November 8, 1981
5' 9" (1.76m)
11 st 7 lbs (73 kgs)
At 28 again the Chelsea former child prodigy is at the peak of his powers. Certainly Joe has had a few injuries of late, limiting him to just the two qualification appearances, but with a somewhat promising two goal return to warm our hopes and hearts; a no average Joe is the man that can.
At his home club he has been criticised for being too offensively minded, but that is what we want to see from him in South Africa in an England shirt given goals win football matches. It is a simple dilemma, dare we dream and depend on our defensive players to back up the likes of Joe and Sean Wright-Phillips thus allowing our luxury players to shine under the South African sun?
Both sides have their point but surely the optimists, with their glasses half full, will have the better time of it. As will we England fans if lads like Joe and Sean go out and emphatically take the game to the opposition as opposed to a dour affair where we hold out for penalties.
Players like Joe Cole fill football stadiums, always have always will. At his most rampant he can ghost past the world`s best carrying caviar to Crouch or Rooney with a shuffle, a shoulder drop a 'shimmy' and a show of his studs as he speeds off into the distance.
This will be double winner Joe's third World Cup finals, let us hope it is three times the charm. Rise up Joe and show the boy has become the showman.
World Cup appearances: 6 (2002, 2006)
World Cup 2010 qualification: 2 appearances/2 goals
Stats up to, and including 21/05/2010.
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