By Jim Wirth
Chelsea FC were still in shock after losing 3-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against ten-man AS Monaco FC, when playmaker Joe Cole braved the uefa.com chat room for a MasterCard Talk Football Expert Chat on 22 April.
Credit to Monaco
The defeat at the Stade Louis II was on everyone's mind on that Thursday afternoon, and Cole was quick to share his views with user Kalongi. "I think the Monaco players worked so hard and we have to give them credit," he said. "They made it very hard for us and stopped us playing. But if I knew what went wrong, I'd be a very talented manager!"
Chelsea are now up against it in the tie, as Cole acknowledged to user jerryboy. "It's going to be an uphill struggle but we do have an away goal and it will be an amazing night when Monaco come to the Bridge," he said. "I just hope I can start and help the boys reach the final."
The return leg was the subject of a lot of interest from uefa.com users. Cole told clust exactly what he thought Monaco could expect on their trip to London. "I imagine it will be attack, attack, attack - but the formation's not decided," he said. "We're all hoping it will be 2-0 but any result that takes us through to the final will be great.
We just have to give our all on the night and make sure we have no regrets."
West Ham move
Since leaving West Ham United FC to join Chelsea in the summer, Cole has drifted in and out of the starting lineup. S.Slazio asked whether Cole regretted leaving West Ham and the security of a guaranteed first-team place, but the player promptly denied the claim.
"I never regret any decisions I make in football," he said. "I've got a lot of friends at West Ham and it's great to meet up with them when I can for a meal to talk about old times. But we've all moved on now and Chelsea is where my career is now."
He told mike: "It's always an honour to play for Chelsea. The fans have made me feel so welcome but it's taken me time to adjust to a new style of play." He added to Kalongi: "The main thing is just getting to know everyone's game. I have to learn what runs the strikers like to make and where they like the ball played. That takes time but we're getting better every day."
Cole insisted that he was not in the least bit daunted by having to battle for a place in the first eleven. "It's not pressure," he said. "The job I do, if you can't enjoy it then there's something wrong. I enjoy every day and am loving training with some of the best players in the world. I don't feel the pressure."
Away from Chelsea, Cole told uefa.com users that his favourite Premiership player of the season was Manchester United FC's Paul Scholes: "The best player in England in my opinion".
Meanwhile, he told venezuelan that his best friend in football was Chelsea team-mate Scott Parker. "We went to Lilleshall [the former English football school] together and I was very happy when he signed [from Charlton Athletic FC]. We have a lot in common and get on well."
To find out more about Joe Cole, visit his personal website at www.joecole.co.uk.
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