May 23 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Joe Cole returned to his boyhood club West Ham following a free transfer from Liverpool and made his second debut in this afternoon’s FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester United at Upton Park.
We take a look at how Cole’s performance shaped up.
‘Welcome Home’ was the message over the public address system as Cole’s name was read out to the Upton Park faithful, with the England midfielder returning the applause, clearly glad to be back in a claret shirt nearly a decade after leaving as a promising youngster to join Chelsea.
Cole maintains he plays his best football when happy. This afternoon he was quick to get on the ball, throwing himself into challenges which further endeared him to the home support. The midfielder was always looking to lift his team-mates and press forwards. Cole never gave up - chasing down what looked a lost cause in the second half to scoop a ball from the goalline back into the six-yard box where Carlton Cole’s header was saved.
Deployed wide on the left, Cole was quick to bring his fellow midfielders into play whenever possible, exchanging some neat one-twos with Alou Diarra and Jack Collison, and provided the ammunition from wide areas with superb deliveries.
This was where Cole delivered a masterclass. There are few better at crosses than the West Ham academy graduate, and Cole twice sent over a perfect ball from the flanks in each half as defender James Collins powered headers past David De Gea.
Cole was replaced for the final 10 minutes, leaving the pitch to a standing ovation after producing just the spark which Irons manager Sam Allardyce hoped his return to Upton Park would bring.