Former England midfielder Joe Cole tells Sky Sports News why he is especially excited about their chances at the World Cup
Former England midfielder Joe Cole has backed England’s chances of winning the World Cup ahead of Monday’s opening game against Tunisia.
Cole, 36, represented England at three World Cups during his international career but never managed to get past the quarter-final stage.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder believes Gareth Southgate’s current crop will not be held back by expectation and tactical issues he felt restricted England in previous tournaments.
‘We shouldn’t be burdened by past’
Gareth Southgate believes England should not have to bear the mistakes of previous teams at big tournaments.
Gareth Southgate believes England should not have to bear the mistakes of previous teams at big tournaments
He told Sky Sports News: “Gareth has gone in and said ‘let’s have a look at what we have got and build around that’, rather than fit all our best players into a system that does not necessarily suit them.
“I don’t want to be overly optimistic but I feel like we can go all the way.
Cole played 56 times for England
“Look at the form of the team in the last seven or eight games against some of the best sides in the world. I think we have a good opportunity because of the lack of expectation on the team.
“They can kick on. They can go and just take the shackles off and play.”
England begin their World Cup campaign against Tunisia on Monday night in Volgograd, before facing Panama and Belgium in their remaining Group G fixtures.