Friday 03 Dec
Updated Friday 03 Dec 17:00

Joe Cole: What a game!


The latest edition of the ‘Joe Cole Derby’ takes place at London Stadium on Saturday, and the man himself can’t wait.

Born in Hammersmith, Cole joined West Ham United as a schoolboy, inspired the Hammers to FA Youth Cup success, captained the first team and was capped by England while still a teenager, before moving to Chelsea, where he won three Premier League titles during seven years at Stamford Bridge before returning to east London, via stops in Liverpool and Lille, for a second 18-month spell in 2013.

Now 40, the former England star is now sharing his experience and knowledge of the game in the media, and he will be part of BT Sport’s team at London Stadium for this weekend’s mouth-watering clash between his two former clubs.

“What a game!” he smiled. “How well are both clubs doing!? Obviously Chelsea have been there for many, many years and what a team they’ve got, but West Ham, what David has done is nothing short of miraculous from where the Club was when he took over, so credit to the players and credit to the owners.

“To be honest, it’s the best vibes coming out of the Club that I can remember. It’s exciting, really exciting!”


Joe Cole is a big admirer of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen
Joe Cole is a big admirer of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen


Cole, who made 187 appearances in Claret and Blue, recently visited Rush Green to film and enjoyed spending time chatting to manager Moyes, his old teammate and friend Mark Noble and watch first-team training.

Two players he kept a particular eye on were two who hope to emulate Cole himself by representing England at a FIFA World Cup finals – Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen.

Unsurprisingly, the 40-year-old is a fan of both players, and revealed he first saw Bowen’s potential to play for his country during Hull City’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Chelsea in January 2020.

“With Dec, he’s a fantastic footballer and he’s took his game on another level and there are opportunities here to kick on and win things at West Ham this year, which is incredible, and I’m glad Dec’s here and a huge part of all of it,” Cole observed.

“I’m a huge fan of Jarrod. I was covering a game when Chelsea played Hull and we watched him and broke him down and I thought ‘this kid is a good player, he’s got goals in him’.

“He signed for West Ham and I was very happy and I’ved watched him and his development.  He’s developing and moving on, he’s a talented player and England is around the corner. I am sure he has to be in the conversation as he’s a really talented player.”