England players demand Joe Cole's inclusion in first team

On a dramatic days in England's  history, John Terry spoke with team manager Fabio Capello [] and campaigned openly for Joe Cole's [ ] inclusion in the starting line-up to face Slovenia on Wednesday. He also voiced the team's desire for Wayne Rooney [ ] to play up front on his own.

john terryIt is not the first time an England World Cup campaign has seen the players confront a manager.

Much the same happened to Bobby Robson  in both 1986 and 1990, when England were re-shaped by tactical changes, and went on to reach the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

Terry, seen in some quarters as one of the leaders of a plot to force Capello to abandon his strict adherence to a rigid 4-4-2 system that has cramped England's style, said he represented the players and the team.

He dismissed reports of disharmony, and rebellion, and declared the team were "fully behind the manager" before adding that if the issues raised upset anyone, it did not matter.

This time, if persuaded to reconsider, Capello will switch to a 4-1-3-2 system with Joe Cole brought in on the left of midfield with licence to create chances.

"Joe (Cole) is one of these players who gives everything," said Terry. "I think him, and Wayne, are the only two we have who can open things up. They are the key to breaking down defences."

Reportedly, certain senior players want Gerrard playing closer to Rooney.

"We are a group of experienced players and we owe it to ourselves and the country.

"If we feel that things need to be changed, then everyone has to voice their opinion and, as I said, if it upsets him (Capello) or another player, then so what? I'm here to win it for England'"

Terry described how Capello "kicks and throws things around in the dressing room", but refuted the idea that England's players were frozen by fear.

"There is fear, naturally, at all levels of the game, but once you cross the white line, you are focussed on the job in hand. Fear is not a factor. It's no excuse. We just have not done it.

"Now we have one game to make, or break, our tournament. It's been three or four weeks now that I've been away from my kids and the family, but I just told the lads 'I don't want to go home on Wednesday - I am here to stay and win it'."

''If we can't be honest with each other then there's no point in us being here. I see Nico (Anelka [ ]) was sent home for voicing his opinion, so maybe a few of us will be sent home! Whether the manager changes it to go with five in midfield, and Wayne up on his own, I don't know. The manager has the final decision. But something needs changing.''

Earlier on Sunday, France's [ ] World Cup campaign descended into chaos with a row between captain Patrice Evra [ ] and a fitness coach, a boycott of a training session and the resignation of a senior team official.

All this came a day after striker Anelka was sent home for insulting coach Raymond Domenech at halftime of a 2-0 defeat by Mexico Thursday in Polokwane that left France on the verge of an embarrassing group stage exit.

The incidents were sparked by the players' decision to protest against the French Football Federation (FFF)'s decision to kick out Anelka and also by a nervousness among the players after the player's crude comments were leaked to the press.