Joe Cole has announced to any listening Liverpool players and fans that
he and his team-mates are hungry for silverware and intend to win
tomorrow. Ignoring the possibility that Liverpool’s squad were also
hungry for trophies, the Chelsea part-timer spoke to the press about
the mentality behind his team.
"In one of the first meetings we had with the manager, he said that
individually the squad had not won anything much. I think that was good
thing to say, because it kept everyone’s feet on the floor. We know we
haven’t won anything as individuals – but with this team we could win
everything. Being a hungry player is a massive thing Jose looks for."
Cole, maybe not hungry enough due to a lack of many appearance over 90
minutes, gave his view about why those who are picked are fairly young:
"Chelsea could go out and buy the big superstars of 28, 29 and 30 who
have been there and done it all. But maybe Jose prefers the younger
players who have fire in their belly and want to do well."
Cole pointed to games at Blackburn, Everton and Liverpool as being
games where they had to "dig in" for a result. "We have been accused of
most of things this season, but nobody can say we don’t dig in and
fight for each other. The prominence of centre-half John Terry and the
extra players we’ve brought in over the years has made us a solid team.
But it was only three or four years ago that we were seen as a soft
touch. We have improved a lot in that respect."
Arsenal went on to win the league last season after a week of negative
cup matches, but Cole thinks that the defeats against Newcastle and
Barcelona in the last week were freaks. "There is no doubt in this
squad,look at the games we’ve played in the last week and look at how
how we lost – Newcastle was down to a freakish injury, and the
Barcelona game turned on a bad decision by the referee to send off
Didier Drogba in the second half." Another attack on a referee from
If Chelsea take nothing else this year, they’re certainly having a good
try at taking the most arrogant team in Europe title from Manchester
Cole – who of course may not even get a game tomorrow – does point out
that he’s actually won nothing at professional level. "I’ve only ever
won the FA Youth Cup in my career, and there are a lot of us who have
not won anything. We are coming to an age where we are expected to be
winning trophies, and that’s what will drive us on. It’s not a pressure
for us; we are just so excited about the possibility of winning our
A player who still fails to live up to the exciting prospect he seemed
to be when he was a well-mannered West Ham youngster, is certainly
trying to be as boastful as possible. "I still feel Chelsea could be
the greatest club in the world,"
Finding excuses for last season failure to win anything by an
already-expensively assembled squad even at the time, he claims:
"Everything is right for us to win trophies, and we are ready to win
them now – whereas last year we didn’t have the strong mentality needed
to do that. Now we are ready. I have talked about winning the Carling
Cup with the other lads. We try to imagine what it will be like to lift
the trophy and be running around Cardiff with it. We even talk about
who is going where in the line should we win it!"
Cole reckons he’s now getting better – "Over this season I have shown
people I can be responsible and I’ve learned so much from the boss. He
doesn’t criticise for nothing. I don’t think that it did me any harm at
all. I have taken everything on board and learned from it. But I have
gone past the point where I am worried about what anybody thinks of me.
I just want to turn up and play."
Talking about being substituted: "It is frustrating for any player to get substituted – but I’m not complaining," he complained.
"If I was absolutely on fire in one game I don’t think the boss would
substitute me. If I’m not in the team tomorrow then I will be on the
bench waiting for my chance."
Cole then went on about how he sees himself being a coach when he grows up.