What a difference a couple of days make. Joe Cole’s arrival at Anfield signaled the beginning of what has been a fantastic 48 hrs for Reds fans. With the skipper Steven Gerrard set to remain at the club, the dark clouds which have been hanging over Anfield for some time are beginning to disperse; two announcements that have given supporters a huge lift given the struggles and disappointments of the last months. Over to you Fernando and Javier…
In several previous articles I continually stated my hopes for the club to pursue a deal for Joe Cole, the best free transfer on the marker this summer and the type of player that the squad has clearly lacked for some time. It was with great delight therefore that I read the news of Cole’s arrival and gave praise to Roy Hodgson for making it happen. Joe Cole and £5.5 million for Yossi Benayoun? Go on then Roman. It is a struggle to see how both Chelsea and Benayoun got the better deal there.
The majority of Liverpool supporters were not too disappointed to see Benayoun leave the club, a well-liked player but definitely not a mainstay of the team. Fans were accepting of his departure, provided the manager was able to reinvest the money received and crucially replace the player with one of better quality.
Job done on this account.
Joe Cole, despite recent injury troubles has been one of the more creative and exciting players in the Premier League, a proven performer with great enthusiasm for the game and one who can chip in with crucial goals. His goal at Old Trafford last season for Chelsea effectively wrestled the title away from Manchester United, something Liverpool fans will certainly appreciate. Past performances for Chelsea against Liverpool have also been impressive.
Reported to have taken the number seven jersey, Cole will hope to enjoy more success in it than recent holders of the shirt, Harry Kewell and Robbie Keane. Whilst the history of the shirt is important, what matters is how Cole ultimately performs for the club during his time here, regardless of the number on his back. He will certainly receive no end of encouragement and support from the fans. Not since the signing of Fernando Torres in 2007 has an acquisition been so warmly received and generated genuine excitement. Liverpool and Joe Cole appears the perfect match.
The team, particularly last season were far too predictable and even boring. Rafael Benitez’s preference for solid, safe footballers like Kuyt, Lucas, Masherano et al made for an uninspired side, one without the weapons to hurt sides.
Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard cut forlorn figures, both reliant on the other to set up goalscoring opportunities. If they didn’t produce who was there to make the difference? Cole will hopefully help in this area, a player able to assist his teammates as well as contribute goals. Cole will provide the skill and trickery that the team has been crying out for, instigating a move away from the cautious approach seen all too often last season. A front three of Torres, Gerrard and Cole will most definitely worry most defences.
After the problems towards the end of his time at Chelsea, Cole wanted to feel wanted and appreciated at his next club, something he will not fail to feel upon his first appearance at Anfield, perhaps a crucial factor which swung his decision in Liverpool’s favour. Both Spurs and Arsenal have more attacking options than the Reds at present. Would Cole have been so enthusiastically received there as he has been at Anfield? At Liverpool he is both wanted and needed, with a crucial part to play in the upcoming season. A player primed to make an instant impact…don’t be surprised to see him score the winner against one of his previous suitors Arsenal on the opening day.
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