• Premier League

Reclusive Cole admits he understands boos

ESPN staff
July 5, 2013
Ashley Cole admits he was very nervous on the day of his 100th England cap © Getty Images

Ashley Cole has revealed that he blocks out the jeers that have followed him throughout the majority of his career.

Aside from when he is playing in front of Chelsea fans, Cole, 32, has often found himself on the wrong end of taunts from supporters.

However, the England centurion, who has even been booed by Three Lions fans at Wembley, insists it does not bother him.

"No player wants to hear their own fans booing the players, booing the team," Cole said, in a rare interview with the Green Soccer Journal. "But football is a hard game and you can't win everything.

"As players, of course it's hard because you don't want to hear it. I recognise, though, that we're there to do a job and I'm representing my country. And when I'm playing I'm able to block it all out."

Cole, who made his Premier League debut while at Arsenal back in 2000, admits the relationship between players and fans has changed since he first started out in the game.

"I'd say it's changed from when I first started out as a player but what can you do? There are more opinions in football today," he said. "More people have strong opinions and they'll tell you what they think of you without actually realising what you've achieved and how good you are.

"I know that if I walked into someone's house or their office and I watched them at work I'd probably say, 'You're not doing that right' too. I might not really know what it is that they're doing but I'm watching them do it so... As players we understand it.

"Of course, fans pay their money to come, of course they've got a right to air their feelings, to say what they feel or say what they see, basically."

Cole has had an up-and-down international career, having been booed by fans against Kazakhstan in 2008 for making a mistake, only to win the supporters' Player of the Year in 2010, before being presented with a golden cap in May for reaching a century of England appearances.

"To put on an England shirt and represent your country is a great honour. That feeling never changes but the 100th game was different though," he said. "I was a little bit overwhelmed giving interviews before the match and nervous going into it, so I probably didn't play as well as I have for England.

"The nerves - seriously, it's probably the first time I've been that nervous in any game but I had a lot of fun. And, of course, playing against Brazil, was a big occasion and the result was good.

"In the end you can look back and say you played 100 games for your country and that's an amazing achievement."

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