Noble backs Cole for World Cup
Midfielder believes goals are vital in battle to beat the drop
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: February 26, 2010 12:12pm
Noble: Impressed by firepower
West Ham midfielder Mark Noble has backed club colleague Carlton Cole to earn a place in England's squad for the 2010 World Cup.
The powerful striker has enjoyed an excellent season and has scored nine Premier League goals for a struggling Hammers side, despite spending almost two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
England manager Fabio Capello is due to name his squad for next week's friendly with Egypt on Saturday evening and Cole will be in contention for a place in the party.
The Hammers are not in action this weekend, but Noble believes his team-mate's improvement since his 2006 arrival from Chelsea should still have done enough to impress ahead of Wednesday's friendly and this summer's World Cup.
"He just seems to get better all the time," the midfielder told skysports.com when asked about Cole. "The difference between him now and when he first came to the club (is massive).
"We knew he had loads of ability, but, I do not know why, he just wasn't showing it.
"Now, he is one of the best forwards in the country. He is fantastic for us and I'm sure he will continue to be. I'm sure a seat on the plane to South Africa will be his."
West Ham are battling relegation and the goals of Cole will prove a major factor in determining whether Gianfranco Zola's side survive or slip into the Championship.
New owners David Gold and David Sullivan agreed that as many attacking options as possible were required following their takeover in January.
And as a result, Ilan, Benni McCarthy and Mido all arrived in the winter transfer window to leave Noble delighted with his club's offensive armoury.
"When the new owners came in they said, 'we need bodies, we need strikers'," he said.
"Now we are lovely for strikers. We have probably got too many now, but that is what you need when you are in the position we are in.
"You need firepower. You need to be able pluck something off the bench or from somewhere to give us a helping hand."
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