Posts Tagged ‘Joe Cole’

Profile: Joe Cole – English football’s lost soul

“LONDON – Joe Cole’s return to his roots at West Ham United is his latest bid to revive a career that has been flat-lining ever since he left Chelsea for Liverpool in 2010. One of his generation’s stand-out players, Cole has been a household name in England for the best part of a decade but as he returns to Upton Park after a 10-year absence, there is a feeling that his talent remains unfulfilled.”

My profile of Joe Cole for AFP can be read here.

French football quotes of the year 2012

Samir NasriFrom AVB to Zlatan, Newcastle to Donetsk, Football Further is proud to present its third annual compilation of the year’s best French football quotes.

Cross-Channel relations

“Yesterday, I make one tackle and all everybody speak about is this tackle. Nobody speaks about the 50-yard pass that kills [Florent] Balmont and causes a red card for ‘im.”
- Replete with some elaborate eyebrow-waggling and a healthy dose of Gallic shrugging, Joey Barton‘s attempts to ingratiate himself with the Marseille media become an instant YouTube classic

“Eden Hazard’s English is catastrophic. I asked him: ‘Are you happy with your transfer?’ He said: ‘I don’t understand!’”
- Romelu Lukaku on his new Chelsea team-mate

“It was the feeling I had with the coach. He said he trusted me, but he didn’t let me play. He said I was too young. He said: ‘Your time will come.’ It didn’t come. Even though he’s had a 25-year career and despite the fact he’s the boss, my objective was to play … I’m impatient. When I want something, I’ll do anything to get it.”
- Paul Pogba crosses Sir Alex Ferguson, and lives to tell the tale

“The only thing I miss is in the changing room. I can’t understand all the jokes and it’s frustrating. French is more difficult than I thought. I’m trying to take my lessons very seriously. I listen to them for at least half an hour each day. The other day I watched a film in French, with English subtitles. It was Ne le dis à personne ['Tell No One'], which was a great film. I’m going to do it again.”
- Joe Cole may have left Lille with a sub-GCSE level of French, but he is now a leading authority on the films of Guillaume Canet

“I could become a doctor!”
- Abou Diaby tries to put a positive spin on all the medical vocabulary he has acquired during his time in and out of the Arsenal treatment room

Euro 2012

“I accept that you can ask questions about his sporting performances … But when I hear that he could be dangerous for the concept of the group, I feel like we’re trying to bring a wolf into the sheep pen. He’s been a part of the group since the start. He dropped out due to injury and then loss of form. Don’t make him out to be a wolf, because he isn’t one.”
- Laurent Blanc tells the media not to cry wolf after handing Yoann Gourcuff a place in his preliminary squad

“Shut your face! Shut your face!”
- Samir Nasri celebrates his goal in the opening game with England by thanking the gentlemen of the French press for their support

“There was a bit of a slanging match in the changing room.”
- Olivier Giroud lets the cat out of the bag about the row that erupted after France’s shock 2-0 loss to Sweden

“Go fuck yourself! Go fuck your mother, you son of a bitch! There, now you can write that I’m badly brought up.”
- Such a nice boy, that Samir Nasri – lashing out at a journalist following Les Bleus‘ quarter-final elimination by Spain

“We’ve told them to be vigilant and not to say anything that could hurt the group.”
- French Football Federation press officer Philippe Tournon, prior to the tournament, on the instructions given to France’s players about how to handle the media

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Report: PSG fluff chance to exploit Montpellier setback

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain failed to capitalise on leaders Montpellier’s slip-up against Lorient after conceding an 87th-minute goal to draw 1-1 at Ligue 1′s bottom side Auxerre on Sunday.

My AFP round-up of Sunday’s Ligue 1 action, including setbacks for PSG and Montpellier, a fine goal by on-loan Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, and Joe Cole’s first league goal since December 21, can be found here.

French football quotes of the year 2011

L’Entente Cordiale

“They say it’s because I’m a sexy boy. The English are crazy!”
- Yohan Cabaye, on the ‘Dreamboat’ nickname bestowed upon him by Newcastle’s fans

“Behind the ‘big guns’ like Chelsea or Manchester [United], there’s also Sunderland or Wolverhampton. French players who are used to getting on the ball end up watching it fly over their heads for 90 minutes.”
- Marseille sporting director José Anigo has some words of advice for any budding Ligue 1 talents dreaming of plying their trade in the Premier League

“If you want us to just stick it in the box like I’ve seen Stoke City do, you’ll have to change the coach. I forbid it.”
- Rennes coach Frédéric Antonetti shares his thoughts on the football doctrine advocated by Tony Pulis

“Without wanting to be unkind, it’s difficult when there are only four of you defending. Sometimes you feel like you’re on your own. When you watch Barça, everyone defends – even Messi!”
- Laurent Koscielny feels a bit exposed in the Arsenal back four

“Sometimes I tell jokes and Joe Cole and I look at each other and we’re the only ones laughing.”
- Vincent Enyeama on the language barrier in the Lille changing room

“Bon match pour… my team – mon équipe – et… I’m very happy!”
- Ambushed by Canal+’s touchline reporter Laurent Paganelli, Joe Cole has a stab at his first interview in the language of his new homeland after Lille’s 3-1 win over Lyon

Banter

“Once again I’m attacked by Jean-Michel Larqué. I hope with all my heart I don’t end up like him after my career, but there’s no chance of that because I’m not an idiot.”
- Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Jérémie Janot has a pop at 63-year-old television pundit Jean-Michel Larqué, who had criticised him for letting in two late goals at Lens

“Your mum.”
- Aly Cissokho’s considered response to a supporter who told him to “go and join Arles-Avignon” during a Lyon training session in April

“Although the score was already 3-0, he’d been taking the piss out of us with the ball for a few minutes, dribbling past his opponent and then waiting so he could dribble past him again. It’s a lack of respect. Even his Lille team-mates said he was going too far.”
- Nancy captain André Luiz takes a dim view of Eden Hazard’s showboating

“Marseille come up to Paris to fuck PSG!”
- Microphone in hand, match-winner Taye Taiwo gets a bit carried away during the Coupe de la Ligue post-match celebrations by leading the OM fans in a chorus of one of their favourite chants

“It was a good response to people who don’t know football. It’ll make them shut their big mouths.”
- Modibo Maiga relishes his brace in a 3-0 defeat of Toulouse after stumbling into the viewfinder of the Sochaux boo boys

“At that moment, I told myself that they’d gone mad and didn’t realise. Today I know that I was wrong: they knew exactly what they were doing. They even closed the curtains on the bus to hide themselves from the cameras… With hindsight, I see them above all as a bunch of thoughtless brats.”
- Raymond Domenech is still struggling to let go of the 2010 World Cup

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The Guardian Football Weekly Extra: December 1, 2011

I made my debut on The Guardian‘s Football Weekly Extra podcast on Thursday, to talk about Paris Saint-Germain’s capitulation at Marseille, rumours that Claude Makélelé is being lined up to replace Antoine Kombouaré as PSG coach, David Beckham’s proposed move to the French capital and Joe Cole’s start to life at Lille, as well as the likelihood of Eden Hazard leaving Lille in January. You can listen to the podcast (my bit is towards the end) here.

Joe Cole enhanced by life beyond the Premier League

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne. The Englishman receives the ball inside the opposition half and embarks on a purposeful run towards the goal in front of the Tribune Charles Paret. He is with new company in unfamiliar surroundings but, with the ball at his feet, he is reassured to find that the sensations are the same. Defenders disappear in his slipstream before a body-swerve takes him past another opponent and into the penalty area. With one sweep of his right foot, a new chapter in his life begins.

Michael Owen, 1998. Joe Cole, 2011. Two English players have experienced life-changing moments at Le Chaudron, home of Saint-Etienne. For Owen it was that goal against Argentina; for Cole, a dazzling dribble culminating in an assist for Ludovic Obraniak on his Lille debut in September.

If the comparison is apt, the context is very different. Owen was 18 when he left the Argentine defence for dead, but he was on the threshold of a career that, though sprinkled with trophies, never quite hit the giddy heights to which it aspired. Cole’s career appeared to be stagnating too but at 29, his move to France has revitalised him. If Owen’s goal represented the beginning of his professional life, Cole’s Geoffroy-Guichard moment was a re-birth.

While Owen is content to sit on the bench at Manchester United, insistent that last year’s Premier League title represented the “pinnacle” of his career, Cole – two years Owen’s junior – has put his reputation on the line by turning his back on the comfort of the domestic scene. Lille president Michel Seydoux confessed his surprise at his club’s success in luring a star from the Premier League, admitting that “seen from England, French football is a bit like the Third World”. Cole, though, had long been intrigued by the challenge of pitching himself into a foreign championship. “Sometimes I feel if I’d been born in a Latin country I may have been coached better to play as a number 10,” he once told Champions magazine.

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Report: Cole on target as Lille fightback floors Lyon

“PARIS — Joe Cole capped a Lille fightback with the third goal in a 3-1 defeat of Lyon on Sunday that allowed the defending champions to steal a march on their rivals in the nascent Ligue 1 title race.”

To read my AFP round-up of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action, click here.

Pitchside Europe: Joe Cole eyes the centre ground at Lille

“Lille president Michel Seydoux has praised Cole’s “intelligent” views on the game and the thoughtful 29-year-old will hope his technical qualities allow him to win the trust of his new employers in a way he managed only fleetingly in England. Cole may never again dazzle as he did in his fearless West Ham youth team days, but he will at least hope to prove once and for all that he can handle the spotlight on centre stage.”

This week’s Pitchside Europe blog, on how Joe Cole’s surprise move to Lille will test his long-held conviction that he can flourish as a central playmaker, can be read here.

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