Joe Cole gave a timely reminder to Fabio Capello after the Chelsea midfielder put himself back into England contention after helping Chelsea beat Man United at Old Trafford 2-1 on Saturday.
Cole gave Chelsea the lead with a superb touch, which rolled between the legs of United left-back Patrice Evra and gave Chelsea the initiative in the race for the Premier League title. The Chelsea man has had his problems this season as his comeback from injury had been taking longer than expected and off the field contract negotiations have not helped his cause. He will have reminded the England manager just why he should be on that plane to South Africa after a distinct improvement in his form over recent weeks. Cole’s return to form is as fortuitous for England as it is for his club and he is on his way to staking his claim to be at the World Cup this summer despite the England boss’ abundance of midfield talent available. Capello did not even include Cole in the standby list of England players a month ago and gave his lack of games as a reason. The Italian said: “This
Since then the 28-year-old is starting to look like his old self again by helping his side claw their way back to the top of the table, after being written off by many just two weeks ago when Chelsea dropped two points at Ewood Park. If Cole can continue his current rich vein of form then it would become harder for Capello to ignore him when he finalises his squad for the World Cup in June. Cole is under no illusions and he knows that he will have to continue doing his stuff if he wants to earn his England place. “You cannot talk your way into the England squad,” said the former West Ham star, who added: “If I am playing regularly in a team fighting to be champions I will have every chance.” Cole has benefitted from an injury to the Blues’ top scorer Didier Drogba, who has been benched as a precaution and has allowed Nicolas Anelka to move into a more familiar central spot and Cole into the vacant right side of a three-pronged attack. The change of system has seen Cole and his team mates rip apart Villa’s defence, netting seven goals and toppling the current champions Manchester United at Old Trafford, leapfrogging them into first place.
Emile Heskey, who has only two more Premier League goals to his name than the infamous Liverpool beach ball, is likely to be picked for South Africa ahead of Darren Bent and Bobby Zamora despite the fact they have had prolific goal scoring seasons for their clubs. Capello often argues that Heskey deserves to be in the England squad because of his partnership with star man Wayne Rooney. So, surely there is an argument to include the trickster Cole, who despite his lack of games this season offers that something different.