Joe Cole had contrasting experiences in Liverpool and London.
Joe Cole has been speaking to former England teammate Jamie Carragher about the biggest difference between life as a Chelsea player and that of a Liverpool footballer.
The ex-England midfielder is well-qualified to make the comparison, having played spent seven years at Chelsea before moving to Liverpool on a free transfer in 2010.
Joe Cole: “It’s a different vibe.”
While it’s fair to say that Cole’s stint at Stamford Bridge was more successful than his time on Merseyside, he told Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Game podcast that it was in London where he enjoyed the quieter life.
“I stayed at the Hilton,” Cole says of his brief time at Liverpool. “I would never use this as an excuse, I’m a professional footballer. But it was a big difference culturally for me.
“At Chelsea, I was living on the King’s Road and nobody would give a monkeys about you. You’d get a couple of black cab drivers that bib ya but in London, it’s a different vibe.
“I went up to Liverpool and I’d just had my daughter. I’d go from the Hilton to John Lewis for a cup of coffee in the afternoon and I’d have about four chats about tactics. Everyone was so obsessed with football.
“I’m a personable person and I like people. If someone comes to chat to me, I tend to give them my time but it took me about three hours to get my cappuccino in the afternoon,” Cole adds with a laugh.
Joe Cole and the Liverpool goldfish bowl.
The three-time Premier League winner goes on to reminisce on a time when he invited club captain Steven Gerrard for a night out, only to be given further indication of what a goldfish bowl Liverpool can be for a footballer.
“I think we had a weekend off,” Cole recalls. “And I said to Stevie, ‘do you fancy going out in town or something?’ and he went ‘I haven’t been to town for two years!’
“I was like ‘why?’ and then I was like ‘oh yeah. I just forget he’s Steven Gerrard sometimes.’ London is different place.”
A short stint on Merseyside.
Cole only spent a season at Anfield under Roy Hodgson and his successor Kenny Dalglish before moving on loan to Lille in France.
He later turned out for boyhood club West Ham United, Aston Villa and Coventry City, as well as Tampa Bay Rowdies in the United States.