Former Chelsea midfielder and current academy head coach Joe Cole has explained why he favoured a move to Liverpool instead of joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2010.
After winning three Premier Leagues, two FA Cups and a League Cup in a glittering seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge, Cole’s contract with the Blues expired at 2010, leaving the door open for him to join a slew of clubs in England and Europe for free.
With Harry Redknapp as then manager, Chelsea’s London rivals Tottenham were in the running to secure the former England international’s services. Having started his career with another London club West Ham United, a move to Spurs would have been a hugely reasonable choice for the Paddington native. However, Cole, who made over 250 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea as well another 170 appearances in all competitions for West Ham, turned down the chance to stay in London in favour of a move to the northwest of England at Liverpool.
In a recent interview with a magazine, Cole reflects on his decision, saying he felt uncomfortable about a move to a third London-based club at the time owing to what he has done in helping Chelsea turn into a domestic force in England.
“Staying in London would have been the logical thing to do. Harry Redknapp was the manager there, too, so it was a very easy fit. But I just didn’t feel it was right, being a West Ham and Chelsea player and then going to play for Tottenham. It would have tarnished everything I did at Chelsea,” said the now 37-year-old.
Having announced his retirement from his playing career in November, Cole has now returned to Chelsea as a technical academy coach. The former Blues midfielder reckons Cobham is the perfect place to begin his journey as a football coach.
“West Ham will always have a special place in my heart, but as a kid you dream of winning trophies,” continued Cole. “Playing for Chelsea was really special.
“It’s a good place to learn, I feel very comfortable there and they’ve been great with me ever since I left in 2010. The chairman, Bruce Buck, always stayed in touch, and they wanted me back in the building.
“In the same way as when I signed for West Ham as a kid, I just felt like this was the right place to start.”