Date: 3rd February 2011 at 8:36am
Written by:

Joe Cole has disappeared from sight. To some this has come as a surprise but the signs were there all along that Liverpool was being flogged a dead horse.

The willingness with which Chelsea were prepared to part with him should have been a massive tell-tale sign. Carlo Ancelotti was quoted saying:

“Joe Cole is quicker than Benayoun but Yossi is better tactically. He understands what I tell him. Yossi is a very intelligent player.”

“He knows everything about the game. Cole and Benayoun are different players and everyone has their own opinion, but we are happy to have Yossi here at Chelsea.”

These words have proved to be all too true. In the earlier part of the season Roy Hodgson deployed Joe Cole wide on the left. This is not his preferred role but one that he should have had an aptitude for having played wide right at Chelsea. He was in a similar predicament to Dirk Kuyt in having to play in an unfamiliar role. The basic requirement of playing out wide is that you have to create the width for the team by staying wide during the build-up. In possession you must try to stretch the defence and then deliver into the space you’ve created on the inside. Without the ball you drift out to in to add to targets for the opposite wide player.

Though not as easy to do as it is to write it wouldn’t seem past a player of Joe Cole’s obvious technical talent. His ability to create space for a cross with his skill cannot be questioned. He doesn’t have the space to his the by-line but I certainly would expect him to still be able to fashion enough space for a cross. The only problem with our man Cole is that he can never be found out wide. His infuriating instinct to drift infield was at times the most frustrating part of watching Liverpool’s laboured performances under RH. To make it worse we also got healthy doses of Raul Meireles on the opposite wing – just doesn’t make any sense!

That lack of tactical knowhow is what is making it difficult for Cole to find a role in this Liverpool team. He cannot be deployed out wide without the support of an overlapping wing back. Fortunately for him (and us) King Kenny seems intent on playing a possession game which will suit him well. Now all that’s left is to claim a spot in the field. As of now I would be willing to give him a look at right midfield where Kuyt is struggling and continues to be a liability because of his loose footwork.

It may be interesting to see an advanced midfield three of Maxi, Gerrard and Cole with a defensive minded player behind them. That midfield would certainly give us an ability to hold possession though it would be very lightweight in the event of a scrap.

Time will tell. Let’s hope we will soon get our money’s worth!


15 responses to “Joe Cole : A lost soul”

  1. KK says:


    Agger Carra Sktle

    Kelly Lucas Johnson

    Gerrard Merieles Suarez



    Subs: J.Cole, J.Shelvey, Kuyt, Wilson, B.Jones

  2. Bomber25 says:

    Dirk Kuyt complements the team in many other ways; in that respect alone, he deserves his place in the side.

  3. Kava says:

    What a conundrum Joe Cole is. I can’t believe he hasnt had one minute of gametime under KK. But in truth we havn’t missed him at all. Its strange coz as Moko mentioned the pass and move style we are playing now suits him to the tee. Hopefully he forces his way into the starting lineup somehow.

    My suggestion is we continue with the 4-3-3 we’ve been playing apart from yesterday and stick him on the right, Suarez on the left and AC in the middle. Midfield we’d have Gerrard, Miereles and Lucas. That would rival any of the top sides right now.

    With KK in charge we are in good hands and I hope Mr Henry and co do the right thing and sign him up.

  4. Towson Tom says:

    Joe is all you say he is, But Dirk is worth his weight in gold.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Dirk is very valuable against the top sides with his effort and physicality, but there are times against the lesser sides of the world that we can do with a bit more flair on the flanks and those are Cole’s time to shine. Unfortunately he’s done very little of that thus far, and we’ll just have to hope his window isn’t already closed.

  6. MoKo says:

    I like a more strict 3-5-2 with Suarez up alongside Carroll. It would the five in midfield would give us an edge as we really do not have an elite defensive midfielder.

    Although 3-5-2 is often viewed as a defensive formation (mainly by some rather naive commentators on Sky) it is probably our most attacking shape. It allows us to partner all of our most attackingly gifted players at once without sacrificing width or defensive structure.

    I do worry about being susceptible to teams that have good wingers. Late in the game against Stoke we saw Pennant getting into situations where he was goal side of Johnson. He only had one target so it was ineffectual but imagine Nani getting in behind Johnson with Berba and Rooney one-on-one with the the other two centre back! Scary!

    At home against teams that will sit back and soak up it is a great option. put on all your weapons and try to pick a way through the bodies. Against top opponents or teams with pace out wide I would stick to a four man defence every time.

  7. Craquebrito says:

    The moat infuriating thing about Joe Cole in red is that he does the bare minimum. He basically gets the ball running backwards and passes it back, and then drifts forwards into the opposition players. He doesn’t want the ball, he has no idea what to do with it, he can’t go past his man, nor find a forward pass, cross or shot. And his confidence is so shot that he’s not even trying anymore.
    Send him on loan to anyone willing to pay half his wages.
    Sending in an 18 year old Jonjo every game to play in Cole’s position signals what KK thinks of him.

  8. Fernando Tourettes says:

    Surely you mean Joe ‘Kewell’@ £90,000 per week. Get rid now !!

  9. Mike Arms says:

    Was Cole to vocal in his support for Hodgson? Did he somehow say a few words about Kenny maybe?
    It seems very strange that Kenny hasn’t given him any time on the pitch nor was he even a sub last night. Remember when Kenny fell out with Peter Beardsley, to the detriment of the team, Beardsley was soon shipped out.
    Cole has played 45 mins for the reserves but he wasn’t mentioned in any possible transfer or loan during the window, in fact it seems like he’s just disappeared.

  10. Phil says:

    The team above without Lucas I would agree that is why torres went because of lack of quality in the team like Kuyt Lucas

    • Meireles says:

      What nonsense!

      Lucas has been one of our best players this season…as he was last season.

      People like you have made up your mind & judge him according to the crap media hype

      • MoKo says:

        I 100% back support your view. Lucas has been one of our best and most consistant performers in the last two season. I saw on Sky’s Opta stats review he is again in the top 5 for tackles made this season as he was last season.

        One day people will get it…hopefully before he leaves!

    • The God says:

      I thought Lucas playing well thus far! Get rid of Garra indeed. He is old and slow now. Buy Michael Turner as replacement.