Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cole Comfort

I remember, in 2002, standing in the terrace section at Macclesfield Town to watch the unlikely match-up of the mighty Silkmen hosting West Ham United in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Not quite the fixture that dreams are made of, but a very nice one for the perennial strugglers in the fourth tier of English football. One of two Premiership 3rd Round opponents I've seen Macc face.

Jeff Winter actually presided over a very good match that day, as both teams played some very good football. Two things stick in my mind from that impressive yet utterly futile 3-0 defeat for Macc: the first was the size of Trevor Sinclair's calves - like flippin' tree trunks they were! As he scampered down the wing it was like the March of the Ents on Isenguard, only with less bark.

The other thing I remember about that game was a twenty year old Jole Cole. He deservedly scored the goal that capped off the Hammers' 3-0 win and was, for me, man of the match. Jermaine Defoe may have scored twice that day, but Cole was the difference. Even though it was against a League 2 side, even though he was only 20, he completely ran the show. Everything good went through him, he was inventive, great passing, quick... everything you want a creative player to be.

Eight years on and he has been, barring the occasional injury, pressed into a hard-working wide-man's role by the succession of Chelsea managers. Never mind that Harry Redknapp stupidly decided he needed more bulk - creating the Fat Cole along with Frank the Tank at the time - Cole's gifts seem to have been somewhat wasted over the years.

Whether that's his fault, or that of his managers, we have yet to find out.

One thing's for sure, though, I said that Roy Hodgson's first job should be to get on bended knee in front of Joe to bring him to Liverpool. And lo, did the prophecy fulfill itself. Arjen Robben has said that Torres-Gerrard-Cole as a front three is as good as any strike force in the world, and if Cole links up with those two (I hesitate to say as 'a threesome', as Trevor Sinclair's calves are homoerotic enough) as well as they've managed to get a partnership going already, then that front three could be practically unstoppable.

Time will tell with that one, but if he can slot in well, then Liverpool's goal-scoring fortunes, at least, will be on the up.

The other great 3rd Round tie I saw with Macc? Chelsea 6-1 Macclesfield Town in 2007. That, for a long time, was the stuff football giant-killing dreams were made of, but eventually turned into nightmares. We only lost 6-1. We even had them at 1-1 for all of ninety seconds in the first half, too.

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