Joe Cole to Liverpool, continued

It's all smiles for Joe Cole at Liverpool.

This began as a comment in response to Kellz, but took on a life of its own so it gets its own post.



I won't speak for Neal, but for me JCole isn't free. No transfer fee, sure. But 90K a week is a lot of money. Especially -- and here's what I can't get past -- for the one position on the field where Liverpool have numbers! I keep coming back to, "Is JCole a significant upgrade -- for that kind of money -- over Babel, Aquilani, Gerrard, Jovanovic, Maxi, Babel, Kuyt, and Riera?"

Let's put it this way, what if Liverpool got Gigi Buffon on a free? That's a big signing for Liverpool, right? He's a huge name in international football with a long pedigree and titles to his name.  But do you need to spend big money (wages only, but still) on Buffon when you already have Reina?

At some point you have to fill needs, and not just make signings to "win the press conference".  There are outfield positions where Liverpool are weak or thin, or both. Who starts the season at striker if Torres can't? N'gog? Kuyt? Are you happy with those options? Would you rather Liverpool be paying some of that money for Guillermo Franco or Benjani who were released from their clubs this summer?  Maybe they would have been better off spending a transfer fee on Luis Suarez or Miroslav Klose.  Or maybe Robbie Keane, who isn't wanted at Spurs and is a lifelong Liverpool fan.

Wait... Never mind.  Scratch that last idea.

What if Liverpool had signed Paul Scharner on a free transfer?  It wouldn't be a sexy signing.  But he can play holding midfield.  He can play in the center of defence.  Both are positions where Liverpool could use further options.  I don't know how Torres and Gerrard would have felt about that signing, but it seems silly to me to think that Torres and Gerrard would pledge themselves to Liverpool because they went out and signed another attacking midfielder.  Unless they think that they'll have leverage to demand pay increases themselves based on what Cole is now earning.

As for your thought experiment of JCole going to Arsenal, I think the same thing. "Is JCole a significant upgrade -- for that kind of money -- over Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Fabregas, and Walcott?"  I think the answer is no.  In fact, I think Arsenal should now go out and buy Scharner to be understudy to Song and third or fourth choice center back.  In fact, I'm starting the official bandwagon now!

In short, I think Liverpool have won a lot of press but I don't see how Joe Cole is going to help them win a lot of matches.  I'll be happy to be proven wrong and if so, I'll be thrilled to put him in my fantasy team.  But this transfer doesn't pass the smell test for me.


  1. you hit it on the head, his crosses, occasional shots, and assists give joe cole a chance for fantasy points, but he is not that big a help. frankly i would have spent the money on martin petrov over cole. petrov is the better wing player.

  2. Kellz1:36 AM

    @Greginho: I think I stated earlier that letting Petrov slip to Bolton was a mistake by Liverpool who obviously don't have a transfer kitty to be able to bring anyone expensive to the table. So I agree with you on that your usually 95% on point when it comes to footy talk.

    First off to Neal and Jeremy, thank you for my own post, an honor, and secondly in no way do I mean disrespect per my comments on the Joe Cole saga. Do I have my own blog? No way you guys do so much to keep a great community and have lots of passion for the game (as myself a young american) also have.

    First off lets assess the surplus of Midfielders, Babel, Kuyt, Riera, Maxi are the true wingers in this group. I stated I thought Joe Cole could do good to flank Torres, this was mostly a judgement that he will not indeed be displacing Gerrard in the slot or center mid, which is my understanding is Cole's preferred position. In that case I also made an assumption since no one on earth besides friends and family of Masch have heard from him, his speculated move away could go through, seeing a possible deeper role for Gerrard, leaving 2 likely sources of attacking mid in Aquilani and Joe Cole.

    This could be my bad, but many articles are calling Jovanovic a striker, meaning he would come as cover for Torres, not to be placed in the midfield. Honestly I don't anything about this player as I have only seen him for Serbia and that was only one game (Stupid work schedule and no way to record games really hurt my WC watching experience)

    Do I think the wages are really high for a player in contract until 32yr old? Hell ya. But the non transfer fee is basically the cherry. What would your valuation of Joe Cole be had he indeed been sold and not let go? I would assume his transfer costs + his wage demands would be significantly more than what Liverpool has him for.

    As per Joe Cole being better than Babel, Kuyt, Maxi, Aqui, Gerrard, Riera, I think Riera's lack of play under Benitez after the row (still speculated move) takes him out. Cole has experience over Babel ( I love the lad and hope he stays), leaving the work horses of Kuyt and Maxi, really tough to call but Cole best bet is to beat out Maxi, something I believe he can do. Can't touch Stevie G unless hes injured (god forbid plz no injury this season!) Lastly in the middle Aquilani, who I though when he got fit proved very useful, but again experience of Cole can win out here.

    I believe Roy is going to try and build up a team HE believes will work, and Joe Cole will be a big part of that. Just because Maxi or Aquilani got their first, doesn't mean Roy will automatically keep them in his first team plans, it will be his changes and his impact. We may even see a different formation brought about that maybe we haven't thought of.

    God yes we could use some better options as we saw Jamie C skinned and bested by Altidore, Agger has had his own injury time, and now we are depleted at LB. But the singing of Danny Wilson (almost) is extremely promising, but yes more cover is needed (possibly Konchesky).

  3. Kellz1:37 AM

    Gerrard already came out and stated what a great singing Joe Cole has been, and his personal impact in helping convince Joe Cole to choose Liverpool. If Stevie G wants him, I want him. Torres is another story, we just don't know. The articles are up on Guardian and Yahoo about Gerrard. But hey press can be misleading.

    The bottom line is, I agree his wages are steep, very steep for a player who statistically hasn't done much in the way of goals or assists, err and injury ( a theme for my beloved Liverpool?). However, adding an international, a countryman, and well decorated, well loved player to the roster will out weigh the negatives in the end.

    I solemly believe and hope Liverpool will be stronger because of this signing. Neal and Jeremy your awesome, we may not agree on everything, and I may feel extremely defensive as a Liverpool supporter in a time when many rag on me, put down my team, call me rubbish, the general hate that is more put on Liverpool, but your two swell and very informed writters.

    BTW Go Timbers 2011!

  4. Kellz1:49 AM

    BTW my girlfriend hates me because first thing before work at 5am, I check soccer blogs, first thing when I am home at 5pm, check soccer blogs, first thing before bed, get into a long discussion with soccer blog writers.

    Oh man, now I have more people pissed at me..

  5. No one is mad. Well, except for your girlfriend.

    It's just business.

  6. Agreed! She's gotta get used to it!

    As a Spurs fan, I would like Cole at 70G a week, but Liverpool can HAVE him at 90G a week. Just way too much money to a guy with a potential bad knee.
    To me this smells KIND of similar to Mikey owen last year when Man U signed him. FREE trasnfer doesn't always mean free, and I would say that it blew up in their face. Though, in general I'm a bigger fan of FREE signings, BUT if the player is THAT good, his previous team just wouldn't let him walk away for nothing.

  7. Just to put some perspective on why £90k/week wages are such a big deal, keep this in mind: By the third year of this contract (2012-13) clubs will be required to significantly reduce their losses in order to compete in Europe. The new UEFA rules will prevent the (presumed) new owner at Liverpool from subsidizing the club like Abramovich and Maseur are doing.
    One of the reason we aren't seeing the presumed "fire sale" of all of Citeh's spare parts is the fact that many of those players are on very high wages. Wayne Bridge is still a useful player for many clubs. At £100k/week he's untouchable.
    So I think the point that many are making about Cole isn't that he could play better than their current crop at that position, but he's not ENOUGH of an improvement to justify the wages. Especially if those wages aren't going to be spent in other areas where the weakness is more obvious. AND there's the possibility that the contract will be a millstone for the last two years of the deal.

  8. Kellz2:08 PM

    Jim White put up a very interesting article on the Joe Cole saga, I saw some points I really agreed with. Just something to check out as yet another perspective comes to the fore front.

  9. I think you guys are way off base. Im an everton fan and I think this is a great signing. Firstly, JCole is greater technically than all those players you mentioned, and Kuyt can play on the wing and as a backup striker if Torres is hurt and if he does Jcole can move to the wing to cover for missing Kuyt. Babel Aquilani Maxi are all shite or past-it in terms of their prime which Jcole is not. 5mil+Jcole for Benayoun? Id sign that swap every day of the year.

  10. aditya12:48 AM

    wilshire on loan to livepool any1??

  11. Kellz7:34 PM

    @Jeremy and Neal: Speaking of defensive improvements, rumor of Wayne Bridge to Liverpool? Thoughts?

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