LFC Advent Calendar 10 – Joe Cole
When Roy Hodgson arrived in summer of 2010, he had the services of Joe Cole to look forward to as he had agreed to sign before the former England manager arrived. Cole’s contract had just expired after a 7 year spell at Chelsea and subsequently he decided to join the Reds.
Upon his arrival at Anfield, Steven Gerrard spoke very highly of his international team mate saying that anything Messi could do Joe Cole could also do with the ball at his feet. This high praise filled fans with excitement.
Cole made his debut in what was a big game for Liverpool against Arsenal, and fans were intrigued to see if the 28 year old, at the time, would have the ability to impact big games in the same way as he did in his 7 years at Stamford Bridge.
He got off to the worst possible start though as just on the stroke of half time, the former West Ham man was shown red for a lunge on Laurent Koscielny.
This bad start at Liverpool summed up the way the rest of his career at the club would go. He made 32 appearances in all competitions in his first season, scoring 3 goals.
The disappointing campaign led to Cole leaving the club to join Lille in Ligue 1 on a season-long loan. Cole played a regular part in the French side’s season and obviously impressed Rudi Garcia as he wanted to keep him at the club; but Brendan Rodgers wanted Cole back at Liverpool.
He played a further six times in Red, before leaving in January 2013 to join his boyhood club West Ham on a free.
Cole was a disappointment at Liverpool, after being highly praised and regarded as a good piece of business when he signed. It was a shame he couldn’t be successful at the club, because in his time at Chelsea he showed he had the talent.
Whether it was down to injuries or a lack of confidence, it will always be one of those cases of what could’ve been with Cole and Liverpool.