Cole talks coaching ambitions, hails Ligue 1
Joe Cole has expressed his admiration for Lille coach Rudi Garcia and revealed that working under the Frenchman has prompted him to consider a career in management himself.
Cole is on a season-long loan at the French champions from Liverpool and despite his considerable experience, the 29-year-old said he has learnt a great deal from Garcia on the training pitch.
"When I was playing at Liverpool or elsewhere, sometimes you'd ask yourself why the other team had so much possession against you," the midfielder said in an interview published in today's edition of sports daily L'Equipe.
"In the England team, we had [Steven] Gerrard, [Frank] Lampard, [David] Beckham, [Wayne] Rooney and we were playing against, for example, Macedonia, and they had 60 per cent of possession against us. And we didn't know why.
"For me, it depends on the way the team is put together. The way that Rudi instructs the team has opened my eyes about playing high up the pitch, with the fullbacks pushing up and the movement of the central midfielders and the defenders.
"When you look at the relationship between [Florent] Balmont and [Mathieu] Debuchy, it's very fluid. But it doesn't just happen like that. You have to work on movement and that way of attacking. It makes me want to become a coach, even if I hope that that doesn't happen for a while. But maybe I'd be rubbish!"
Language barrier, Lille future
Cole has become a popular figure with Lille's fans, having scored eight goals in all competitions since the start of the season, but he admits he is still having problems picking up the language.
"The only thing I miss [about England] is in the changing room," he said. "I can't understand all the jokes here and it's frustrating. French is more difficult than I thought. I'm trying to take my lessons very seriously. I listen to them for at least half an hour each day."
Cole also revealed that he had been pleasantly surprised by the quality of football in the French top flight.
"The stadiums aren't as nice as in England, but if you take away Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Tottenham, the level is the same," he said. "The only difference is that England has the money to buy David Silva, [Mario] Balotelli, [Sergio] Aguero etc.
"But I really like the atmosphere in the French championship, the proximity between the television and the players. The interviews just before the match, at half-time and at the end is really nice. I think the Premier League could learn a few things."
Lille are reportedly keen to sign Cole on a permanent basis, but he said the decision about his long-term future ultimately rested with Liverpool.
"What do I want? I don't want to talk about it too much at the moment, because it's not that simple," he said. "I'm really very happy here. My family too. But as long as I haven't spoken to Liverpool..."