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Roy Hodgson on Joe Cole


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LIVERPOOL'S JOE COLE MUST FIGHT TO KEEP UP APPEARANCES

 

Thursday December 23,2010

By Paul Joyce

 

JOE COLE was sitting in a media tent in the build-up to England’s opening match at the World Cup when he was asked if Fabio Capello’s disciplinarian outlook, and the sparse and isolated surroundings of the team’s Rustenburg base, might take away some of the enjoyment of being involved in the biggest show on the planet.

 

“You can’t suck the fun out of football,” Cole shot back, his response instantaneous.

 

With his own personal annus horribilis now weighing heavily on his shoulders, his attitude may have changed in the months since.

 

From Chelsea cast-off to England reject to bit-part player at Liverpool, Cole is facing arguably the biggest test of his career as he attempts to coax the smile back on to his face and force himself back into someone’s – anyone’s – starting line-up.

 

One thing is certain: the new year represents a new start.

 

“Joe has to come to terms with the fact that he has come here after an unsuccessful period at Chelsea with high hopes of taking Liverpool by storm and unfortunately it’s not happened. That’s life,” said Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson yesterday.

 

“He should have great confidence in his ability as he is a very good footballer. As far as I am concerned, everything he has to say should be said on that patch of green grass.

 

“He should be convincing me and everyone watching that this is a player who can help Liverpool win things. And you couldn’t say that has been the case so far.

 

“I don’t care how many things are written or said, you can’t make black into white.

 

“What I’m saying could be transformed into ‘Hodgson criticises Cole’, but it’s not that. I’m just analysing the situation.”

 

Having only recently returned from a hamstring injury, the postponement of the Fulham game and the threat which hangs over the Boxing Day fixture with Blackpool fits neatly with a year of frustration for Cole.

 

He made as many substitute appearances for Chelsea in the second half of last season, 11, as starts and was restricted to two cameos lasting just 44 minutes in total at the World Cup, despite John Terry’s very public lobbying for him to be shoe-horned into Capello’s starting line-up. Therein lies part of the problem for Cole, whose sole goal for Liverpool against Steaua Bucharest after just 27 seconds has at least earned him a place in the record books as the club’s fastest goalscorer in Europe.

 

Cole believes he is best deployed just off the striker. Yet after a handful of appearances in that role, stymied by his opening-weekend red card against Arsenal, Hodgson quickly moved him to the left of midfield.

 

Hodgson currently favours Maxi Rodriguez there and Dirk Kuyt on the right and, with Steven Gerrard also ready to return from injury, the competition for places will only become fiercer. “Joe is a midfield player and what’s the right position for a midfield player?” said Hodgson. “Gerrard has played all over midfield for as long as I can remember because he’s a good player.

 

“I hope Joe remembers this from the conversation we had in the summer when I made it clear I could not promise him a certain position.

 

“I made it clear Steven Gerrard was staying and the competition for the one spot, if it was the one spot he wanted, was going to be tough.”

 

It is interesting to note the way Hodgson speaks about Cole’s situation compared, for example, to the newly found warmth for someone like Lucas.

 

Liverpool’s interest in acquiring Cole after his Chelsea contract expired had been plotted long before Hodgson was appointed, but the club maintains that the manager approved, rather than simply inherited, the signing.

 

“It’s a difficult one for me to answer,” said Hodgson. “I was involved in the discussions with him, but the initiative and the desire to take Joe did come from Christian [Purslow, then managing director] perhaps more so than myself because I wasn’t in the position to say these are the players we should be targeting as I hadn’t been offered the job at that point.

 

“He’s not so much a player I can take responsibility for. I’d have to share the responsibility for Joe, less so than people like Poulsen, Meireles and Konchesky, who are players I was happy to bring to the club.

 

“Our competition for places is getting stronger, so the only thing I can say to him is, ‘We’re happy to have you here, Joe, but I can’t offer you anything more than a chance and you have to take it when it comes along’.”

 

Cole will be anxious to do just that.‘Joe has to take his chance when it comes along’

 

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Absolutely embarrassing article. The bit in bold is truly astonishing. No need for Hodgson to make those comments. It's all about blaming someone other than himself. How is this going to instill confidence in a player when a manager comes openly states the desire wasn't there to want him. Pathetic

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Roy Hodgson still waiting for Joe Cole to deliver

 

Tony Barrett

Last updated December 22 2010 8:02PM

 

The depths to which Joe Cole’s Liverpool career has sunk only six months after joining the club have been illustrated again, with Roy Hodgson making it clear that the time has come for the midfield player to start doing his talking on the pitch.

 

When Cole arrived at Anfield on a free transfer in July, he was described variously as a catalyst for Liverpool’s revival, a deity of football and the best signing of the summer. Since then his stock has plummeted to such an extent that he is struggling to get into a Liverpool team who have fallen below limited expectations.

 

In his most recent appearance, against Utrecht, Cole was given a role on the left side of Liverpool’s midfield but failed to make any impression on the Europa League tie, prompting those who believe that the 29-year-old is best deployed in a more central position to claim that Hodgson’s tactics were the cause of the problem.

 

However, the Liverpool manager bristled at that suggestion, arguing that good midfield players should be able to perform regardless of their starting position and telling Cole that he will have to deal with the reality that he may not be able to play in his favoured role, just off the forward.

 

“He has got to do it on the field of play,” Hodgson said. “Some will say he’s unlucky because he’s not playing in the right position, but I don’t have any truck with that. Joe is a midfield player and what’s the right position for a midfield player?

 

“Steven Gerrard has played all over midfield for as long as I can remember. I have seen him play left midfield for England, I’ve seen him play centre midfield, as a lone striker, as a second striker, because he is a good football player and knows how to play football.

 

“Joe has to come to terms with the fact that he has come here after an unsuccessful period at Chelsea with high hopes of taking Liverpool by storm and unfortunately it’s not happened. That’s life. He should have great confidence in his ability as he is a very good footballer. As far as I am concerned, everything he has to say should be said on that patch of green grass.

 

“He should be convincing me and everyone watching that this is a player who can help Liverpool win things. And I think you couldn’t say that has been the case so far. I haven’t lost faith in him, but you can’t deny the start he wanted has not materialised.

 

“If he says, ‘Well, I’m not playing in my right position’, then you’d have to ask him what his right position is. If he says the only place he can play is behind the striker then he is limiting his chances of playing here.

 

“We also have Gerrard and Raúl Meireles who can play in that position and we also have a situation where at the moment quite often we are playing with two strikers.”

 

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/football/premierleague/article2853108.ece

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He did something similar with Glen Johnson.

He didn't know where Portugal midfielder Meireles' best position was.

 

He's hopeless, i'm not exaggerating when I say i've never seen worse management in football. There's a lot of hyperbole thrown around but we really, genuinely are plumbing new depths of incompetence for a club at our level with Hodgson.

Edited by Tony Le Mesmer
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He did something similar with Glen Johnson.

He didn't know where Portugal midfielder Meireles' best position was.

 

He's hopeless, i'm not exaggerating when I say i've never seen worse management in football. There's a lot of hyperbole thrown around but we really, genuinely are plumbing new depths of incompetence for a club at our level with Hodgson.

 

Aint it the trooth

Edited by Rich Gobey
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Fair comments. Johnson did seem to improve after being called out. Still can't defend. I fail to see how this is hodgson making excuses considering he filly takes responsibilty for signing Poulsen seconds later.

 

Is there any subject about which you don't talk complete b******s?

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It seems to me he never saw Joe Cole playing for West Ham. I would have thought it was pretty obvious what Cole's best position is. Especially after his spell with Chelski!

 

This is a man who thought Meireles was a right winger, despite playing at CM for 10 years

Edited by Sion
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