Praise for (nearly) centurion Cole
Next week, fitness permitting of course, should see Ashley Cole win his 100th cap for England.
Cole is not a 'favourite' for everyone but Roy Hodgson believes that he deserves credit for his career at club and international level to date: 'reaching 100 matches is an incredible milestone. He deserves an enormous pat on the back.
'He has been a pleasure to work with and a really good professional. He is a two-club man and not a player that has flitted from club to club to get a slightly better contract.
'He has dedicated his time to Arsenal and then Chelsea.'
There will always be an argument that Cole left Arsenal to join Chelsea due to financially motivated reasons, although to be fair as Hodgson points out he has not - like many mercenaries in the game - moved from club to club in order to gain his next 'pay day' and has justified his move with trophies won.
The Chelsea man will always divide opinions for how he is publicly viewed, with him not exactly the most popular guy in the country, but the England manager judges him as he 'finds' him, which is in a positive light: 'reputations are forged in different ways I suppose. I judge people on how I find them.
'He is a very serious footballer and a very nice person to deal with on the footballing front.
'He is a shy person. He prefers his football to do the talking and is quite happy for people to judge him on that basis.
'Unfortunately the profile players have these days means they will be judged in other areas. That doesn't affect me and hopefully it won't affect him on Wednesday.'
Like or loathe him as a person, due to his ability as a footballer Cole - who is, to be fair, still one of the worlds best left backs - is worthy of 100 caps and when he wins his 100th cap I have to say, like Hodgson did, 'I am expecting people to give him the credit he deserves'...
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