England manager Roy Hodgson hopes Ashley Cole will be treated with respect when the much-maligned Chelsea defender wins his 100th international cap in Wednesday’s glamour friendly against Brazil.
Cole has endured a difficult relationship with English fans, who regard him as one of the poster boys for all that is wrong with the modern game, but Hodgson is keen to see the left-back given a good reception by the Wembley crowd when he reaches the impressive century landmark.
The 31-year-old will be just the seventh England player to reach 100 caps, joining the likes of David Beckham, Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton, but unlike that trio there is little public affection for Cole.
Negative headlines have dogged Cole’s private life and there is a perception he is greedy.
However, Hodgson is a big fan of Cole as both a person and a player and he believes the public should hold him in the same regard.
“I judge him as a football player. Is he going to be the right man to help England win football matches? That’s what really interests me.
“Over the last nine months I have found him a very good professional, who prefers to do his talking on the football field; but I see nothing wrong with that.”
Cole also retains the support of his team-.AFP