Joe Cole arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2003 for a £6.6 Million fee from West Ham Utd.
Signed by Claudio Ranieri as part of what was then, a dramatic change in the playing staff, after the arrival of new owner Roman Abramovich earlier that summer.
When Jose Mourinho took over in 2004 and implemented an attacking 4-3-3 system that saw his wide men run riot – Joe was used as cover for the injury prone Arjen Robben or Damien Duff, he popped up with a number of crucial goals securing first a Carling Cup (his first medal in professional football) and then Chelsea’s first championship in 50 years.
The next season saw perhaps the best form of his career as he helped secure back to back league titles for the first time in the clubs history, the standout moment being the fine individual goal that ripped apart Manchester Utd’s defence in a devastating 3-0 win that all but wrapped up the title.
Injury would dominate the rest of his time at Chelsea and spent most of his time being employed as an impact substitute having made 93 substitute appearances out of a total of 282 games for Chelsea.
Joe has scored 39 goals over 7 years at the club. His most prolific year being 2005/06 when he netted 11 times in 46 games (23.91%) in all competitions and found himself in the PFA Team of the Year for 2006.
In 2007/08 he netted a further 10 goals in 54 appearances (18.52%). leading to him being voted Chelsea Player of the Year in 2008.
After an 8 month lay-off, he made a return to the starting squad in Chelsea’s Carling Cup Match with Queen’s Park Rangers on September 23, 2009, in which he was also captained the side to a solid 1-0 victory.
Cole made his first Premier League appearance of the 2009-10 campaign against Blackburn Rovers. He played in the attacking midfield role and influenced Chelsea to a 5 goal demolition against Blackburn.
On the 8th November 2009 Cole played his 250th game for Chelsea, coming on as a substitute against Manchester United on his 28th birthday.
Later on 21st of November 2009 he scored the last goal in Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Wolverhampton.
Towards to end of the season, he scored the opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 3rd of April 2010, after 19 minutes with a masterful back heel flick from a Florent Malouda cross, Chelsea went on to win the game 2-1
Overall Joe has scored 52 times in 396 appearance (13.13%) for West Ham and Chelsea and has netted 10 goals for England in 54 appearances (18.52%), including the memorable flick and dipping volley in the 34th minute, against Sweden on the 20th of June in the 2006 Germany World Cup, Joe later added an 85th minute assist for Steven Gerrard to score, Cole was awarded the Man of the match award for his performance and received great praise from Swedish fans and media.
Joe Cole’s Chelsea Honours:
* First Division/Premier League: 3 (2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10)
* FA Cup: 3 (2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10)
* Football League Cup: 2 (2004-05, 2006-07)
* FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shield: 2 (2005, 2009)
Joe Cole is the 7th all time European game appearance maker for Chelsea with 53 appearances, of which 16 were from the bench.
Joe has been released as a free agent after failing to agree terms and will be allowed to leave when his contract expires at the end of the June. TheChels.co.uk would like to thank Joe Cole for his excellent spell at the club and wish him all the best for the future.