December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 17, 2013
We should take advantage of the new rules
A lot has been said about Jack Wilshere’s comments about English players playing for England and I think he has been unfortunately caught like a rabbit in the headlights with regard to the whole issue.
When I earned my England caps in the eighties this was a very different country. It was all about Britain and British players, but the world and certainly this country has changed dramatically since then.
We are a cosmopolitan country now and though I always think that a player’s birthplace and then the nationality of their mum and dad should come first, the new rules are there and there is no reason why we can’t take advantage of them.
Germany certainly have. They have a couple of Polish born players, while Mesut Ozil is originally from Turkey, but nobody seems to be criticising them.
If someone like Adnan Januzaj is here for five years and wants to play for England, then myself, as a Wembley Bond holder, will cheer him on just as much as I would Wilshere.
● I am absolutely delighted to see Carlton Cole back at West Ham and I think he can be a great asset for the club once again, both on and off the field.
I know there has been an issue with his fitness and it has taken a while for him to earn that contract, but being fit and being fit to play for West Ham are two very different things.
I could go down to the local David Lloyd centre and do a work-out and be fairly fit, but I couldn’t go out straight away and play football and that has been the same with Carlton.
He may have kept himself physically fit in the time he has been away, but he hasn’t had a pre-season and he has not been training with the other lads and that makes a huge difference believe me.
It is going to be a difficult one for Sam and his staff to decide whether to put Carlton straight in against Manchester City on Saturday.
The team are buzzing after the win at Spurs and rightly so, and now it is a question of whether to change the formation and go for a recognised striker or stick with the pattern they played at White Hart Lane.
They could play the same way, but if they lose a couple of goals early on and get beaten 4-0, then everyone will say they are not surprised as we didn’t even play a striker.
Alternatively we can keep the same formation, confuse the City defenders with nobody to mark and it might just work.
I think they will take their time deciding what to do, but I would not be surprised to see the same team as at Spurs with Carlton on the bench.
City are inconsistent. They looked good against Manchester United, but lost to Villa and Cardiff and were thrashed by Bayern Munich - I’m going for a 1-1 draw.