What would football be without a saga? Not as interesting, that’s what! One of our saddest (funniest) stories this season has been the decline of Joe Cole, the one time England regular now cuts a lonely figure as part of the Liverpool squad for the much maligned Europa League.
Can he get a league game? Can he hell. Why this is remains a bit of a mystery, he played well last season for Chelsea and his decline has been so sudden, he has become the forgotten man of English football in 6 months.
Well it now seems that Uncle Avram Grant has a home for the frustrated midfielder, the West Ham boss has come out and made it clear that he would love to work with the tricky dribbler again in the future so could a return to his first club be on the cards for the 29 year old?
To be fair to the player his career at Liverpool has been blighted by what can be politely deemed managerial problems, suspension and a few niggling injuries. He was thought to be a great signing for the club, but this has clearly never come to fruition.
A lack of fitness has been the most recent problem and Cole has turned out for the reserves on a couple of occasions to try and get some match sharpness. The former Chelsea man still appears willing and he appeared to be working hard for his side on Thursday night, but he looks to lack confidence, hardly surprising considering the lack of time Cole has had on the pitch.
The next question though, is whether you can blame Kenny Dalglish for not using Cole. In my mind not at all, there has been an upturn in performances since ‘King Kenny’ reshuffled the side and sometimes certain players just don’t fit into a managers system and I think that is the case with Joe Cole. Should Meireles or Gerrard get injured it could be the time for the former England international to come in and play behind the forward line, but until then I think he needs to buckle down and focus on his game and staying fit.
What of the future? Well Kenny Dalglish is still full of praise for the winger and has come out and said that he respects the work that Cole has been putting in, recently saying:
“There is not much wrong with his fitness, he just needs to get back into match practice and the lad will be OK….I don’t think he needed to show anybody he wanted to play….It has been frustrating for the wee man, sent off in his first game and then he picked up two or three injuries. He never really got going….It’s the first opportunity I’ve had to have him in the squad and he’s a great asset to have.”
This would suggest perhaps that there is a future at Anfield for Cole, and that if he can get that fitness that has alluded him then Dalglish will consider him for the first team. I still think he could be a great asset for Liverpool, I don’t think players go bad over night and if he can get a run of games in the team and gain some confidence, I firmly believe he can be an important player for the club. If that isn’t too happen though? What other options are available to the winger.
Well Avram Grant speaking recently has been full of praise for the player he worked with at Chelsea, he has said the following:
“When I was at Chelsea, Joe played well, and if he is not good for Liverpool, they can bring him to me.”
Should West Ham survive and if Cole doesn’t manage to break back into the first team reckoning at Liverpool, there is every opportunity that the player could be on the move again, and although it may take a wage cut I can see why the proposition of returning to the Hammers would be a decent option for the player. He would be the heartbeat of that team and is exactly the sort of player that West Ham fans enjoy to watch.
There have also been reports linking Cole with Newcastle in recent weeks and that again could be a good move for the player, but either way what Cole needs most as he approaches 30 is a run of games at a club, and if he can prove his fitness and gain that confidence I still think there are some miles on the clock of the former Chelsea man.
For more of my footballing thoughts, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience