Cole is popular, but not popular enough

It's time to join the Joe Cole fan club. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to praise the out-of-contract playmaker, from his England and former Chelsea colleagues to Harry Redknapp, a man never shy of placing a tactical quote in the press.

It is hard not to admire the ability of Cole, who was England's best player at the 2006 World Cup - an honour admittedly nearly as easy to achieve as it was this time around. He was at his peak then, full of dangerous running, clever passing and important goals. I remember thinking how well he played in the famous 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane three seasons ago.

Injuries have taken the edge off of Cole's game since then, but his currency was still high. High enough for Fabio Capello to include him for South Africa despite the fact he was a bench-warmer at Chelsea last term and high enough for John Terry and most of the media to demand he play a central role in the England starting eleven, they certainly thought he would help England justify their World Cup 2010 odds.

However, the praise only goes so far. Capello did not fully trust Cole and it seems as though Carlo Ancelotti was similarly not persuaded by the player power at Chelsea to give him a new contract. Despite seemingly having plenty of suitors, Cole is still a free agent.

His £100,000 a week wage demands are perhaps a factor and could be the reason why he may not agree to be a Spurs player next season. Cole and his agent must assume that if no one else will splash out then Manchester City will, but the demands may have to change.

Tottenham's Premier League odds suggest they face a challenging season, and Cole would be a decent addition to a squad which will be playing in four competitions.

If he is available at a level that fits into Tottenham's wage structure then we should pursue him, regardless of the fact it is hard to see how he will fit into the team. Until then we should, like everyone else, admire him without acting on it.

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