All the recent media talk involving Joe Cole has been around how Capello should use him to inject some life into his almost paralytic England team. They are right. As he has done at Chelsea, Joe Cole has the potential to offer the ailing England team something it does not have without him – that flash of ‘fantasy’ that is a prized asset at even the best teams on the planet.
I was sad when I heard news in the final days of my recent holiday that Chelsea had decided to let Joe Cole go. He was, it seemed, a genuine Chelsea supporter who delighted in playing at Stamford Bridge, and at times he has been an incredible player for us. After a run of poor luck with injuries, I was desperate for him to come good. And, of course, it’s always good to see Chelsea’s English players do well. In an ideal world, I’d want Joe Cole at the club – no question.
At the same time however, I couldn’t help but agree with the decision Chelsea have made. All reports on the contract negotiations suggested that Cole was looking for a payrise. Unrealistic and unreasonable, in my view: his injury record and questionable form this season in no way add up to a valid argument for a payrise. If he had wanted to stay, he should have accepted the offer Chelsea made (supposedly at the same level of his existing contract), played his way back into form and then lobbied management for an improved contract further down the line. Isn’t that how someone who was a fan – as well as a professional – would behave?
Today however, the Mirror has reported that Joe Cole is apparently ‘devastated’ and ‘heartbroken’ to have been let go by Chelsea. The paper says that he is “struggling to come to terms with being shown the door” and that sources reckon “the ace has taken the news very badly as he desperately wanted to stay at Chelsea”.
Honestly, give me a break. How can he have been desperate to stay – to the extent that he is apparently almost in mourning now that he’s leaving – but not accepted a reasonable contract? Maybe we haven’t got the whole picture, but Joe - we’re all sad to see you go, but it sounds like you had a choice. There’s no point crying now…
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