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Pearce - Cole is England's best ever

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Ashley Cole is the best left-back England have ever had, according to former Three Lions defender Stuart Pearce.

The 29-year-old Chelsea player is set to win his 86th international cap in next week's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley, which would equal the record for an England full-back held by Kenny Samson. Pearce, now coach of the Under-21s, himself played some 78 times for England between 1987 and 1999. The former Nottingham Forest defender believes Cole ranks up there with the best.

"Ashley's pace is a real big strength, his ability on the ball and the way in which he deals with the ball for a full-back is outstanding," said Pearce. "Ashley is the best left-back England's ever had, 100%.

"It is hard to find a weakness in his game. At the highest level, his performances for England have been fantastic. There is no doubt in my mind he is the best left-back ever to play for England."

Of comparisons between himself and the Chelsea defender, Pearce said: "He could deal with the ball better, has got two better feet, is a world-class performer and we are very lucky to have him."


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