When Roy Hodgson signed Joe Cole on a free transfer, it marked the beginning of the end for Liverpool. The end being of course, the downward curve which Rafael Benitez was bringing them. Mr. Hodgson is a shrewd, intelligent and calculated businessman and an even better manager. Letting Benayoun go for £5m and getting a younger, better version of Benayoun for free, just reinforces the genius we all know Roy has.
Whether he’s scoring 30 yard belters for England at the World Cup, knocking in outrageous back heels against Manchester United or simply mesmerising opposition defenders, the guy has got it all.
Because of my opening paragraph many non-Liverpool fans will be scoffing at my evaluation of the capture. As a Manchester United fan, so was I. But then I had a little think to myself and now his signing is having a wonderful effect on the rest of the club despite only being a Liverpool player for a day.
Already Steven Gerrard has come out and spoken of his delight at playing with the tricky forward in the red of Liverpool and has more or less verbally committed his future to the Merseyside club after several weeks of speculation. Even Ian Rush is getting his opinion in there.
“This shows we can still attract top name players.”
The Joe Cole signing will have a snowball effect on Liverpool Football Club. Now we have Gerrard committing and things don’t look so bleak as they did during the World Cup. It was thought many players had become disenchanted with the previous season and wanted to jump ship. One by one though, Roy is winning over the players which Benitez treated like robots.
Slowly but surely Roy will bulild up yet another dynasty at Anfield and Joe Cole signals the beginning of that. The job Mr. Hodgson did at Fulham was nothing short of a miracle. Heroics on the final day of the season to avoid the drop to qualifying for the Europa League and getting to the final of the aforementioned is on a par with any other achievement in football. Now we are seeing this being implemented at Anfield.
He’s not splashing the cash on foreign imports with fancy names but he’s getting a well-known English winger who has a bit of creativity and class about him.
He was rarely involved last season for Chelsea as they cantered to a first Double in their history but his vital input came at Old Trafford where a cheeky back heel set Chelsea on their way to reclaiming the title and more importantly and memorably to Liverpool fans, denied them a record-breaking 19th title.
More of the same can be expected at Anfield next season. After being given the legendary number 7 jersey worn by Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan. There’s no doubt about it, at 28 years of age, Joe is coming into his prime. He’s over his injury problems and the revival of LFC is well and truly underway.