Cole happy to be on the spot
Joe Cole has never taken a penalty in a competitive match in his career, but is ready to should he be asked.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 25/06/10 7:45pm
Joe Cole has admitted he has never taken a penalty in a competitive match in his whole career, but is ready to heed the call should he be required.
The England midfielder could play a part in his side's momentous showdown against Germany in the World Cup second round in Bloemfontein, a clash that has become synonymous with the dreaded shootout over the years.
The Three Lions have twice lost to Germany on penalties, the first in 1990 in the World Cup semi-final in Italy, and at the same stage in the European Championships when England were hosts in 1996.
Their heartache has gone on, with three more defeats coming at the hands of Argentina and twice to Portugal in 1998, 2004 and 2006 respectively.
Cole was part of the side that lost in 2006, but did not step up to take part in the shootout; however despite never being put on the spot in over 10 years as a professional player, he insisted he could handle the pressure.
"I've never taken one professionally. When I was at West Ham we had Paolo Di Canio who always took them," he said.
"At Chelsea it's Frank Lampard and with England it was David Beckham so I've never taken one.
No shying away
"That's not to say I wouldn't. You have to be more of a man and step up and take one rather than shying away.
"But I don't think it will be a surprise who the first five would be.
"You look at Gareth Barry, Frank (Lampard), Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney. If the manager then looks at me, I'd say yes."
Cole, who will be at a new club next season after coming to the end of his contract at Stamford Bridge, also stated that he was not a fan of the Golden Generation tag that been given to the England team in previous tournaments.
"We don't like to be called the Golden Generation. That was put upon us. We don't like it because we've not won anything," Cole said.
"I remember the Portugal team who were called the same and they never won anything either. We want to win something. Then people can rightly call us that.
"But I think we can do it this time. I've never felt it like this before in other tournaments.
"You always think you can do it but this time I think it's our time and we can do it if the country believes.
"I thought it was an excellent performance against Slovenia and we can't wait to get to grips with Germany."
Cole became the 12th England player to represent his country at three World Cups after appearing as a substitute against Slovenia, and confessed he was proud of his achievement.
"That's a good list to be on. It's unbelievable, incredible," he added.
"But I think there will be a few more. We all started young so a few more will get there - and maybe a few could get to four World Cups."