Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CHELSEA'S DAD'S ARMY TRIUMPHED, NOW WE'LL RULE WORLD; Peter Crouch Says That England's 'Veterans' Can Learn from the Blues Who Proved the Critics Wrong to Win the Double This Season

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CHELSEA'S DAD'S ARMY TRIUMPHED, NOW WE'LL RULE WORLD; Peter Crouch Says That England's 'Veterans' Can Learn from the Blues Who Proved the Critics Wrong to Win the Double This Season

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

PETER CROUCH has insisted Chelsea's title triumph with an ageing team has given England the confidence they can win the World Cup.

England's provisional squad is the second oldest of all 32 teams participating in the competition, with 13 players aged 29 years old or over.

Chelsea, who could have four representatives -- Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Ashley Cole and former skipper John Terry -- on the flight to South Africa next month, were criticised by some experts, including Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, for having too many veterans in their ranks this campaign.

But they went on to win the Premier League and FA Cup this season and Tottenham striker Crouch believes the array of senior talent can work in England's favour, too.

He said: "Chelsea winning the League shows that experience works in your favour. For me it's the best thing. If you have players aged 29, 30 and 31 who have been at the highest level for a long long time, it is certainly going to stand you in good stead at the World Cup."

Crouch feels the contingent from London's top clubs will also have a beneficial effect on the nation's chances. Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham finished first, third and fourth respectively and have been rewarded accordingly with 11 players called up for the pre-training camp in Austria.

West Ham, who just survived relegation, provide three (Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Scott Parker) but Crouch argues that the players who finished in the top four will be at the peak of their form.

Much is always made of the trio of West Ham stars -- Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters -- who inspired England in 1966 and Crouch said: "Hopefully London can do the same this time. Players from London clubs have a real chance of making an impact.

"It's great for the London clubs that three of the top four in the Premier League were from London and nearly half the squad is made up of players from those teams.

"We're all full of confidence because we've had fantastic seasons. Obviously Chelsea won the League, Arsenal qualified for the Champions League again and Spurs finished fourth. …

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