By Arun Nair
After his dismal performance in the Capital One Cup defeat, I wrote an article about Joe Cole, covering the many lows and rare highlights of his time at Liverpool(see here http://www.empireofthekop.com/anfield/2012/11/04/uncertain-future-for-cole/). In all honesty, I like many had written the former Chelsea and West Ham star off. I didn’t believe that he still had sufficient quality to contribute to Liverpool.
But last night against Young Boys, Cole provided enough to urge me to reconsider my own opinion, and many other Reds fans.
Cole produced a performance in stark contrast to the general feeling of disappointment concerning his Liverpool career. He provided both industry and creativity on the right flank, drifting inside and linking with Suso to great effect. He created the first goal, playing a one-two with the afore mentioned Spaniard before lofting over Marco Wolfli, allowing Jonjo Shelvey to nod in from close range. In the second half he continued to play an integral role, threatening to penetrate the Swiss side’s rearguard with incisive passes.
Then his moment came. Steven Gerrard threaded the ball through, and Cole spun and fired past Wolfli, to the joy of a rapturous Kop. His delight was obvious as he wheeled away with a beaming smile.
It was a performance with shades the scintilating standards set by Cole in his heyday, and was by far the best showing the Londoner had shown at Liverpool. But it bodes well for the future. Last night put a grain of doubt in the minds of his critics. He believes he can still be a success.
“I was a good player at West Ham, Chelsea and Lille and I think I can be a good player at Liverpool. I’m getting stronger with every game. It is normal that a player wants to play all the time. It was my third game back from a hamstring problem and I felt good.”
Cole can still prove his doubters wrong. Last night demonstrated that Cole could yet be a Reds star.
I ended my previous article with the below words. This time the article preceding them has a thoroughly different tone. Cole is optimistic his future is bright. And I hope he’s right.
Only time will tell.