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Phil Jones (shingles) and Raheem Sterling (dead leg) have withdrawn from Pearce's squad.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

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears