JOE COLE is a surprise contender to become England Under-21 boss.
Current coach Aidy Boothroyd is set for the axe following the disastrous European Championship campaign.
England’s colts finished bottom of their group and Boothroyd then further damaged his chances of staying on by describing the role as an “utterly impossible job”.
Former Chelsea and England midfielder Cole, 39, obtained his Uefa A licence a year ago and is passionate about making a move into management.
He is also passionate about our national team.
Since retiring as a player, Cole has worked as a coach in the academy of his old club.
He has also been to England’s HQ at St George’s Park to study training sessions and give talks to youth players.
Cole’s old Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard and current QPR boss Mark Warburton have also been touted as possible successors to Boothroyd.
Warburton has since played down the speculation and it is believed that Lampard, who has just become a dad again, plans to enjoy a “long holiday” before considering a return to management.
England’s Under-17 coach Justin Cochrane is another in the frame.
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Cole works as a pundit for BT Sport but sees coaching as his long-term ambition.
The U-21s thought they had done enough to scrape through as goals from Ebere Eze and Curtis Jones put them 2-0 up against Croatia.
But in the first minute of stoppage time, Croatia left-back Domagoj Bradaric unleashed a rocket from outside the area that eliminated England.