Contrary to what some believe, Ashley Cole is a good, down to earth guy, Darren Bent has revealed.
There’s no doubting the quality the left-back possessed but there was plenty of debate about his personality, especially when he left Arsenal to join Chelsea in 2006 – Cole being dubbed ‘Cashley’ due to the perceived belief the move was money-orientated.
Bent (right) defended his former England teammateGetty Images – Getty
But Bent insists all those perceptions of the former England star are wrong, telling talkSPORT about the time he and Cole did their coaching badges together.
Bent said: “You know what’s good about those experienced superstars, on the coaching course you have people from everywhere, even those who haven’t played professionally and it’s kinda the way he spoke to them.
“He was down to earth. He’s a good guy.”
The talkSPORT host shed light on Cole on Friday’s Drivetime as he named his top five English players to play in the Premier League.
Bent is fond of Cole but Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney were better in his eyesGetty Images – Getty
Cole came third in Bent’s rankings, while Steven Gerrard came second.
Bent then revealed Gerrard had a huge impact on his career, making him change the way he trained after seeing the Liverpool legend in action on the training pitch with England.
He added: “Steven Gerrard. He was one of those people who when I first got into the England squad and saw how he trained, he made come away from that training session and think ‘I need to be better in training. If I’m to get to these levels, my standard has got to improve.’
“He was sensational – 100mph. He was good with me, always speaking with me in training.
Gerrard is credited for making players around him play better and Bent’s words certainly suggest thatGetty Images – Getty
“I played against him when he was going through a rocky spell under Gerard Houllier but his range of passing, wow.”
But ahead of Gerrard and Cole was Wayne Rooney, who announced his retirement from playing football on Friday to take charge of Derby on a permanent basis.
Bent knew the Manchester United and England legend, insisting he always knew Rooney was destined for greatness.
He added: “He was just one of them that was a magician and there was one time we went to La Manga on an England training camp when we were young kids. He was the youngest but he was the best player by some distance.
“If I was 15 or 16 he would’ve been 14, and honestly, he was too powerful for everyone… he was a force of nature.”
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