Hodgson hopes for warm reception for Cole on 100th England appearance
England manager Roy Hodgson has called on supporters to celebrate Ashley Cole’s 100th appearance for the national team after he included the Chelsea defender in the squad to play Brazil this month, the Guardian has reported.
Cole has at times been an unpopular figure among some fans, both for on-and-off-field reasons, but has made 99 appearances for England and stands to join the sparsely-populated 100 club if he plays against the five-time World Cup winners on Wednesday.
Steven Gerrard won his 100th cap against Sweden last year, while David Beckham, Peter Shilton, Billy Wright, Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton all reached three figures for the Three Lions, meaning Cole would be only the seventh England player to achieve the milestone.
Hodgson said: “I am expecting people to give him the credit he deserves. If his reputation is this, that or the other, hopefully it will be forgotten on Wednesday. Reaching 100 matches is an incredible milestone and he deserves an enormous pat on the back.”
Cole made his first senior England appearance against Albania in March 2001, under Sven-Goran Eriksson, and has played at World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and European Champions in 2004 and 2012.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle v Chelsea