Quotes on: Ashley Cole and Gary Neville

Quotes on: Ashley Cole

“He was the archetypal modern-day footballer in terms of getting up and down the pitch, a very tough defender and a great competitor.”
– Alan Smith

“Controversies in his personal life and over his transfer from Arsenal to Chelsea mean that Cole will never be the most popular man [ . . . ]. But he is the best English full-back I have ever seen and was the best left-back in the world for several years – outstanding in defence and when going forward.”
– Jimmy Greaves

“An absolutely outstanding player and bloke. He always had time for everyone at the training ground. Two games stick out for me: one was against Ronaldo for England – Ash didn’t give him a kick – and against Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League when we got to the final. In the first leg particularly, no one could get past Ash and he should be very proud of what he achieved as a left-back.”
– Frank Lampard

“He was an ever-present with great energy. He got and up and down the pitch really well. He defended well and was tough for a small lad.”
– Sol Campbell


“What a servant he has been for his country. To get 100 caps for any country is amazing but for England, with the competition he has had to fend off over the last yen years, it is phenomenal. [ . . . ] I was lucky enough play on the left side for England many times with him behind me. It’s a dream. You see him coming up in your wing mirrors, overlapping you every time, giving you options, and the one thing about Ashley is he never moans about not getting the ball, which was great for me. And his quality in the final third is brilliant. A lot of people forget he started out as a striker at Arsenal. I remember playing against him as a kid and he was a brilliant striker as well. He’s just a great player.”
– Joe Cole

“He’s been an incredible competitor for England. 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.”
– Roy Hodgson

“He has been one of the greatest players the Premier League has seen. As a full-back for Arsenal, Chelsea and England there is nobody better in Premier League history.”
– Alan Hansen

Quotes on: Gary Neville

“He didn’t mind getting forward but he enjoyed defending and was very good at it. He was also good at getting balls into the box and he liked to attack, but because of his fitness and agility he could get up and down the line. He was a very good defender and an organiser.” – Alan Shearer

I was fortunate to play with some great right-backs [ . . . ] you see players today as wing-backs, getting forward, getting round the back and whipping in crosses and people say this is the new game, but he was doing it 10 to 15 years ago. [ . . .  ] He was confident, he was a really quiet lad but he got stuck in and he was a team player. He was a guy that you would never see jogging back – he was up and down that line. He was an honest player.”
Paul Gascoigne

“Fantastically consistent for club and country – he played a hell of a lot of games for both. He could play wing back, or drop in as one of your three central defenders.”
– Stuart Pearce

“He had a wonderful hunger and desire to succeed, which kept him where he was in the game… a Manchester United icon.”
– Stuart Pearce


“He was England’s No 1 for so many years and he was so consistent. His biggest quality was his positional play, he was always in the right position.”
– Ryan Giggs

“Gary was the best English right-back of his generation. He is an example to any young professional; hard-working, loyal and intelligent. As a United fan born and bred, his fantastic career at Old Trafford has cemented his place in the affection of the club’s supporters everywhere.”
– Sir Alex Ferguson 

“Young players nowadays should look back at the way that he played the game, not just in terms of his defending but the way he overlapped and attacked.”
– Rio Ferdinand

“He’s an incredible human being. Everything he touches turns to gold. The business side of it, he’s done very well. His role with England he’s done well. On television he’s been fantastic. I think he will do well, he’s going to be a success (at Valencia).”
– Sir Alex Ferguson

“[ . . . ] he’s got an incredible determination about him. He’s a good decision maker, he’s prepared to make a decision and he’s got that positive attitude. He’s a winner, he’s an absolute winner.”
– Sir Alex Ferguson

“[ . . . ] we (Manchester United) took Gary simply because he was determined, and he was a centre-back at that time. But he had something in him and he made himself a footballer. He worked, he practised, he had an incredible determination that made him what he is today.”
– Sir Alex Ferguson


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