While Ashley Cole is in line to make his 100th international cap against Brazil on Wednesday, England captain Steven Gerrard is urging fans to show their respect and support for his achievement.
The Chelsea left back is hardly one of the most popular figures in the Premier League and has not always received the warmest of welcomes from his country’s supporters.
Regardless of the wrongs that have led to him never being far from controversy, Cole has consistently been the best left back in this country for the best part of a decade and should earn the respect that his performances have merited.
Gerrard who picked up his 100th cap against Sweden in November said, “I think it’s very important the Wembley crowd respects what Ashley has done for England.
“I think if the fans take a moment and have a think of what Ashley Cole has given in an England shirt over the last 10 or 12 years, it has been phenomenal.
“He’s probably been the most consistent player I’ve played with during my time. It’s going to be Ashley’s night, if he’s picked to play, and the players are certainly going to show him a hell of a lot of support. Let’s hope the fans do as well.”
Cole has been the subject of abuse on his travels as a Chelsea player and even the reciprocate of boos at Wembley Stadium, yet has always given his heart to the national team.
“He deserves to be a 100-cap player, there’s no doubt about it,” Gerrard added.
“I think there’s been years over the last 12 when Ashley Cole has been the best left-back in the world.
“We’ve been lucky to have him. I think the supporters realize that as well and let’s hope they give him a fantastic reception.” SkySports
Ahead of Wednesday night’s friendly against the five times World Champions, England have their share of injury concerns. Strikers Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge have both been ruled out of the clash.