The West Ham midfielder reveals his regret at making the move to Anfield two years ago, while also revealing why he turned down a five-year deal to join Tottenham
Joe Cole has branded his transfer to Liverpool a mistake after spending two-and-a-half years in the wilderness at Anfield.
The West Ham midfielder rejoined his boyhood club in January after struggling to adapt to life on Merseyside and says he regrets his decision to join the Reds, a team who he felt no passion for.
The former England international also revealed how he had an opportunity to join Tottenham, but felt he would have betrayed Chelsea’s supporters in moving to White Hart Lane.
“I can only play for teams that I’m passionate about and I think that’s what went wrong for me at Liverpool,” he told reporters.
“I didn’t feel a connection with the club or the place that I had at Chelsea and West Ham.
“I had seven great years at Chelsea but the club wanted to go in a certain direction and I wasn’t involved. So I was left with two real options — Liverpool or Spurs.
“Spurs was probably the best option because they were offering me a five-year deal and it meant I could stay in familiar surroundings.
“But I just couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t see myself pulling that Spurs shirt over my head. With the rivalry between Spurs and West Ham and Chelsea, it felt a bit mercenary.”
The 31-year-old insists he never called them “the biggest club in the country” after signing, a move at the time which sparked some ridicule in the playmaker.
He said: “When I joined, the guy interviewing me said ‘you’ve joined the biggest club in the country’ and reeled off the trophies they’d won.
“I just said ‘yeah, if you put it like that, I suppose you’re right’ and Liverpool used that as the headline to the interview.
“I didn’t want to upset anyone so I just went along with it. But obviously they’re not the biggest club in the country any more.”