Lampard: Cole captaincy against Ireland is deserved

Robbie Keane will face the much-maligned Chelsea full-back in the Wembley centre circle.

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FRANK LAMPARD BELIEVES Ashley Cole deserves to captain England in their friendly international against the Ireland tonight.

Cole will lead the side out by way of honouring him for reaching 100 caps, and his England and Chelsea team-mate Lampard feels it is a fitting tribute for someone he feels is one of the most consistent full-backs in the world.

It will be Cole’s 102nd appearance for the national side and Lampard said: “The way Ashley has performed over those 100 caps, he is the most consistent left-back probably in world football over such a long period of time.

“It’s the perfect gesture and very much deserved from England.”

Lampard, Cole and fellow Chelsea player Gary Cahill have withdrawn early from their side’s tour of the USA after what has been a gruelling season for the club. The veteran midfielder featured in 55 games for club and country this term as the Stamford Bridge outfit won the UEFA Europa League final but he dismissed any danger of fatigue, saying “this is the way forward in modern football”.

“Chelsea played over 70 games this season but end of season tours are about taking the club worldwide from a commercial perspective,” he continued. “Individually, all you can do is try and do the right things: the basics. Train well, live your life right, rest in between.

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“If you’ve got a brain, you can get through it.”

This season also saw Lampard break Bobby Tambling’s goalscoring record at Chelsea before being rewarded with a new one-year contract at the club.

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