John Terry has urged England coach Fabio Capello to recall Joe Cole for the crucial FIFA World Cup™ group game with Slovenia.
Terry believes Cole and Wayne Rooney are the players capable of breaking down opposing defences. Cole was the only player to feature for the entire 90 minutes in the practice match against the Platinum Stars.
But the player just released by Chelsea has so far been overlooked by Capello for the disappointing draws with the United States and Algeria. Capello started with James Milner on the left against the USA and then replaced him with Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Steven Gerrard was restored to that berth against Algeria after the return of Gareth Barry in the holding midfield role. But Terry believes a firing Cole can make the difference for England, who have to defeat Slovenia to reach the last 16.
He said: "I think Joe can transform our form. We saw at Chelsea that he was a great boost for us when coming back from injury at the right time.
"He got a great goal away from home against Manchester United which proved to be vital. Joe is one of those players whether he starts or is on the training field, who gives everything, and always makes himself available."
Terry added: "I personally think Joe and Wayne are the only two in the side who can really open up things and the key to breaking down defences. If he is called upon, Joe will do a great job."
I think Joe can transform our form. We saw at Chelsea that he was a great boost for us when coming back from injury at the right time.
Terry knows England have to reproduce their form of the qualifying campaign when they won nine out of ten matches. And he knows the importance of making sure the players are unaffected by nerves or pressure.
He said: "I've heard things this morning about players playing with fear. At any level, whether England or Chelsea, there is always a little bit of nerves. That was the case for me at 17 and is still there at 31. That will never go away.
"But once you step over the line that is gone and you are totally focused on the job in hand. The simple fact of the matter is that we just haven't performed.
"We did it in (qualifying). We scored a lot of goals, defended very well. We have to get back to that."
Terry also pledged England will play with the passion evidently lacking against Algeria. He said: "The manager stressed after the game the other night that we played with no passion at all.
"First and foremost being an Englishman, and coming through the ranks at Chelsea, and getting the chance to play for England, first and foremost you need to have that. I don't think any player had that the other night. I am sure on Wednesday every player will have that and the fire in their belly."
Terry echoed the views of other players in boredom with the daily routine being a factor that the players have to overcome. He said: "I'm not going to lie. We are in the hotel, we finish training, we have lunch at one o'clock and then we have got a few hours to spare.
"There are things like mini darts tournaments, snooker and pool. There is a bit of boredom that kicks in. There are six or seven hours to we meet up for dinner and there are times as a group of players we need to get together - and none more so than now. We need to really stick together."