When watching Joe Cole’s interview on Football Focus last weekend I have to admit to feeling delighted and disappointed in equal measure afterwards.
I was delighted by the fact that, not only has Joe Cole settled in immediately on the pitch, the Englishman seemed genuinely settled with his family following his move to France. My reason to be disappointed I will get onto later.
Let’s not forget, less than 18 months ago Cole was at the centre of a seemingly nationwide campaign for him to play at the World Cup. Wayne Rooney, John Terry and half the country felt Joe Cole could be the player to inject a spark into a lacklustre England side.
John Terry went as far as stating to the world’s press that, ‘He (Cole) and Wayne are the only two who can open up defences,’ said Terry. ‘Joe is one of the best players in our country.’
Yet Cole was limited to two substitute appearances, indeed within minutes of entering the field of play against Germany England slumped from 2-1 down to 4-1, England’s tournament was over.
Less than a month later Cole signed for Liverpool, following his release by Chelsea due to a disagreement over the player’s wage demands.
At Liverpool, it just did not happen for the talented playmaker, it would be hard to say Cole had a poor season, it would also be difficult to say he played consistently well. Largely consigned to the substitutes bench last season, and following Liverpool’s summer of investment, Cole was in need of another move if he was to find first team football.
Come transfer deadline day numerous deals were mooted, QPR, Aston Villa, it looked like Cole was set to ink another chapter at another English club. Then the news broke, ‘Joe Cole signs for Lille on a season long loan’. ‘Lille? In France? Joe Cole, the born and bred Londoner?’ was the cry.
Thus far, the move has been a resounding success. 3 goals and 3 assists in his 13 games only tell half the story. His first assist for the club came on his debut following a mesmerising solo run against Saint-Etienne. His first goal was a 25 yard thunderbolt against FC Lorient. Watch both, and decide for yourself whether the player is over the hill as many have recently suggested.
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