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Liverpool legend Hansen: England missed Cole

Former Liverpool captain Alan Hansen felt England missed Chelsea icon Ashley Cole in defeat to World Cup opponents Italy. Cole was left at home by England coach Roy Hodgson.

Hansen wrote in the Telegraph: "(Leighton) Baines has enjoyed a fantastic season at Everton and he is clearly a top player, but he is inexperienced at international level and a novice when it comes to tournament football. But with Italy targeting his side of pitch on a consistent basis, England needed Baines to communicate with (Wayne) Rooney and urge him to offer more protection to prevent the Italians from bombarding that flank.

"The question mark over Baines is whether he feels experienced and established enough to instruct Rooney where to position himself.

"There would be no such issue with Cole, a man who has made 100 appearances for his country and performed at countless major tournaments.

"I saw Cole play for Chelsea at Liverpool towards the end of last season and, although he did not play as often as he would have hoped for Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, he had not lost much of his pace, and his experience enabled him to produce an impressive performance."

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