Joe Cole targets England World Cup place

The 31-year-old sees no reason why he can't reclaim a spot in the Three Lions squad in time to appear in Brazil next summer providing he has a good season with West Ham
West Ham midfielder Joe Cole has not given up on making a return to the England national side and is targeting a fourth consecutive World Cup finals in Brazil.

Cole, who has 56 England caps to his name, last appeared on the international stage at the 2010 World Cup and, after a difficult spell with Liverpool, has found it difficult to recapture his best form.

The former Chelsea player scored in West Ham's opening day win against Cardiff last week, however, and, with a good pre-season behind him, is hoping to capitalise on the dearth of English talent playing in the Premier League and force his way into manager Roy Hodgson's plans.

“I think any Englishman will want to play for his country, especially when you look at how few English players are in the Premier League at the moment,” Cole told reporters.

“I have been to three World Cups, so I would love to do it again, but it is just a case of how well I play at West Ham - that’s the main thing.

“I had a good pre-season, played a lot of minutes and a lot of games and it was nice to get out there at Upton Park again.

“The 18 months at Liverpool where I didn't play is obviously a bad time in my career, but when I did play there I felt I did all right.

“Then I had a good season in France [on loan], so there is nothing wrong with me. I am still only 31, so if people look at it like that, I can still do a job for England, but we will just have to see what happens.”

Cole is not thinking of calling time on his playing career any time soon and takes inspiration from Ryan Giggs, but the midfielder is keen on the idea of coaching at youth level.

“I want to play on for as long as I can and someone like Ryan Giggs is the benchmark for players over 30,” he added. “I watched him in the Charity Shield and he was fantastic.

“As to the coaching, I am passionate about youth football in England.

“It is something I would enjoy and youth football in particular, developing young players is something I am passionate about.”