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Waiting for Joe Cole to Come Good and Other Monday Notes

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All work and no Cole make Cole a Cole Cole. Or something. In any case, there's a run on Joe Cole on the official site right now, as the club does its best to remind you that he does in fact exist. Like a bad rash flaring up. A bad rash you paid a whole load of money to pick up in the first place.

Insert your own Southeast Asian sex tourism joke here.

And to anybody who stumbled across this post thanks to "Southeast Asian sex tourism": Hello, we don't judge around here. Well, no, that's a lie: We do judge. And we're giving you a disapproving look. But it's probably not as disapproving as the looks we give Joe Cole when he wheezes off the bench and does his best to destroy the team dynamic...

* Speaking of Joe Cole and Southeast Asia, Steve Clarke recently came out and talked about what a great player Cole is and all sorts of other terrifying things that don't seem grounded in reality:

He's looked good in both matches we've played so far and Joe Cole is a top international player. He's got a big contribution to make in the future.

He's the same Joe Cole [I coached at Chelsea] just a couple of years older and a little bit wiser. He's always had a fantastic attitude, works hard in training and comes in with a smile on his face because he wants to do well. That's the position he's in. It has been difficult for him because he's not been involved but he keeps working hard and when he gets his chance it is up to him to take that chance.

That would seem to fly in the face of what your lying eyes claimed they saw during the games in China and Malaysia, which was a quickly winded Cole selfishly holding onto the ball and running into dead ends because he needed to do thirty-seven stepovers and beat the same man five times before he'd even consider passing the ball. As for him being wiser, perhaps that means he's decided to spend a few of the £90k per week he gets from the club to hire a nanny so that he won't have to blame his new child keeping him up at night for his continually abysmal performances. Or maybe he's picked up a few packs of nicotine gum.

One can only hope his frequent appearances in the official site's news section in recent days isn't a sign that the club's going to be stuck with him come the start of the Premier League season when there are a million better uses for his ridiculous wages, not to mention that the space he takes up on the squad would be better used on a promising youngster. Still, with the club seeming to go out of its way to convince a disbelieving world that a certain individual isn't actually one of the biggest, most expensive flops in its history, it can't help but raise a few eyebrows.

* Moving on from a flop to a few players who decidedly aren't, over in Copa America action the weekend's quarter-finals saw one Liverpool player move on and another head home. First on Saturday, Luis Suarez and Uruguay survived being overrun for much of an ugly match against national rivals Argentina. After being badly outplayed for much of a first half where the Uruguayans seemed more interested in playing rugby than football, the seemingly inevitable happened and they rightly went down to ten men before the half. Yet when the second started, Argentina failed to press its advantage, giving Luis Suarez a chance to further make a case for his being amongst the game's elite as he almost single-handedly dragged Uruguay back into the match. In the end the game would go to penalties, Suarez would burry his, and Uruguay would advance to the semi-finals after a match that seemed lost by Argentina more than it was won by Uruguay.

While Suarez will remain in Argentina at the Copa America for at least a few more days, Lucas Leiva will be heading off on his summer break earlier than expected before returning to Liverpool, as Brazil dropped out of the Copa to Paraguay—also on penalties. Once again it was a game in which Lucas did his job effectively for Brazil while the supposed superstars and budding superstars up front failed to provide any real cutting edge. Towards the end of extra time, Lucas picked up an exceptionally soft red card for coming late into a scrum that likely would have lead to an early end to the tournament for him no matter what. It's unfortunate for Lucas, but fortunate for Liverpool as it means an extra week of downtime for the one midfielder who fills a role the club doesn't have adequate cover for.

As for the rest of the Copa America, Suarez and Uruguay face off against Peru tomorrow in the semi-finals at 9:45PM ART/8:45PM EST/1:45AM (Wednesday) GMT. Paraguay will face Venezuela on Wednesday at 9:45PM ART/8:45PM EST/1:45AM (Thursday) GMT.

* Finally, Gerardo Bruna, a promising Argentinean youngster captured from Real Madrid to some fanfare in 2007, has moved on to Blackpool after failing to make an impression at Liverpool. No word on whether he was one of the players Blackpool was given access to as an unofficial part of the Charlie Adam deal, though it wouldn't be surprising. Hopefully with the playing time he should get at Blackpool he'll manage to come good on some of the promise he once showed.

That about does it for now, and with Glen Johnson joining newcomers Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson as the trio returned to training with the club it will make the wait for Saturday's friendly against Hull and their likely debuts seem just that little bit longer. The weekend guest post got up and running after a slight delay caused by the game on Saturday and some technical difficulties on Ed's end, so if you haven't seen it yet be sure to head on over and take a look. Otherwise, in the meantime, while you try to sort out just what level of disappointment the signing of Joe Cole has reached a year after his arrival while a few misguided souls remain convinced he'll still come good...