Gerrard calls for England to recognise value of Chelsea’s Cole

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has lent his voice to the support of England colleague Ashley Cole, asking that the Chelsea defender be more appreciated while he is still playing on the international scene, the BBC has reported.

Gerrard and Cole are both poised to win their 99th England cap when Roy Hodgson’s side meet Poland on Tuesday evening but Cole’s worth to the side has at times been clouded by controversy. The former Arsenal full-back is undergoing one of those periods now as he faces a Football Association charge for sending an abusive Tweet.

But Gerrard, the England captain, believes Cole should be regarded as one of the finest players to come out of English football in his generation. Gerrard said: “It’s been a pleasure to play with him over the years. He’s been one of the best left-backs this country has ever produced. Let’s enjoy the last few years of his time with us.

Cole made his England debut in 2001, against Albania, a year after Gerrard made his national team bow against Ukraine. Cole, a year younger than Gerrard, has made all of his 98 England appearances in the starting line-up and played at one more World Cup than Gerrard, who has three substitute appearances to his name, but has featured at three European Championships to Cole’s two.

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