole's attendance at the Arsenal Christmas party, his former club, was a turning point for Mourinho.
He is said to have asked him to reconsider his plans ahead of his night out, and was angry when photos emerged of the defender partying with rival players. Andre Schurrle was at the party too but was afforded leniency due to being a new arrival at the club.
The second reported reason behind Cole's axe is said to be Mourinho's unhappiness at Cole's refusal to cut out smoking, despite his repeated requests.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger publicly criticised with Jack Wilshere earlier this season after he was pictured smoking outside a nightclub.
Mourinho's attitude is like that of Sir Alex Ferguson, if a player defies him, then he will consider getting rid of them. An egotist like the former United boss, if he thought he was losing face in front of his players and instructions not being followed, he would take a tough stance.
Cole is unlikely to be the last player to rub Mourinho up the wrong way, but if the current squad have learned from his actions, they will not be attending next year's Arsenal Christmas party.