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Joe Cole - I want to be a middle man


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<h2 style="font-size: 1.05em; line-height: 1.05em;" class="padding-bottom-7">JOE COLE has big ideas for his future role at Chelsea. And he cannot wait to share them with the new manager. </h2> The England midfielder has had plenty of time to take stock of his career during his four months on the sidelines while he recovers from an anterior cruciate injury.

And he has concluded that he needs to be back at the “heart and soul” of the Chelsea team to contribute his very best.

Cole revealed: “I’ve been thinking about my game a lot recently. I’ve really watched and studied the team while I’ve been out.

“And now I know that my best position would be playing through the middle in a more central role.

”People seem to have forgotten that’s where I started my career.

“They all look on me as a wide man because I’ve been doing that job for Chelsea and England for such a long time.

“But I’d love to take some of the creative burden off Frank Lampard next season.

“At the moment, everything the team does as an attacking force goes through Frank. I want to go in there and help him out.

“Chelsea means such a lot to me and I want to be the heart and soul of the team.

“That’s why I can’t wait for the club to appoint a new manager, whoever that might be. Because I want to talk to him about my role.”

Cole knows that he is taking a huge risk by putting himself up against Lampard, Michael Essien, Michael Ballack and John Obi Mikel for central duties.

But he insists: “I’m not scared of competition from any player in the world.

“In the past five years playing in a wide role for Chelsea, I have been up against Juan Veron, Damien Duff, Adrian Mutu, Arjen Robben and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

“They are all great players — and they have all come and gone.

“But I feel that at 27 it’s now the right time for me to move back into the middle.

“I’ve learned so much under the great managers we’ve had at Chelsea, gained so much experience and developed physically.

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Cole has never been happy just to take the money and run and insists that his priority will always be Chelsea winning ahead of his own position in the team.

Yet he clearly believes that he can play a greater part in closing the gap on Manchester United after watching Chelsea’s great rivals clinch their third successive Premier League title last weekend.

Cole said: “United have won the League, the Carling Cup and maybe the Champions League.

“So we need to win the FA Cup and then find a way to catch them up because they’re a bit above us at the moment.

“The table doesn’t lie. We’re seven points going into the last games and that is quite a lot over the course of a season.

“United are now the team to beat and the objective for everyone at our club is to put Chelsea back at the top.

“There is a lot of uncertainty around the club because no one is sure who the next manager is going to be. So they need to get that sorted as quickly as they can.

“People talk about the Champions League being the Holy Grail for Chelsea, but for me the bread and butter is winning the Premier League again.

“The best team always wins the League but it doesn’t always win the Champions League.

“As far as I’m concerned, I could easily be sitting here right now with three European Cup winners’ medals in my pocket from 2004, 2007 and last year. Only minor details stopped us.

“Chelsea will win the Champions League within the next five years because we can’t have as much bad luck as we have had.

“You don’t need to be a football expert to see the referee made some bad decisions in our semi-final against Barcelona.

“People accuse modern footballers of not caring enough, but look at Didier Drogba’s reactions.

“He felt an injustice had been done and couldn’t keep a lid on his passions.

“With the benefit of hindsight, of course he would have reacted differently. But you cannot question the commitment of the man.

“The way I look at it, maybe it wasn’t our time to win it this year.

“But the priority right now is to win the FA Cup next week because that’s all we’ve got left to play for and it’s important that this club wins silverware.”

Yet Cole admits that the toughest moment of his entire time on the sidelines came just before the second leg of that Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.

He confessed: “I was in the dressing-room about 20 minutes before kick-off and my heart just sank because I so wanted to be out there.”

Cole suffered the knee injury during Blues’ FA Cup third-round replay at Southend back in January and has not kicked a ball in anger for acting manager Guus Hiddink.

He said: “Nothing surprises me in football any more and I think it was the right time for the club when Mr Scolari left in February.

“Everyone could see the appointment didn’t work but that doesn’t take anything away from the man himself. What a nice person and what a great manager.

“But it was good that the club took the decision when they did because we might not be looking forward to the FA Cup final now if the situation had been allowed to drag on much longer.

“Guus Hiddink has been fantastic. He’s brought stability back to the club and all the lads would love him to stay.

“But we understand and respect that he has other commitments.

“Because I’m an injured player he’s knows I’m never going to play for him and doesn’t have the pressure of trying to keep me happy.

“But I just like watching what he does because he’s come in, stamped his authority and and is getting the best out of everyone.

“All the big players are happy again. Everyone at Chelsea has flourished under Guus. Players who, for whatever reason, weren’t doing it before he arrived are doing it now.”

For Cole himself, next season cannot come quickly enough for him to reclaim his place at the heart of Chelsea.

Joe Cole watched the UK’s premier five-a-side talent in Nike’s ‘Show Your Five’ final, the climax of a national tournament involving 2000 teams. Manchester’s FC Fodder were crowned champions — to watch highlights from the final and find out more about Nike Five visit www.nikefootball.com

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hes in no position to negotiate.

malouda has been quality and essien and lampard are going no where, mikel is young.. cole is now 27

it's up to the new manager, we need to back ancellotti 100% if players think they are bigger than the manager then that will never work and were back to the scolari situation.

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hes in no position to negotiate.

malouda has been quality and essien and lampard are going no where, mikel is young.. cole is now 27

it's up to the new manager, we need to back ancellotti 100% if players think they are bigger than the manager then that will never work and were back to the scolari situation.

Well, if he can come and give decent performances and be the heart and sole of Chelsea, then why not, I would love to see Lampard going forward more freely and having kind of a free role with Cole taking the pressure..

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Sure its up too the new manager. But when Cole used to play in this position originally he was just class. I think it would be something to look at in the future but for now we will wait and see who we have in the squad next year and who our manager will be.

I think if we sign a new winger, he is someone that we can use in both positions and if he is fit enough and hopefully does not get any injuries he will surly be a big asset to our squad next season.

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Joe Cole, by some distance, is the one player in our team that offers some flair into our play, and I can't wait for him to be back. It's vital that he is back in the team next season, he's scored so many important goals for us.

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He is a quality player joe cole, him and essien have been a major loss this season. Essien and joe cole are 2 players that can make a difference, we have lacked that this season.

Edited by Badboy
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Completely agree with you, if we'd have had Essien's drive and Cole's creativity over the whole season, things could have looked a lot rosier. However, we'll have them both back at the start of next season, and we can look forward to seeing them on the same teamsheet.

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Completely agree with you, if we'd have had Essien's drive and Cole's creativity over the whole season, things could have looked a lot rosier. However, we'll have them both back at the start of next season, and we can look forward to seeing them on the same teamsheet.

You have summed it up perfectly them 2 were pivitol to us winning the title last time in 2006. We have been really unlucky since 2006 regarding injuries.

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I've always said I'd love to see Joe Cole through the middle to support the striker/s as I feel thats where he'd be at his most dangerous. Time and time again this season we've come up against a brick wall with no imagination to break through. Joe Cole is the man who would unlock many a defence.

His goal against Manu at SB when we won the league is a perfect example. Surrounded by 3 or 4 players on the edge of the box. A quick trick and a shimmy and he's left them standing there looking stupid before slotting the ball home. Thats what we've been missing.

My only concern is that when he tries too hard things dont come off. When he's playing naturally theres fewer players that can make what he does look so simple. I cant wait to have him back.

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I agree with Coley, Essien playing the holding midfielder role, Joey being the playmaker and going forward, playing the killer through ball with Lampard playing a free role. Could be very effective.

Cole is a fantastic player, who gives his all in every game.

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I've always said I'd love to see Joe Cole through the middle to support the striker/s as I feel thats where he'd be at his most dangerous. Time and time again this season we've come up against a brick wall with no imagination to break through. Joe Cole is the man who would unlock many a defence.

His goal against Manu at SB when we won the league is a perfect example. Surrounded by 3 or 4 players on the edge of the box. A quick trick and a shimmy and he's left them standing there looking stupid before slotting the ball home. Thats what we've been missing.

My only concern is that when he tries too hard things dont come off. When he's playing naturally theres fewer players that can make what he does look so simple. I cant wait to have him back.

Absolutely agreed. He is also far more involved when he plays through the middle, and he can sometimes have poor games out wide. He's far more consistent as a midfielder.

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