Midfield maestro is back where he belongs
The King is coming back to where he belongs, draped in a claret and blue shirt.
Joe Cole has finally returned to the club where he first burst onto the scene at the age of just 17, when he made his name as one of the best young prospects in English football.
Now at the age of 31 having just ended a miserable spell at Liverpool, Cole returns with something of a point to prove after never quite fulfilling his potential after leaving Upton Park in 2003.
As probably the most technically gifted player of England’s so called ‘Golden Generation’ Cole has struggled to hit the highs his talent deserved.
Titles and cups were in plentiful supply when he left the Hammers for Chelsea but he often found himself shackled by the tactics of Jose Mourinho who would often leave Cole on the side-lines.
After walking away from the West London club in 2010 he became Roy Hodgson’s first signing of an ultimately doomed reign and has since endured a tough time on Merseyside.
Whilst Hodgson has gone on to manage the national team, Cole has dropped down the international pecking order with no cap since 2010, coinciding with the move North.
Out of favour with both Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers, Cole never displayed his true value to Liverpool and after a season on loan at Lille last year he is finally back in more familiar surroundings.
His return to the Boleyn Ground could not come at a better time for a squad which is in need of reinforcements.
Cole will arrive as Yossi Benayoun departs, to offer badly needed midfield options after the Israeli’s injury laden second spell at the club came to an end.
Sam Allardyce has bemoaned the amount of injuries that have robbed him of around ten first team players at times this season, but the addition of a cult hero should boost his morale.
The midfielder needs a run of games, something he has not had for a while, and something he will most certainly get given the current state of the squad.
And with rumours circulating that the unthinkable may happen and Mohamed Diame may leave the club this provides a timely shot in the arm for the fans.
Cole could go straight into this weekend’s squad to face Manchester United in the FA cup, a perfect opportunity for the King to announce his second coming with a special performance.
If Cole does roll back the years and find the form he once displayed at Upton Park, then I will once again be waiting with childlike enthusiasm to watch a master at work.