Cole should start for England at World Cup, says Bertrand
On-loan Aston Villa defender Ryan Bertrand believes that Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole should be starting for England at the World Cup this summer, according to The Daily Mail.
Bertrand has largely been an understudy to Cole at Chelsea and believes that the national team manager Roy Hodgson should use the veteran for his experience at the highest level.
Hodgson faces a selection dilemma at the left-back position with Everton’s Leighton Baines and Southampton’s Luke Shaw putting excellent performances over the course of the season.
“I’d pick Ash,” said Bertrand. “He’s tried and tested. Sometimes I think we should value and respect our national team more, realise this is the pinnacle for our country in football.
“It’s good to see great English players coming through, but you can’t argue with the level of experience Ash has.
“Players need to go through a certain amount, be tried and tested at all levels until they come to the senior England team. I’d go with Ash, all day long. He’s proven across the board.”
Bertrand is also a name for Hodgson to consider after coming into some good form for the second half of the season since joining Aston Villa in January, if had he not already had such a difficult choice before him.
Despite Bertrand likely to be snubbed for the competition, the 24-year-old is adamant that Cole is the right man to take to Brazil, making him the first English player to play in four World Cup finals.
“Over the years he has been good to me on and off the pitch. There has never been any animosity between us because I respected the fact that over those years he was the best left-back in the world. The more I could learn I knew the better I would be,” added Bertrand.
View the latest World Cup 2014 odds and betting here