Joe Cole and Joleon Lescott discussed about James Maddison and Jack Grealish. Cole couldn't choose one as a passenger to Qatar. “You can’t ask me that question. That’s like choosing between your children.
I love both. We’re just blessed that we’ve got these two lads. “What I would say is when playing for England, these two have not played enough. Certainly for James Maddison but also for Jack as well. They have not been given enough opportunities in my opinion.
For many, many years, we’ve cried out about players who can handle the ball, players with personality, players who can [show up] in crucial moments, World Cup semi-finals against Croatia, when games are tight.
“When the pressure is on, in this country, we talk too much about bravery being someone who can put their head anything, tackle through balls.
Bravery sometimes is in the big, big games, going and getting on the ball, but being competent and doing it.
There are many young players who will be important links. “Now we’ve got multiple players [who can do that].
You have [Mason] Mount and [Phil] Foden, and these two [Grealish and Maddison]. I’ve said it multiple times, in my opinion, at least two of Grealish, Mount, Foden, and Maddison will be on the pitch [for England at the World Cup].
At least two. At all times. It has to be.
“For us to improve as a nation, I believe that we need to handle the ball in big moments. And these two [Grealish and Maddison] handle the ball as good as anyone in world football.
That’s no doubt in my mind”.
Lescott also commented on Maddison's role in the team. I don’t think it comes down to ability in regard to the selection process for Maddison and Grealish [for England]. For me, it comes down to [the fact that] Jack has probably got more used to not starting every game, coming on as a sub, and impacting the game with 20 minutes to go.
“Has Maddison [got that ability]? We don’t know because he hasn’t had to do that [at Leicester].
So is he able to do that?
“Those are the finer details that go into the selection process. It’s not just about what quality he has on the ball.
“It’s a case of, for example, Maddison may be the best free-kick taker, but if Harry Kane’s on the pitch, he’s not taking free-kicks, so what impact will he have in regards to coming on in the 80th minute, and having an impact on the game”.