Joe Cole retires: As Joe Cole announced his retirement from professional football, we take a look at the moment in time when Sir Alex tried to sign him for United.
Joe Cole has announced his retirement from professional football. He came up through the youth ranks at West Ham United, and made his debut for the club at the age of 17.
Cole had stints with Liverpool, Chelsea, Lille, Aston Villa, Coventry City and Tampa Bay Rowdies, where he last played.
The midfielder enjoyed significant success during his time at Stamford Bridge, where he won three Premier League titles. In addition, he also lifted two FA Cups, League Cup and Community Shield titles. He reached the final of the Champions League in 2007/08.
Cole made 56 appearances for England, and participated in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 editions of the World Cup.
As he announced his retirement earlier this week, we take a look at a fascinating story about the time when Sir Alex Ferguson was interested in the midfielder, and went to extreme measures to sign him.
Joe Cole retires:
The English midfielder began his career at West Ham United in 1998 under Harry Redknapp. The former West Ham manager revealed interesting details about how Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign the midfielder from West Ham United, before the player eventually moved to Chelsea in 2003.
Redknapp revealed that the-then Manchester United manager sent Joe Cole a Manchester United kit, with ‘COLE 10’ written on it.
“Sir Alex Ferguson sent him a Manchester United kit with COLE 10 written on the back,” Redknapp wrote in his book, ‘Always Managing.’
“‘This is what your shirt will look like when you play for Manchester United,’ read the message. Alex was desperate to get him,” the manager wrote.
Redknapp revealed that he was also invited to travel with the Manchester United squad in the team bus for the FA Cup Final. He stated that apart from Arsenal, Arsenal and Chelsea were interested in him, with the latter finally acquiring him.
The fact that Joe Cole retires having won less Premier League titles & Champions Leagues than Anderson tells you all you need to know about Sir Alex Ferguson…
— Jay (@RFFH) November 13, 2018
“He [Sir Alex] even invited him to travel on the team bus when United got to an FA Cup Final. Arsenal were into him, Chelsea were into him, but I knew Joe was happiest playing for West Ham. So I gave him space.”
Joe Cole was invited for a two-week training session with Manchester United as well.
“When George [Joe’s dad) said Joe had been invited up to train for two weeks at Manchester United, I let him go.
Joe Cole’s career by numbers:
👕 716 appearances
⚽️ 104 goals
🏆 3 Premier League
🏆 2 FA Cup
🏆 1 League Cup
🏆 1 Community Shield
🏆 1 UEFA Intertoto Cup
What a career. pic.twitter.com/yTgtATtvKW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 13, 2018
“I could have got annoyed, said that he had signed schoolboy forms with us and threatened to report United, but what good would that have done? It would just have antagonized George and we’d lost the player.
“‘Great, George,’ I told him. ‘Let Joe go, let him have a look around, but never forget, we’d love him here. he’s going to be in the first team in no time, you know. But Manchester United? What a great experience. Tell him to enjoy himself,'” Redknapp wrote.
Congratulations to Joe Cole on a brilliant career. Enjoy your retirement mate 👏🏼🏴👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/L6Lq9R394n
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) November 13, 2018
However, the manager insisted that Cole enjoyed playing with his boyhood club.
“He wouldn’t have as much fun as he did at West Ham where he knew everybody and got on with all the boys, so he’d come back more in love with our place than ever.”