As new manager Roy Hodgson looked to put his mark on the Reds’ side, he surprised some fans after making a deal for Joe Cole to join the club on a free transfer from Chelsea.
The England midfielder arrived at Anfield with great success at Chelsea, having won seven major trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge.
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“I think this sends a sign to Liverpool fans that the club are serious,” was the verdict of club legend Ian Rush after hearing that Cole’s move to Merseyside was over – and he wasn’t. the only one to be excited by his arrival.
Steven Gerrard paid Cole the ultimate compliment in an interview with Match of the Day magazine, comparing him to everyone’s Lionel Messi.
« [Lionel] Messi can do amazing things, but whatever he can do Joe can do too, if not better, ”said Gerrard.
“He shocked us in practice by doing soccer tricks with a golf ball that most players can’t even do with a soccer ball.
“I really want Joe for the [player of the year] reward this season, ”he added.
Gerrard’s prediction that Cole would become player of the season did not go as planned, as the ex-Chelsea star gave a first glimpse of the disappointment that would follow his Premier League debut.
Facing his opponent this weekend, Arsenal, the three-time high-flying English winner saw his afternoon at Anfield end on the stroke of halftime.
Frustrated for much of Arsene Wenger’s first 45 minutes, Cole let his emotions get the better of him with a late challenge over defender Laurent Koscielny.
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A three-game suspension followed for the 40-year-old, who would find himself in and out of the squad throughout his first season due to injury issues.
One game he was in was a 3-1 loss to the Blackburn Rovers on January 5, 2011 – Hodgson’s last game at the head of the club before being sacked.
The arrival of Kenny Dalglish on a provisional basis did little to improve Cole’s chances of playing for the first team, resulting in a loan to Lille the following season.
A set chance turned out to be beneficial for the former England international, who regularly played alongside Dimitri Payet and Eden Hazard as Lille finished third in Ligue 1.
By the time he returned to Liverpool in the summer of 2012, another change of management had been made.
“It got to the point where I wanted to stay in Lille, Lille wanted me, but then Brendan [Rodgers] came to Liverpool, ”Cole said.
“Brendan who I knew from Chelsea, he knew what I could do, he saw me in my splendor, so he thought I could be a useful player. “
However, the excitement of the Rodgers diet would soon pass, as further opening day frustration was on Cole’s agenda.
Following his red card against Arsenal in the first week of the 2010/11 campaign, a hamstring injury saw Cole substituted in the opening ten minutes against West Bromwich Albion as hopes of reviving his career at Liverpool took hold. another shot.
One of his last acts in a Liverpool shirt was scoring for the Reds in a comeback victory over West Ham United in December 2012, giving fans a flash of sparkle that was rarely seen during his stay at the club.
Cole was back at Upton Park a month later on a free transfer to the Hammers, a year and a half before his contract with Liverpool expired.
Although the Reds did not pay a fee to secure the deal in 2010, there remained a sense of regret attached to the move. And for Cole, the feeling was mutual.
“I can only play for teams that I’m passionate about and I think that’s what hasn’t worked for me at Liverpool,” he said in 2013.
“I didn’t feel a connection with the club or the place I had at Chelsea and West Ham.
“When I joined, the guy who interviewed me said ‘you joined the biggest club in the country’ and took the trophies they won.
“I just said ‘yeah, if you put it like that I guess you’re right’ and Liverpool used that as the title of the interview.
“I didn’t want to upset anyone, so I accepted it. But obviously, it is no longer the biggest club in the country.
“How do you judge the size of a club? Nottingham Forest has won the European Cup twice, but it’s not a bigger club than Chelsea. “