Smith: Has Cole given up on England

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Andy Cole appears to have given up on England following his outspoken attack on Alan Shearer, according to the former Arsenal striker, Alan Smith.

Andy Cole appears to have given up on England following his outspoken attack on Alan Shearer, according to the former Arsenal striker, Alan Smith.

Cole has claimed that the Newcastle captain Shearer is not picked for England on merit, but because he is the "golden boy" of the national team.

In a serialisation of his forthcoming autobiography, Cole claims Shearer should have been dropped when he was going through a bad patch.

Now former England striker Smith fears Cole may have ruined his chances of being picked alongside Shearer by Kevin Keegan, who has managed both strikers at club level for Newcastle.

Cole's good form for Manchester United, and injuries to the likes of Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler, had thrust him firmly into the frame for an England recall for the Euro 2000 play-offs with Scotland, with the squad being announced on Thursday.

But Smith, who made 13 appearances for his country, said: "It would create a bit of an atmosphere when they (Cole and Shearer) met up.

"I'm surprised he's said it because he might be in the squad with Michael Owen far from fit and Chris Sutton in and out.

"You'd think he would have every chance, but he's talking as if he's given up."

But Smith rejected the suggestion that Cole's book could damage the game.

"Fair play to anyone who wants to come out and be honest," Smith added. "It sells books doesn't it."

Cole, capped five times by England, had said that what he perceived as blatant favouritism towards Shearer had made him wonder "if it's all worth the hassle".

He added: "If you are having a bad patch you should be left out but because he was Alan Shearer, famous striker and England captain, that appeared to be enough."

In the Sunday Mirror's serialisation, Cole said: "You are supposed to pick your best 11, not shape every possible strategy around the supposed Golden Boy. If you are having a bad patch you should be left out, but because he was Alan Shearer, famous striker and England captain, that appeared to be enough.

"There must never be a rule for one, then different rules for the rest. It only allows discontent, accusations of favouritism and worse to creep into the dressing room."

There were suggestions that Shearer would be axed from the England team during a dismal run in the Euro 2000 qualifying games.

Cole added: "If you are having a bad patch you should be left out. But because he was Alan Shearer, famous striker and England captain, that appeared to be enough."

Comments