Lampard backs hot Cole to fire
Frank Lampard believes Joe Cole could provide England with the star turn they need at the World Cup.
Last Updated: 23/05/10 2:44pm
Frank Lampard believes Chelsea team-mate Joe Cole could provide England with the star turn they need to triumph at the World Cup.
Cole was named in Fabio Capello's 30-man provisional squad for the tournament in South Africa but it is uncertain whether he will make the final cut.
Seven players have yet to be trimmed by the Italian supremo and Cole's place in the final party could be under threat after a frustrating season at Stamford Bridge.
Despite finding form towards the end of the campaign, the winger has been blighted by injury problems and used mainly as a substitute by Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti.
But fellow midfielder Lampard says his former West Ham colleague deserves a place on merit, and that the player will be fresher going into the tournament after being out of the side.
Little bit of magic
Lampard said in the Sunday Mirror: "I hope Joe will be in the squad because he is my mate and he is a great player. He is the sort of player who gives a team something different.
"Even though he has not played that many minutes this season, there is an argument to say that makes him fresh and more dangerous.
"Joe has that little bit of magic, that little turn of pace and ability to beat a man that make all the difference.
"Not many people can bring that to a team in top-class international football but he has it, so I hope he makes it because he deserves that."
Lampard also reckons Cole's contribution in helping Chelsea win the league and cup Double will mean he has the momentum behind him to cause England's opponents problems.
He added: "Maybe that will give us a little edge, having Joe so fresh. It can't harm any of the Chelsea players to be going to the World Cup full of so much confidence after winning the Double.
"Even Joe, who has been coming on for 20 minutes or half-an-hour in games, has been looking sharp."
Cole may no longer be playing with Lampard following the World Cup as the 28-year-old is out of contract and could be free to move on in a free transfer.
The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham are said to be keen on capturing his signature but Lampard hopes Cole remains in London.
"I don't know if he will stay at Chelsea, that is completely up to him, but Chelsea want him to stay," said the 31-year-old. "He has been a great player for us and we hope he will stay."