So finally the footballing world has got over World Cup fever and is about to get back down to the nitty gritty of week-in, week-out league football again. And as with any league season, there’s the perennial pre-season transfer market for us football fans to enjoy, berate and totally lose ourselves in. As with any summer transfer market, there’s always one signing that nobody sees coming, and the summer of 2010 has proved no different. So I ask; who the hell saw the Reds getting Cole? Seriously? Hands up…didn’t think I’d see any.
It just seems like such an odd move for Cole. No Champions League. There is certainly no realistic chance of getting the Premier League crown this season. So what motivated him? Well probably the usual, money; however it just seems like a step down for Cole.
So this begs the question, why didn’t Manchester United sign him? It’s not a step down that’s for sure, as everyone knows United will be challenging for the title this year as always. Also even with United’s huge debt, they could easily match the £90,000 a week that Liverpool has given him. And he’d get a game, that’s for sure.
But why should Man United sign him? Because Man United NEED a player like Cole. Why I here you ask? Because they were short last year in one key department – goals. Now I’m not saying Cole was going to be the new Ronaldo with 30 plus a season, but he could have been the man that created those goals. United cannot rely on Paul Scholes to be that man anymore, considering his age. And the small matter of him retiring at the end of the season. Another attribute that Joe Cole has on his side is age. Yes he’s pushing 30 but the key point is that he IS under 30. It’s something that United haven’t got right now in midfield, a player hitting his peak.
One argument that is being suggested for his move to the scouse part of the north-west is he wanted a long-term deal. It’s apparently why he turned down offers from Spurs and his old haunt at Upton Park. But surely United would have given him the same.
However the biggest thing that is puzzling most United fans is that Cole was free. United had nothing to lose in signing him. Sure, he gets injured quite a lot but so does Owen Hargreaves. So does Michael Owen, who Fergie signed under similar circumstances last year. And Cole is definitely a better asset to a team than Michael Owen.
So where do United go now for a new midfield dynamo? It’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll wait until next year, and hope that Giggs and Scholes can produce the goods just one final time for the red devils. As for Roy Hodgson and his men, they’ve taken the first positive step in the long rebuilding process for Liverpool football Club. Only time will tell to see if Man United were right in letting Cole slip away to their bitterest rivals.
Written By Michael Glover