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Obsession with long-ball game behind England's WC demise: Cole

Posted By: Devaki

London, Jul 4 (ANI): Midfielder Joe Cole has claimed that England's World Cup demise was caused by side lining of technically-gifted players due to an obsession with the long-ball game.

Cole, who played for just 44 minutes in South Africa, said: "I want the right kind of manager, a manager who loves me, who will put me in the team. At Chelsea there were players who could have two or three dreadful games before they were left out. I only had to have a dreadful 20 minutes and I was out."

"Every team I have played for - from West Ham to Chelsea to England - want to hit the front players as early as possible. You won't get away with that at international level. It's about technique, keeping control of the ball, passing and moving.

"Chelsea do that more than other teams in Premier League, and that's why we've been successful, and it's the same with Manchester United and Arsenal. I was brought up that way and that's always been the way forward," News of the World quoted him, as saying.

"We don't keep the ball as well as other countries. That's not a secret. We seem to abandon good technique because we are obsessed with getting the ball from back to front as quickly as possible. That doesn't work against top teams," Cole added.

Cole also blamed the influx of foreign talent into the Premier League as a major factor in our demise.

"My opinion is we have to change the way we play completely. When I came through at West Ham our league was probably the fifth best league in the world. A group of us came through at the same time and we were able to do that because of how things were in England then," he said.

"Now, though, the Premier League is the best league in the world. That means it is much tougher for kids to break through. Maybe we're paying the price for having the best league in the world. Clubs go out to buy players who are already the finished article." (ANI)

Story first published: Sunday, July 4, 2010, 14:07 [IST]
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