Ashley Cole deserves the plaudits

Tonight when England host Brazil at Wembley, Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole will become just the seventh player in history to win his 100th cap for the national team.

The Blues stalwart will join the likes of Peter Shilton, David Beckham and Bobby Moore, while Steven Gerrard is in line to pick up his 101st, having reached the milestone during the 4-2 defeat to Sweden back in November, a game that will forever be remembered for the exploits of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

However, while there are those that will sneer and, without a second thought, dub the defender Cashley, there is no denying that Cole has earned his place to join the 100 club. Over the past decade, be it for Arsenal or Chelsea, the 32-year-old has emerged as one of, if not the, games best left-back of a generation.

Yes, there are reasons to remain critical of Cole, especially with his ‘shaking with rage’ segment from his book, during which he explained he had to pull over to the side of the road after his agent confirmed that Arsenal would *only* be offering him £55k-a-week on a new contract before he signed for Chelsea.

Not to mention his #BUNCHOFT**TS hashtag towards the FA last year, but there is no denying that Cole deserves the praise that is being sent his way. He’s won all there is to win at club level, bar the Club World Cup, and has picked up an FA Cup winner’s medal a record breaking seven times.

There will be some that will remain critical of the England international, even on a night like tonight, but it’s hard to give Cole a standing ovation for his duties to club and country.