Football: Vox Pop - As Glenn Hoddle prepares for the game against France, is Andy Cole the man for England?
Sunday 31 January 1999
Ex-Fulham and England
HE MUST be in with a chance because he's in good form, but there are plenty of other strikers. He's playing in a team that's playing well; it's just a question of which one Glenn Hoddle fancies. Owen, Fowler and Shearer are all good but Cole's every bit as good as them. He's got everything a centre-forward needs. I think he's playing better now than when he was knocking in all those goals for Newcastle. There's every chance he will play although he has said things in the past about playing for Hoddle and England.
Ex-Republic of Ireland
THERE IS so much competition now. I don't know if Cole will play, I'm sure he would do well but when you're looking at Shearer, Owen and Fowler it's going to be difficult for him. He's a far better player than he was at Newcastle and eh's formed a tremendous partnership with Dwight Yorke. But I don't think Cole will get picked after the altercation in the past between him and Glenn Hoddle. But I do think he's in the top four strikers in the country. England are fortunate to have so many class strikers at the moment.
QPR and Northern Ireland
I'VE ALWAYS thought that when Andy Cole starts to score then United do well. His all-round play is good, he creates a lot of his own chances and he makes great runs. Certainly I think he should be involved. There's no one hotter than him and Dwight Yorke at the moment. His pace is electric. I think he's an international player and an international finisher. He's got good technique and a good range to his game. So if all that doesn't get you into the England squad then it's difficult to know what else to do.
Charlton and Rep of Ireland
AT THE moment he and Dwight Yorke are the best partnership and purely on goals he should be playing for England. There's only one way of finding out if Andy can do it at international level and that's by putting him in there. At the moment he hasn't had a look-in. I think the question is who plays alongside Shearer and at the moment it is Owen and Cole who are scoring the goals. Look at what Cole has done this season - he should be given a couple of run-outs. You can't keep leaving him out if he keeps banging them in.
IF HE doesn't get in now, I don't know when Glenn Hoddle would ever pick him. The form he's in, the confidence he has, he should be given an opportunity. Overall he's on his best ever form. I think at Newcastle he scored more goals but didn't give as much to the team. But he's better suited to international football now because he contributes more all round and the goals are still going in. He's probably at his peak now, aged 27. The time is now and he must be thinking that himself.
Former England coach
HE'S SO successful at the moment, he looks on fire. If Glenn doesn't pick him this time, I don't know what the kid's going to have to do. He's got some lovely little runs and playing with Yorke has definitely helped. I can't see why he can't carry his club form into the England set-up but he would profit from a run of a few games because you need to give him time to settle in. But I think he's playing his best-ever football right now. He's so quick around the goal.
INTERVIEWS: CONRAD LEACH
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