Cole cool over Roo rage
Joe Cole is confident Wayne Rooney will not respond if USA attempt to wind him up on Saturday.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 09/06/10 4:39pm
Joe Cole is confident Wayne Rooney will not respond if USA attempt to wind him up during Saturday's World Cup opener.
England kick off their campaign for global glory in Rustenburg this weekend with the spotlight again focused on their talented but temperamental attacking talisman.
The Manchester United striker was cautioned for his outburst at the referee during Monday's warm-up win over local side Platinum Stars and there are fears of a repeat of his red card woe in the quarter-finals against Portugal in 2006.
Some of America's players have admitted they will try to get under Rooney's skin this weekend, but Cole believes his international colleague already has plenty of experience of dealing with off-the-ball banter.
"Wayne is an experienced player and I'm sure there are loads of teams that have tried to do that in the past," he said.
"He'll be OK and it will be no problem, I'm sure everything will go well."
Cole also jokingly suggested a novel way of dealing with the constant media attention as they prepare for the summer tournament, following an outburst from manager Fabio Capello towards a group of cameramen.
Capello was unhappy with the photographers and film crew who were attempting to capture action from an off-limits area during England's training session.
The Italian's altercation came less than 24 hours after the squad went on a team-building safari, with their every move again monitored by the media, which Cole admits can become a little trying at times.
"It's part and parcel of being a footballer nowadays," he said. "It's just one of the small things about being a footballer which is a bit annoying.
"I think a couple of lads would have liked to have seen a couple of them being eaten by a few lions while we were out there."
The specially-designed World Cup ball has also come under scrutiny ahead of the tournament, with several players - mainly goalkeepers - noting their concerns, and Cole is another player who is less than impressed.
But he insists England cannot look to use the ball as an excuse and believes the same thinking must be applied to the fact that they will play some of their games at a higher altitude than normal.
"It's going to be the same for everyone. I don't think the balls are great - they move around and sometimes it takes a bit of the skill out of the game," he admitted.
"But that's what we've got to deal with. It's the same for everyone and there will be no excuses whatever happens.
"It encourages shooting from distance, but the keepers are petrified.
"At the end of the day football is 11 men against 11 men. We will all be playing with the same ball and breathing in the same air."