World Cup 2014: Wayne Rooney will deliver for England, insists Joe Cole
World Cup 2014: Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole expects England striker Wayne Rooney to shine in Brazil this summer
Joe Cole has backed Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to deliver for England at the World Cup.
The 28-year-old has come under fire in recent weeks after a string of muted performances for the Three Lions in their warm-up games ahead of their Group D opener against Italy.
He will come out and deliver this time
Rooney, who made his major tournament debut at Euro 2004, scored 17 goals and made 10 assists in 29 Premier League appearances last season.
And the United striker’s former England team-mate Cole defended Rooney and tipped the Three Lions star to make the difference for Roy Hodgson’s side in Brazil.
“Wayne Rooney is proven,” Cole told TalkSport. “He will break all goalscoring records with England.
“The class is there and I just think he’s going to be the difference now. If a ball drops in the penalty box against Italy, there is no other man in England you would want it going to. He will come out and deliver this time.”
Cole, who moved to Aston Villa on a free transfer earlier this week, believes Hodgson’s men are capable of winning the World Cup despite boasting a largely inexperienced squad.
“My heart says we can win it,” Cole added. “I think from the quality of the squad and from what I hear from inside the camp, anything less than the quarter-finals would be disappointing.
“I have watched all three friendlies and I’m very happy. Forget the two draws I think the performances have been good and Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley all look sharp, but it was disappointing to lose Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“I genuinely think England have got a massive chance here because those three boys in particular look fearless and Steven Gerrard has got the bit between his teeth too. I’m quite positive about it all.”