Fabio Capello said his mind was unchanged after England’s disappointing performance against Japan in yesterday’s final friendly before his 23 man World Cup Squad is announced.
His side needed two fortunate own-goals to come from behind following an early strike from Japan’s central defender, Tanaka. In his post match interview he stated the game had not influenced his thinking for his final line up.
Squad hopefuls, Darren Bent and Tom Huddlestone were unable to stamp any authority in a disjointed first half performance. While both players will remain hopeful of selection for the final World Cup squad, bookmakers think otherwise with Coral offering betting odds of 7/2 Bent and 2/1 Huddlestone to be selected for the trip to South Africa.
As in the previous friendly against Mexico, Capello’s half time changes made for a much improved second half display. Joe Cole showed his ability as an impact player from the bench, creating the equaliser and demonstrating his flexibilty as he adapted to Capello’s formation changes during the half.
When asked about Cole’s performance, the England manager said "If I select him, I know the value of Joe Cole. Joe Cole always plays really well and scores important goals."
While Capello tries not give away his squad selections until tomorrow, bookmakers believe Cole has done enough to ensure his place offering odds of 1/5 for Cole to be included in the final squad. Should he make the squad, there will be much debate wether Cole starts for Capello or is used as an imapct player from the bench. SkyBet offer 3/1 Cole to start the first game against USA on 12th June.