Joe Cole has revealed his displeasure at England's 'Golden Generation' tag but believes they may finally live up to it by winning the FIFA 2010 World Cup™. The former Chelsea midfielder feels the title is undeserved given England have failed to win a major tournament with that group of players.
But Cole believes this is "our time" regarding England as they gear up for tomorrow's last-16 meeting with old rivals Germany in Bloemfontein. He revealed: "We don't like to be called the Golden Generation. That was put upon us. We don't like it because we've not won anything. I remember the Portugal team who were called the same and they never won anything either. We want to win something. Then people can rightly call us that."
We don't like to be called the Golden Generation. That was put upon us. We don't like it because we've not won anything.
But Cole conceded: "I think we can do it this time. I've never felt it like this before in other tournaments. You always think you can do it but this time I think it's our time and we can do it if the country believes. I thought it was an excellent performance against Slovenia and we can't wait to get to grips with Germany.
"The history between the two countries is immense and the 1990 World Cup was the first tournament I watched. I can remember when Gazza (Paul Gascoigne) got booked and we lost on penalties to Germany in the semi-finals."
Cole has never taken a penalty in professional football during a career with West Ham United, Chelsea and England spanning more than a decade, but he is willing to put any trepidation to one side and take one against Germany if required should spot-kicks again be needed to decide the outcome.
"I've never taken a professional penalty because when I was at West Ham Paolo Di Canio took them," he said. "Frank Lampard takes them at Chelsea and David Beckham always did for England - but that's not to say I wouldn't take one. It takes more of a man to step up and take one rather than shy away. I'm hoping there'll be no surprise and they'll fall to the (Steven) Gerrards, (Frank) Lampards and (Wayne) Rooneys but if the manager asks me, I'll be there."