England manager Roy Hodgson is widely expected to leave out Ashley Cole from England’s squad. The Chelsea defender also announced his retirement from international football after the final Premier league game of the season. England will be taking on the likes of Italy and Uruguay in the group stages of the World Cup 2014. Despite the proposed tough group matches, Hodgson is expected to take a young squad with him. A number of players like Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw are expected to be included in the squad. These players have little international – let alone major tournament – experience.
Cole, on the other hand, is one of the most experienced players at international level after having amassed more than 100 caps for the national team. He is the record appearance holder for a left back, while many think that he is the world’s best in this position right now. The 33-year-old, though, has featured very rarely in the second half of the season for Chelsea. Injuries and suspensions, though, have meant that he has been playing regularly of late. Still, his future has been up in the air for some time since his contract with Chelsea comes to an end in the summer.
He is expected to leave the club in the summer and was seen in tears after the Norwich match.
“Among many difficult decisions I’ve had to make for my squad, not selecting Ashley was one of the hardest. To amass over a century of caps is a truly staggering achievement and he deserves enormous credit for the desire and brilliance which has shone through over the years he has represented his country. There are few players who can be considered among the very best in the world, but Ashley in his prime was the best left-back without question,” said Hodgson.