When Joe Cole was available on a free transfer from Chelsea last summer, I was one of many United fans who thought he’d be worth a punt. Turns out the club weren’t interested but I was not alone in thinking he might be worth the wages with him coming without a transfer fee.
Cole, who claimed to be a lifelong Chelsea fan, rubbed salt in the wounds of blues upon signing for Liverpool. “I could have stayed at Chelsea because the fans loved me and I won things, but I wanted to challenge myself and when I knew Liverpool were interested it was a no-brainer,” he said. “I thought about that semi-final, when I ran on to the field and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I was thinking about playing in that atmosphere every week and that swung it for me.”
The scousers were awfully excited and club captain Steven Gerrard gave a glowing report of his new team mate.
“Messi can do some amazing things, but anything he can do Joe can do as well, if not better,” Gerrard claimed. “He used to shock us in training by doing footy tricks with a golf ball that most players can’t even do with a football. I really fancy Joe for the [player of the year] award this season.”
On his league début he was sent off after 45 minutes and in his next game he missed a penalty. It wasn’t until January that he scored his first league goal for the club.
When he came to Old Trafford, he gave United fans the “five times” gesture, both in the Stretford End and when walking to the team bus. As he warmed down following the game at Anfield, he did the same thing again. Considering Liverpool weren’t even in the Champions League when he played for them and didn’t even qualify for the Europa League in his time there, it’s fairly rich for him to brag about Liverpool’s European Cup haul.
Regardless, after just 20 appearances in the Premier League and three goals in all competitions, Cole has today joined Lille on a season long loan, after having talks with QPR and Aston Villa.
It’s a good job Fergie signs our players and not the fans, eh?