Does Joe Cole already know he’s going to South Africa?

Did Joe Cole play himself onto the plane with his performance on Sunday? And has he already been told to alert his personal baggage packer?

A very flimsy rumour, this one, but England hopeful Joe Cole was spotted enjoying a drink with Mrs Carly Cole and a bunch of mates on Sunday night, in an east London tavern, just a few hours after turning out in the rain against Japan in Austria.

Such was the general demeanour of the party and the specific cheerfulness of Joe Cole, that our witness could only conclude that the Chelsea midfielder was a) in the squad and b) saying farewell to friends and family.

Quite how Cole’s inclusion improves England’s chances – or otherwise – remains to be seen, although general concensus seems to be that it would be a good thing for him to be amongst the troops.

Fabio Capello will reveal all on Tuesday, the last possible day for all competing nations to reveal their chosen 23 players.

Does Joe Cole’s possible inclusion make you feel better about England’s chances? They are still a convincing 1/3 to top Group C.