Trueblue Friendster Profile »

Friday, May 16, 2008

Joe Cole Chelsea Player Of The Year

Chelsea supporters have voted Joe Cole the club's Player of the Year for 2008.
In the award ceremony at Stamford Bridge, Cole finished ahead of the other two nominated players Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack. It is the first time Cole has collected the accolade, which was presented by former Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly. 'I always dreamt of playing for Chelsea and my other dream was to play for the best team in the world,' said boyhood Blues supporter Cole on receiving it. 'I think I am doing both things at the moment so I am very happy. 'I take pleasure coming into work every day and playing with some of the best players in the world. I try to learn every day and we have some good banter.' The player, who has scored 10 goals in his 53 appearances this campaign, added: 'I just try to do my best for the team. I enjoy defending, it is a pleasure for me and I just want to thank the fans for voting for me. 'It is a big night. I have had a good season but the last few weeks my performances have dipped. I have been a bit tired but I didn't play at Newcastle and I feel refreshed so I want to put in a great performance and win the game on Sunday, and I will be in tip-top shape for the Champions League Final. 'It is a big night. I have had a good season but the last few weeks my performances have dipped. I have been a bit tired but I didn't play at Newcastle and I feel refreshed so I want to put in a great performance and win the game on Sunday, and I will be in tip-top shape for the Champions League Final. 'I played a lot of football this year, which I didn't last year because I was injured, and I've enjoyed it. But it will only be the best year if we put some silverware on the table.' Desailly played tribute to the winner. 'People don't talk about it but Joe Cole has a huge capacity to help with the defending and also to bring the game to the opponents. It is amazing.' Other awards preceded Cole's.

Juliano Belletti's 35-yard strike against Tottenham at the Bridge in January won Goal of the Season, sponsored by Chelsea TV, and handed over by all-time leading scorer Bobby Tambling. 'I play in defence so I am never thinking about winning something like this,' said the Brazilian. 'It is a good sensation and I am happy. 'I tried to shoot from the outside of the box on this occasion because nobody from the opposition came to me. I see the space, I had time to prepare my body and I try to shoot because I see what is possible. 'The fans don't like Tottenham a lot so it is good.' The Samsung Players' Player Award, selected by the squad and staff, went to Carvalho. Another former skipper and ex-Player of the Year, Ray Wilkins, plus managing director of Samsung Electronics UK MS Kim, gave the honour to the Portuguese international. 'We have so much quality in our squad and they voted for me, it is unbelievable,' insisted Carvalho. 'I don't have words to explain how I feel.' The adidas Young Player of the Year award did not have a traditional single winner. Instead, in recognition of the youth team's exciting run to the final of the FA Youth Cup, the entire Under 18s squad was honoured, the trophy collected by captain Nana Ofori Twumasi and manager Paul Clement from former Blue Graeme Le Saux and Nick Craggs, marketing director of sport performance and Olympics for adidas.

A special achievement award was handed to Frank Lampard by former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio in recognition of the midfielder's 100 Chelsea goals, with Lampard nominating his tight-angle turn and chip in Barcelona as technically the best but his two at Bolton to win the league as the favourites. Former FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup winner John Dempsey was the recipient of a special recognition award from John Terry for a Chelsea career that spanned 1969 to 1978 and his work since running a day centre for people with learning disabilities.

Joe Cole : Thank You

Having had a little time to familiarise himself with the award, Joe Cole has been discussing how it feels to be the Chelsea Player of the Year for 2008. The ever-popular winger was presented with the award last night at our annual awards ceremony, held at Stamford Bridge. It is the first time he has won the award since signing for the club in 2003, and joins team-mates Carlo Cudicini, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien on an illustrious list of winners. Delighted to have been recognised by the fans, Joe's immediate concerns were the live interview he was put through with host Jeff Stelling. Despite having played in front of 90,000 people at Wembley, Cole was petrified with a microphone in front of him. 'Yeah but you don't have to talk to them do you?!' he joked. 'It's very nerve wracking, I'm getting married in the summer and if that's how it's going to be then speeches will be difficult. I'll have to get the practice in I think!' Nerves put aside for a moment, the winger, who has scored 10 goals in 53 appearances this season, was keen to thank those who nominated him, and those who helped him turn in such consistent displays throughout the season.

'I was trying to think of what to say, but I'm not used to that kind of thing. I'm happy but I'd like to thank the fans for voting for me, and also I want to be better next year,' he said. 'I want to start the season well and improve. The boys, I love all of them, and every day it is a joy to go in and train. The Chelsea boys have made me the player I am, and I have learned from all of them.' Cole, pictured receiving the award from his former captain Marcel Desailly, admitted that the award was extra special for him, recalling days gone by where he was voting for the Fans' Player of the Year award. 'Every time you win an award from fans is special because they're the people that pay to watch you,' he reasoned. 'If they're approving of you, these are the people that watch every game every day, whereas some pundits only see you five times a season, but the fans watch every game.

'If I'm doing something they like I am well happy, and I've been on the other side as well, watching Chelsea and I voted for Player of the Year myself years ago, so it's a special thing for me. I can't say how happy I am at the club.' As well as his colleagues, Cole's name will now be engraved alongside some of his own boyhood heroes. Perusing the list of winners going back to 1967, he said: 'One of my heroes, Dennis Wise, and Gianfranco Zola are both on there. I can't believe it really to think I'm on the same trophy with their names on, I used to have posters of them when I was a kid - it's crazy.' At 26, he also believes there is more to come from him in a Chelsea shirt. 'At the start of the season I still had the hangover from the injuries I had, so to win this award is a great achievement, because there were doubts in my mind that I would ever get back to playing at the top level.

'I was playing with a lot of pain, but now I'm back. I've never started a season with Chelsea, having played the first few games and started. I know it is a bit premature to be talking about next year but if I can start the season and go from there I think I could take another step up. 'It's always been great here, and I still strive to get better and become a better player for Chelsea and Chelsea fans. I'm delighted to be here and hopefully I can stay for the rest of my career.' There was also a family connection for Joe at the evening, joined by his father George, a keen follower of his son's career. Speaking about his dad's presence at the event, the Chelsea man said: 'Everything I do with my football is for my family, they come to watch me everywhere. I wouldn't be a footballer if it wasn't for my dad and my mum, and brother and sister, we're a close family. I'm very happy and hopefully there'll be a few more of these.' This is a wish that is shared by Cole Snr, who is hoping for even more from his son. 'It's a great achievement for him. He loves it,' said George. 'I think all players can improve, they have to keep learning, every day is a learning curve and hopefully he'll keep learning. 'I think Chelsea have the best to come out of him yet. He's coming into his prime, his peak, and I am sure he would love to see it out at Chelsea.' There is little doubt that Chelsea fans would love the same.

Chelsea winger Joe Cole wants to be Blue for life

Winger Joe Cole has claimed he would like to play for Chelsea for the rest of his career if the club are willing to keep him.The in-form star, who signed for the Stamford Bridge outfit from West Ham United for a fee of £6.6 million in 2003, is still only 26 and approaching the peak of his professional career.However, he has expressed his desire to stay at the club until he retires as he says he is enjoying life in west London."If I was to finish my career at Chelsea, I'd be delighted," he said."I have played well this season and it will be my best for the club if we win something."The Blues' hopes of regaining the Premier League title they won in 2005 and 2006 have all but evaporated this week after their disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Wigan Athletic on Monday night.It was Cole's introduction as a half-time substitute that sparked Chelsea into life in that game, after a drab first period ended goalless.The England international injected pace into the home side, who took the lead through Michael Essien's 20-yard strike but surrendered their advantage in injury time when Emile Heskey converted Jason Koumas' cross.Despite being in excellent form at the moment, Cole claims he can still improve as a player and he hopes to continue his progression at Chelsea."The next five to six years will see the best of me," he stated."Hopefully, I will play for a long time because I am not someone who relies on pace."I am someone who always puts his heart and soul into every game. I have a great relationship with the fans and it is great to be playing under a manager who really believes in me."He continued: "I think we have to set our sights high. The way the club is at the moment, anything is possible and we shouldn't just be looking to win a league title here and a league title there and maybe one Champions League."With the players we have, we should be looking to win the Champions League on a regular basis and many championships."