Cole backed by Hodgson
England boss Roy Hodgson claims Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole deserves the same recognition awarded to Italian legend Paolo Maldini.
Cole caused controversy earlier this week after lashing out at the FA on social networking site Twitter, for which he is set to be punished by Chelsea. There had been speculation Cole could be omitted from England's World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Poland later this month as a result of the tweet, but Hodgson has indicated he is prepared to select the veteran defender. Cole has since apologised for his Twitter outburst and if selected for both qualifiers he will become just the sixth player to manage 100 caps for the Three Lions. When asked if he thought Cole deserved to be regarded in the same bracket as fellow left-back Maldini, who reached 126 caps for Italy, Hodgson said: "I think so. Maldini was a one-club man. Not many have done that but Ashley has done it with two. "He had a long career at Arsenal, where he was considered a fixture, and done the same at Chelsea. "They are top names, legends of the past, it must be great to know you are joining that. "We don't have that Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame in England but these people are our Hall Of Famers." He added: "I for one respect that wholeheartedly and have found him to be an excellent professional and a very enthusiastic and important member of the group who I'm looking forward to working with him for a period of time to come."