Stuart Pearce reckons centurion Ashley Cole is England's best ever left-back
Stuart Pearce believes Ashley Cole is the best left-back to play for England after the Chelsea man made his 100th appearance on Wednesday night.
Cole played the first 45 minutes in the Three Lions 2-1 victory over Brazil at Wembley, but Pearce is not surprised by 32-year-old's achievement.
The England Under-21s Coach, who won 78 caps for his country, knows exactly what is required to excel at international level after playing in two major tournament semi-finals at the 1990 World Cup and Euro '96.
And he's contined to be impressed by the London-born defender, who has been a mainstay in the England rearguard since making his debut in 2001.
"People don’t realise how dedicated and professional Ashley is, but you only realise that when you are on the inside with him in a squad," revealed Pearce, who was part of Fabio Capello's backroom staff.
"The dedication and selflessness required to reach 100 caps takes some doing.
"He has also held his form for many years and in my eyes he is the best left-back who has ever played for England by a country mile."
Pearce added: "He is comfortable on the ball, he’s quick and he has continued to improve of the years.
"When Ash first broke into Arsenal’s first team people questioned his defending, but for the last eight, ten years, people haven’t questioned it again. That’s an important part of his game now and he has got everything the modern left-back needs.
"He has coupled that with the fact that the older he has got, the more professional he has become for his club and country."
Pearce also reckons that the 2012 Champions League winner still has much to achieve in the game, and says there's more to come from Cole.
"I wouldn’t get to 100 caps and think 'that’s it, my work is done'," continued the ex-Nottingham Forest full-back. "There are plenty more goals in his position and he will want to knock off a few more of those players who have won more caps.
"That would be my target. I played my last game for England when I was 37 and Ash is a long way away from that."