Joe Cole wishes Paul Scholes had played at 2006 World Cup
‘We were too rigid in the 4-4-2… Paul Scholes could have been coaxed out of retirement and played in that holding role’: Joe Cole wishes Man United legend had played at 2006 World Cup and blasts then-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson’s tactics
- Paul Scholes admitted earlier this month he retired from England duty too soon
- The former Man United midfielder retired from internationals after Euro 2004
- And Joe Cole believes he would have helped against possession-based sides
- The former winger also believes Sven Goran Eriksson was too rigid tactically
- He claims Wayne Rooney was also not used correctly at the 2006 World Cup
Joe Cole has admitted he wishes England could have persuaded Paul Scholes to have come out of retirement to play at the 2006 World Cup.
The former Manchester United midfielder retired from England duty after the European Championship finals in Portugal in 2004 at the age of 29.
It was a decision that Scholes earlier this month admitted he regretted taking, but Cole is adamant that Sven Goran Eriksson should have pleaded with him to return while also criticising the Swede’s tactics at the tournament in Germany.
Joe Cole says Sven Goran Eriksson should have persuaded Paul Scholes to play in 2006
The former Manchester United midfielder retired from England duty after Euro 2004
‘I think tactics were a big problem because we found problems when we played these teams like Portugal or Spain who could hold possession, we were too rigid in the 4-4-2,’ Cole told BT Sport.
‘There wasn’t enough space where we could get players [into]. Paul Scholes had retired from international football and he was still in his prime.
‘He could have been coaxed out [of retirement] and played in that holding role. Wayne [Rooney] was played as a no.10 when I felt he could have been running in behind.’
Cole also said that the wounds left behind from a heartbreaking penalty-shootout defeat to Portugal in Gelsenkirchen have not masked the reality of England’s deficiencies, and is hoping the new crop of talent available to Gareth Southgate can lead the nation all the way to glory.
And Cole believes his absence contributed to England’s heartbreaking 2006 World Cup exit
Cole also criticised Eriksson for his rigid tactis and for misusing Wayne Rooney in Germany
‘When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, we just weren’t good enough and it is heartbreaking to say it because of the numbness you feel after a game when you go out,’ he continued.
‘We just weren’t up to scratch and I hope one day especially with these young lads that we can do it because it would lift the country up so much if they lift that World Cup.’
Cole’s comments come a few weeks after Scholes himself said he should have extended his international career, but felt the pressure of being judged solely on scoring goals.
The 2006 heartbreak has made Cole more determined for the new crop of talent to succeed
‘I had a young family at the time and going away for England for ten days at a time, sometimes six weeks in the summer, it just wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t enjoying it,’ Scholes told BBC Radio 5 Live on April 10.
‘I know a lot was made of Sven-Goran Eriksson playing me on the left-hand side of midfield but that was never the problem.
‘My form in the last 20 or 30 caps wasn’t quite good enough and Steven and Frank were two top-class players who he went with centrally. I was on the left but I played there many times for United and was quite successful there, scored a few goals so it was never really why I left England. It was just a personal choice.
‘I do regret leaving England so soon. I went back to United and my football changed. I had been a player who was expected to score goals all the time for England, which I was judged on.’
Scholes admitted earlier this month that he regretted retiring from internationals so early
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