No manager has ever shown faith in me, says Cole

There is a theory that if Joe Cole had grown up in Cadiz instead of Camden and was called Jose Carbonero or something similar, we would all appreciate his beguiling – occasionally frustrating – talent as a footballer all the more. Cole is stuck with being English, however, and England's match-winner against Andorra appealed yesterday to Fabio Capello to be the first manager to show real faith in him when he picks his team to face Croatia in the World Cup qualifier tomorrow night.

Cole's admission that he has never had a manager who truly believed in him was some statement from the man who scored two goals against Andorra and cannot be sure of his place in the team in Zagreb for what is the pivotal game of the Capello reign. "I have always prided myself on being able to come back from disappointments," he said. "I get my head down, try to do well, playing with the pressure. Two or three years ago it was if I had a bad 45 minutes I might not get back in the team. Now it's down to a bad 90 minutes.

"Sometimes I think if I had a manager who said to me: 'Go out and do your stuff, you can have two or three indifferent games', as players do, then maybe I could be an even better player than I am. I have not had that in my career. I would take playing for England anywhere, sit on the bench, play in goal. But it's nice to have someone right behind me. That [playing consistently] is the Holy Grail for any footballer. You would love to have that kind of belief from your manager. I hope it is my time."

Cole, 25, is perceived as the nearly man of English football for club and country while in fact Steve McClaren, during his reign as England manager, started Cole in every game for which he was fit – 10 in all. Similarly, no Chelsea player started more games than Cole last season. If anything he is one of England's more established players, with four caps – two of them starts – under Capello, and it is hard to believe that Stewart Downing's lacklustre performance against Andorra will keep Cole out the side tomorrow.

As Capello ponders his team will he consider Cole on one wing and Theo Walcott on the other side too fragile a line-up for the Maksimir stadium? Like Jose Mourinho often did at Chelsea, Capello could be seen yelling at Cole, a second-half substitute on Saturday, for drifting out of position against Andorra. "Of course I wasn't disappointed to be criticised by the manager," Cole said. "That's what he's there for. He just asked us [Cole and Wayne Rooney] to play further forward. And, yes, he does know how to swear in English."

Cole's favourite position, he later told us, was playing behind the two strikers and with a mandate to go left or right. "Players like [Lionel] Messi, Ronaldinho, [Cristiano] Ronaldo – they play left, right and centre," he said. He is pushing his luck if he wants that kind of job tomorrow night in what, in all likelihood, will be a 4-3-2-1/4-5-1 formation to ensure a draw at the very least. If Cole starts, it will probably be on the left side, where McClaren favoured him.

Like a few players have said already, however, Cole said that the old certainties about England, with players being guaranteed a place in the team, had gone under Capello. Despite this contradicting his earlier wish for blind faith from his manager, Cole considered that to be a good thing. To judge by training in Barcelona yesterday – England flew to Zagreb last night – Capello is keeping his players guessing again.

"He tells us a couple of hours before kick-off what the team is," Cole said, "but it is not that we are not prepared. You go into the game knowing what you've got to do. You just don't know who the personnel are. I think it is great because no one is safe. For too long we've had established players, who maybe know that they are going to play. Ending that is a good thing.

"I remember the first game we trained under Capello and I phoned my dad after training and said, 'It looks like I am in the team'. Second day I said, 'I'm out of it'. He said, 'What did you do?' I said, 'I don't know. I just trained.' It is a sign of a great manager. Basically, no one is safe and that can only breed competition."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape