Joe Cole – He’s no Gareth Bale
By Mark Ritson.
Immediately after news broke of Joe Cole’s release from Chelsea, rumours began flying around that he’ll be going to Manchester Utd, Arsenal or…Tottenham. The England ace is a fantastic player, no doubt about it, and news of his release could spur the former West Ham man to produce another eye-catching display at the World Cup. But if he goes to Tottenham and links up with Harry Redknapp again, can they offer him a starting place?
Now, before you question my judgement, think about where Joe Cole plays. He has been seen as a left or right winger, or someone can play in behind a lone striker throughout his career so far. Harry likes two proper forwards in his starting XI sides, especially with four top class strikers already at the club, so that doesn’t guarantee Cole a place.
Then you look at both wings. On the right side, you have Aaron Lennon and on the left side you have either Niko Kranjcar or Gareth Bale. You just can’t see Cole replacing Lennon on the right. Since Christmas, we all saw a brand new Gareth Bale. He was involved in a number of chances, scoring goals and was rewarded with a new contract. He was even seen as a target for all of the top clubs around Europe. However, if he hadn’t have produced those performances after Christmas, then yes, Joe Cole is a player that Tottenham would have needed, without question.
Despite the lure of Champions League football, they DON’T need him. Bale has made the left wing position his own and it’ll be interesting to see if he can carry on his devastating from last season against some of the best sides in Europe. Of course, all clubs look to acquire better players once they reach the next level, so it shall be interesting to see which players Harry Redknapp stays loyal to.
With Lennon and Bale guaranteed starting places on either wing and seen as good enough to step up to Champions League football, the only real area of improvement would be in the centre of midfield. But, Cole does not play there, meaning that Harry could only use him on a squad rotation. Cole was fed up with playing that role at Chelsea last season and wants first team football, leaving many to predict his move to north London rivals Arsenal, a likely one.
He’s just had a baby with his wife, is settled in London and has always played in London, so it would be a surprise to see him go north to Manchester Utd, or even Manchester City. Which ever team gets him, they’ll be sure to have acquired the services of a hungry, passionate and talented player – for free.
Which team is Joe Cole best suited to go to? Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Arsenal or Tottenham? Or could he surprise us all by moving abroad, possibly to Real Madrid to play under Jose Mourinho again?
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