Aston Villa have signed former England and Chelsea winger Joe Cole on a 2 year contract, after he was released by West Ham at the end of last season.
Paul Lambert has added some experience to his young squad with the signing of Cole. At 32 Cole has spent 16 years in the Premier League, winning 3 league medals, 3 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and a couple of Community Shield, plus individual honours.
Lambert’s Villa has the average youngest age of any team in the Premier League and that lack of experience was blamed for some of their shortcomings this season, Lambert is obviously trying to combat that by bringing in an older, wiser head into the squad and, providing he stays fit, they don’t get much better than Cole.
Once described as England’s own ‘little Brazilian’, Joe Cole’s early years were marked, with flair, speed and a dangerous cut in from the left flank. Although his play became a little more reserved under Mourinho’s more straightforward style of play, he was still a mainstay of the Chelsea first team and the last winger to hold down a unchallenged regular starting berth for the England team.
The only problem is his longevity. His career has been plagued with injuries, even more so as he has gotten into the twilight of his career. He spent around two months of last season injured for West Ham and had to make most of his appearances off of the bench.
But with his hold up play and crossing ability he will be able to supply Christian Benteke with plenty of ammunition to put into the back of the net, and consistent service is just what that big guy needs.
I guess the old (paraphrased) saying is true…you either retire a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a Villain!