Show centurion Ashley Cole some respect, says Steven Gerrard

LEft-back expected to clock 100 caps against Brazil

Steven Gerrard has pleaded with the Wembley crowd to show respect for Ashley Cole when he wins his 100th England cap against Brazil on Wednesday.

The England captain said it was "very important" for supporters to recognise the "phenomenal" contribution that the Chelsea defender had made to the national team. "If the crowd take a moment to think about what he has given in an England shirt over the last 12 years it's been phenomenal," said Gerrard. "He has been probably the most consistent player I've played with during my time.

"It's going to be Ashley's night if he's picked and the players are certainly going to show him a hell of a lot of support. Let's hope the fans do as well. He deserves to be a 100-cap player, there's no two ways about that."

Cole has been booed by England fans in the past but Gerrard is hopeful they will "give him a fantastic reception" tomorrow. "I think there have been years when he has been the best left-back in the world and we've been lucky to have him. I think the supporters realise that as well."

Gerrard's words were echoed by the England Under-21 coach, Stuart Pearce, who spoke of Cole in glowing terms today as the best left-back in England's history. Pearce, who earned 78 caps in the same position, said: "In my eyes he is the best left-back who has ever played for England.

"What I'd say about Ashley is people don't realise how dedicated he is, but you only realise that when you are on the inside with him in a squad," added Pearce, who admitted that Cole "suffers" for his negative public image.

If Leighton Baines's emergence as an international-class left-back has raised questions about Cole's England future, Pearce went so far as to suggest the 32-year-old might even go on and surpass Peter Shilton's 125-cap record. "I played my last game for England when I was 37 and Ash is a long way away from that."

Pearce's own future with England is open to question as his Under-21s begin their preparations for June's European Championship finals with tonight's friendly against Sweden in Walsall. His contract expires in the summer and he confirmed yesterday he had deferred talks on a new deal until after the tournament in Israel. "I think for both parties we're happy to sit tight and then have a chat in the summer," said Pearce.

Phil Jones (shingles) and Raheem Sterling (dead leg) have withdrawn from Pearce's squad.

While Wembley prepares for the colourful spectacle Brazil will doubtless bring, Gerrard admitted he already had one eye on England's World Cup qualifier in Montenegro on 26 March, which comes four days after the trip to San Marino. Montenegro lead England by two points at the Group H summit and Gerrard said: "You can't help not think about Montenegro. To play Brazil at Wembley is fantastic but there is a little bit in the mind that is already just waiting for the Montenegro game."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
Missing: 'Mail' columnist Peter Hitchens
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power