Terry says Cole in the hole can 'cause all sorts of problems' for defenders

It's easy to forget that Joe Cole, the man who seemed to have been on the periphery of Fabio Capello's vision after a season of such minimal club football, was actually the man who got England's World Cup qualifying campaign under way in the first place. Cole scored twice against Andorra in Barcelona, 21 long months ago, in the opening Group Six match which Capello's charges were drawing 0-0 at half-time. It was some arrival from Cole: the goals came within 10 minutes of his introduction as a second-half substitute, sparing Capello an ignominious start to international tournament football.

Capello doesn't forget performances like that and the symmetry between Cole's half-time introduction that autumn day in Barcelona's Estadio Olimpico and again on Sunday suggests that the Chelsea player is, in the nicest possible way, a valuable one-half wonder. Cole had played only 55 minutes of international football between the Andorra and Japan fixtures, remember, because four days after the virtuoso performance against the Andorrans came a bad head injury in Croatia – and then his prolonged absence with cruciate ligament damage to his knee.

Cole's team-mate John Terry was reminded of the handful the midfielder can be in training sessions at Cobden when he witnessed the dynamic role he played in Japan – operating behind Wayne Rooney at first – which saw him have hands in both of the own-goals which Takeshi Okada's players gifted England. "It was interesting to see Joe play in behind Wayne," Terry reflected yesterday. "He caused a lot of problems and, speaking from a defender's point of view, it's hard to know whether to go with him, stay tight or let him have the ball."

The cross from Cole which was diverted in by Yuji Nakazawa revealed the 28-year-old's capacity to make things change in a moment and he provided the intensity which was missing in a poor first half in Graz's UPC Arena. But there were other aspects of Cole's play which, on first viewing, were easy to overlook. Cole drifts dangerously between midfield and attack and his passing can be exquisite at times. He supplied a visionary ball through a cluster of Japanese players to Ashley Cole for England's second goal in Austria. "He causes defenders all sorts of problems when he floats in between the midfield and the front men," Terry said. "He can see passes, too. Look at the ball through for Ashley Cole. He's made a big impact and he'll just have to wait and see."

Terry assiduously avoided talk of Capello's vexed contract issues by diverting questions on the subject into a discussion on Joe Cole's demands for an improved deal at Stamford Bridge, which may see him leave Chelsea. "Joe's contract is up and a couple of others, but his [Capello's] clear focus is to speak after the World Cup. Hopefully, he will do the same. It's a time now to knuckle down and concentrate on us. Obviously we'd love [Capello] to stay. We've got a massive tournament, we've got a manager – you know how he is – he doesn't want any distractions."

Terry was also as diplomatic as he could be about the final 23, with the sensitivities of Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips in mind, but he did not disguise the sense that Cole will be at this month's tournament. "Towards the end of the season when we've needed big players, Joe Cole has been one of them at Chelsea. The manager will make that final decision but he's seen enough of Joe – what he's done in the last 10 days and against Japan – to know what he can do."

Capello's observations yesterday suggested Terry had read his mind precisely. "[Cole] played always really good with us. I know him very well before he was injured," the England manager said. "Now he is back because I saw the game he played, sometimes [from] half-time, sometimes 25 minutes. He is good. Very fresh."

England players face day of destiny

England coach Fabio Capello will cut his squad of 30 to 23 today. Here are his final dilemmas:

The shoo-ins

Goalkeepers: Robert Green, David James, Joe Hart

Defenders: Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson

Midfielders: Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Theo Walcott, Michael Carrick

Forwards: Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey

If Gareth Barry is fit

Gareth Barry

Heading home: Tom Huddlestone

If Gareth Barry is not fit

Tom Huddlestone

Heading home: Gareth Barry



Either ors

Stephen Warnock or Leighton Baines



Aaron Lennon or Shaun Wright-Phillips



Heading home

Michael Dawson

Scott Parker

Darren Bent

Adam Johnson

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
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

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?