17-years After Missing Out On Playing Alongside Pep Guardiola, Former Chelsea Forward Joe Cole Wants to Follow in The Footsteps Of The Man City Boss.
Ronaldinho to Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Arsenal, Andrea Pirlo to Barcelona, and Pep Guardiola to West Ham; These transfer headlines all have one thing in common, they very nearly happened.
In 2001, England forward Joe Cole was having a blast, highly rated as perhaps, the most promising youngster in English football at the time; the teenager was taken aback when West ham manager, Glenn Roeder, asked him what he thought of the club’s interest in signing Pep Guardiola from Barcelona
“Glenn said, ‘We can sign Guardiola — what do you think?’
“What do I think? We are West Ham, he is Pep Guardiola — we have to sign him, that’s what I think.”
Pep’s time at the Camp Nou was in its twilight, and the veteran midfielder was in need of a new adventure, West Ham were obviously interested, but the sacrifices they had to make proved too expensive
The Hammers failed to wrap up the deal as the club felt bringing in the midfield maestro would have reduced playing time for players like Michael Carrick who already had great chemistry with Cole on the pitch
“Glenn obviously liked him but thought it might stifle Michael Carrick’s progress and I think he was hinting that I might suffer. I would love to have played with Pep. He has a genius football brain.” Joe Cole added
While West Ham’s decision against signing Pep denied Cole the opportunity of playing alongside one of the best brains in the game, the 36-year-old now wants to follow in the footsteps of the Catalan tactician as he takes baby steps towards a managerial career
“English football reverts to type.
“I cannot tell you the amount of times I would be encouraged to play, to do this, to do that, then I would go in at half-time and the manager would be going spare.
“That is why I love Guardiola — he sticks to his principles.
“To understand him I think you have to watch him, to be around him, to spend time with him and listen to him.”
Joe Cole is in the final stages of his ‘UEFA A License’ and there’s no doubt the Englishman’s obsession with Pep Guardiola’s methods will help shape him into as good a manager as he would love to be.
After all, if you want to be the best, you’ve got to watch, observe, and learn from the very best.