Joe Cole

Joseph John Cole (born November 8, 1981 in Archway, London) is a professional footballer who plays for Chelsea FC of the English Premier League and the England national team. He is a right-footed midfielder with an avowed preference for a central position but has enjoyed most success playing as a left or right-sided midfielder at Chelsea, due to his fine dribbling abilities and ball control. This is because he has learned to be somewhat two-footed, making him a very versatile player.

Cole was born in Archway, London and lived there before moving to Camden at the age of seven.

A child prodigy who received national media attention as a schoolboy and a product of the famed West Ham United youth system, Cole was long touted as the hottest prospect in English football with Manchester United reportedly offering to pay £10 million for his services as a 16-year-old. Playing in a mould similar to former England favourite Paul Gascoigne, he quickly progressed through the West Ham ranks before making his first-team debut at the age of 17. Cole became club captain at 19. Whilst his sublime touch and dribbling prowess won him many plaudits (and several England caps), his career stagnated in his last few years at the club, especially after West Ham parted company with manager Harry Redknapp.

In 2003, Cole moved to Chelsea as part of Roman Abramovich's 'Russian Revolution' for £6,600,000 with a view to establishing himself in the England national team. However, due to the stiff competition for places at the club, he initially struggled to hold down a place in the team for both Chelsea and England under Claudio Ranieri.

According to Cole, Ranieri had wanted to send him to Russia on loan to CSKA Moscow just days after finalising his transfer. Cole refused to move and stayed in Chelsea, but figured irregularly throughout the first half of season 2003-04 and was reduced to a peripheral figure after Ranieri signed Scott Parker in January 2004.

He was a squad member at Euro 2004, but did not play.

Cole had long been praised for his technical skills and creativity but criticised for his lack of all-round contribution to the team and the inadequacy of his end product. After the arrival of new Chelsea manager José Mourinho in 2004, Cole initially continued to struggle, though he soon found himself making more appearances than he did during Ranieri's stewardship.

In January 2005, Cole was publicly criticised by Mourinho after scoring the winner against Liverpool for neglecting his defensive duties. Mourinho famously described Cole as a player 'with two faces', with one 'face' that he liked (referring to Cole's vision and technical ability) and another 'face' that he did not (referring to Cole's lack of enthusiasm for defensive duties).

Cole responded positively to this and took advantage of injuries to other players (most notably Arjen Robben) to become one of the stars of Chelsea's Premiership title winning team in 2004-05. He also won a starting place in the England team on the left side of midfield, which England had struggled to fill adequately for several years. Cole's form saw him hit a run of goals towards the end of the season, and his goal against Norwich (blasted in from 22 yards off his weaker left foot) was voted in the top ten goals of the season in the Premier League for 2004-05.

At Chelsea, the strong competition for places has meant that he has struggled to hold a first team role, with Arjen Robben and Shaun Wright-Phillips providing stiff competition. Doubts have been expressed over his ability to play in the left wing position for the England national side, with some calling for natural left-footer Stewart Downing and even pacy teenager Theo Walcott to be given a chance.

However, Cole played in the England side throughout 2005 and early 2006, competing in internationals against Denmark, Northern Ireland, and Argentina. As of 2 March 2006, he has earned 30 caps for England (11 as a starting player) and scored five goals.

Cole scored 10 goals for Chelsea in 2004-05 and he also registered in the Champions League against Real Betis. Although Cole prefers to play in the centre of midfield, it appears as though his opportunities will come as a wide attacker under Mourinho.

In January 2006 Cole received publicity as the loser in a drunken bustup over Page 3 Girl Keeley Hazell, triggered when another admirer saw the two "getting on well and copped the right hump about it."

In the first half of the 2005-06 season Cole enhanced his reputation considerably, moved up the Chelsea pecking order ahead of Wright-Phillips and Duff, and was named in the PFA's team of the season. His status was such that by March 2006, he was considered Chelsea's most creative player by many pundits, and his omission from the starting lineup by Mourinho, who was testing a narrower 'midfield diamond' approach, was held up as the principal cause of Chelsea's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool F.C. in the semi-finals of the 2006 FA Cup competition.

In June 2006, Cole was entered in the top ten goals of the season for the second season running, this time for an effort in a 3-0 victory against Manchester United where he produced marvellous sleight of foot to evade Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic before slamming the ball high past Edwin Van Der Sar.

Later that month, Cole extended his contract with Chelsea FC for another 4 seasons. Cole's position at Stamford Bridge appears to have been strengthened by the departure of Duff to Newcastle United on 23 July 2006.

He is engaged to fitness instructor Carly Zucker who was one of the prominent WAGs at this year's World Cup.The couple live in Cole's £3million home in Cobham, Surrey.

He is currently injured and is expected to be out for at least another month, after he sustained an injury to his right knee in Chelsea's pre-season tour of America

His sparkling displays in England's friendlies leading up to the 2006 World Cup have also enhanced his reputation ahead of the summer's showcase finals in Germany.

In May 2006 he was confirmed in the England squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, ahead of Chelsea teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips. He played on the left-side of midfield in England's opening game against Paraguay on June 10, 2006.

On June 20, 2006, England drew with Sweden, in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, with a final score of 2-2. This result can be attributed to Cole's spectacular play. He scored a spectacular goal in the 34th minute of the match and got an assist in the 85th when he sent in a beautiful ball to Steven Gerrard. At the end of the match, Budweiser announced that Cole received the Man of the Match.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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