Cole quickly ran into trouble when he received a three-match ban after receiving a red card in Liverpool’s early home match against Arsenal. Soon after this, Cole missed a penalty in Liverpool’s Europa League match against Trabzonspor. Cole also had an injury-plagued season that saw him have little impact during Dalglish’s revival.
However, the 2011-2012 season will be a fresh start for Cole and these are the five reasons why he will shine this campaign:
- Dalglish’s pass-and-move style of play. Cole has a great touch and good vision, so when he plays just behind forwards he is great at creating opportunities out of thin air. Cole’s talent did not mesh well with Hodgson’s style of play, and thus Cole always seemed out of his element.
- Cole will have a season of training with the Liverpool squad under his belt. During this year he has learned how his teammates play and he will continue to learn through the summer, so when the season starts he will be able to link up very well with them.
- Cole should come into the season without injuries and, at only 29 years old, he should be able to play on a consistent basis. The few amount of times he played last season had a significant impact on adjusting to the Liverpool squad.
- The superb talent coming into Liverpool over the summer should buoy Cole’s play. Top quality players will now surround him, so it will be easier for him to create chances.
- Although Cole has often played on the wing, he has slowed down over the past few seasons because of injury and age. Cole is now suited to play just behind the strikers—if Dalglish continues to use him in this way then Cole will shine. He would be either a great impact player or an excellent rotation player.
Joe Cole still has a lot of potential to be a star at Liverpool for the next few seasons. He just needs to stay injury free, boost his confidence and get a regular run of games. Dalglish is the perfect manager for him to boost his confidence and give him a regular run of games.
The only question is whether FSG will allow Cole to stay in the squad because of his age and his high wage. I hope Liverpool keep him because his skill and experience are essential for the development of younger players!