Date:Wednesday February 6 2013
Tonight, Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Ashley Cole will start for England, thereby winning his 100th cap.
Cole becomes only the 7th England player to achieve this milestone, following in the footsteps of:-
• Peter Shilton - 125 caps
• David Beckham - 115 caps
• Bobby Moore - 108 caps
• Bobby Charlton - 106 caps
• Billy Wright - 105 caps
• Steven Gerrard - 100 caps
However, once again the tabloid press have brought up the insinuation that Cole is a player who divides opinion, courtesy of his off-the-pitch antics, something which Cole swept aside at his post match interview, remarking,
"I don`t want to keep on about wanting to be loved."
"I`m here to play football and I want to win trophies in an England shirt."
Cole, however, has been stuck on 99 caps for a while, having missed a couple of internationals due to injury, but that has seemed to work in his favour when it comes to providing some illustrious opponents for his 100th cap, with Cole further rremarking,
"They are one of the best teams you can play against so to win my 100th cap against them is going to be amazing."
As a young lad, like most of us, Ashley obviously had ambitions, but the left-back is honest enough to admit that he never dreamed that he`d get as far as he has, commenting,
"From being a little boy in the East End, you never think you would get a chance to represent your country."
"I am proud, privileged and overwhelmed by how many times I have played for England. I hope it doesn`t stop there."
With Leighton Baines coming up on the rails, Ashley knows he has some serious competition for that left-back spot and it will be interesting to see how he gets on,
But, in this game of ours, perhaps the highest praise you can get comes from your fellow professionals, Steven Gerrard, who has always received his fair share of stick from Vital Chelsea, has stepped forward to give his views on Cole, remarking,
"When Ashley marked Ronaldo he was superb and had him in his pocket."
"There aren`t too many defenders who can say they`ve ever done that."
"If the crowd takes a moment to think about what Ashley has given in an England shirt over the last 10, 12 years, it`s been phenomenal. He has been probably the most consistent player I have played with."
Praise indeed and with Stuart Pearce, a very accomplished left-back himself, suggesting that Ashley Cole is the best left-back England have ever had, we can only hope that Ashley Cole, tonight, gets the welcome he deserves from those inside Wembley Stadium.
Date:Wednesday February 6 2013
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