Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cole Still Holds Liverpool Hope

Joe Cole insists he has unfinished business at Liverpool despite being linked with a return to boyhood club West Ham this summer.

Cole has made a big impact in Ligue 1 this term on a season-long loan at Lille from Anfield and the French club are thought to be open to taking him back for another 12 months.

The 30-year-old has also been tipped for an emotional homecoming at Upton Park, where he came through the youth ranks before spending five years as a senior player.

However, the midfielder has not given up hope of rectifying his career on Merseyside, with the club currently searching for a new manager following Kenny Dalglish's sacking.

"When I signed for Liverpool, it startled me a bit,' Cole, who joined Anfield from Chelsea two years ago under former boss Roy Hodgson, told the Daily Mail.

"I don't know if I felt the pressure but the city is so in love with football. It's a religion. If I go back, I will be more prepared for it this time.

"I can see why people say (joining Liverpool) is a culture shock. It is a small place but it has this great buzz. How can there not be in a city that has produced five Prime Ministers and The Beatles? The people are so sharp, quite a bit like Londoners really.

"There is still a part of me that would really love to make it work there and I don't want to have a bad spell at Anfield on my CV. But it is out of my hands now.

"At the minute I can't rule anything in or out. We have got to speak to Liverpool and see what happens there."

Cole admits Ligue 1 has a slower tempo than the Premier League but is confident he can readjust to life in the English top-flight if given the chance.

He added: "I will have to do extra work because it will be going back to that 100mph pace but I'm sure it will be okay."

Cole's form in France this year had prompted speculation he could be a surprise call-up to Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012 but he failed to make the cut after two years away from the international scene.

The midfielder has shrugged off that disappointment and turned his attention to the London Olympics, where he is hoping to represent Great Britain as one of three over-age players in coach Stuart Pearce's party.

He added: "I haven't played for England for two years. I know there is a new manager but I was never contacted. I heard there were strange things going on with the odds of me being cut to make the squad and that made me think "maybe".

"But I have got my eyes on the Olympics now. I am in the mix and it would be amazing to play in that but, again, it is out of my hands.

"We will just have to wait and see what happens. Whatever is the case, it has been a great year and it has been a great season. I am delighted with how things have gone."

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