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How to Be an Ex-Footballer

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Cole did not play for Chelsea in the 2009–10 pre-season due to cruciate ligament damage in his knee, suffered in January 2009. Peter Crouch’s 3rd book is another examination of the lives of football players presented in Crouch’s inimitable style. Cole's only other goal of the season was his only one in the league campaign, ending a one-two with Frank Lampard to open the scoring after five minutes away to Newcastle United, albeit in a 1–2 defeat. On 17 August 2008, Cole scored the first Premier League goal of the management of Luiz Felipe Scolari in a 4–0 win against Portsmouth.

Manager Claudio Ranieri saw Cole as the perfect replacement for Gianfranco Zola, whom the club had released earlier that year, and West Ham declared that the transfer was enough for them not to sell any more players that summer. He then scored England's two goals in the next fixture after coming on as a second-half substitute in the 2–0 defeat of Andorra in the opening match for 2010 World Cup qualifying. The game finished 2–2 with Cole providing the assists for both of West Ham's goals which were scored by James Collins. Cole's displays in England's friendlies leading up to the 2006 World Cup enhanced his reputation ahead of the summer's finals in Germany. In all, Cole made 22 league appearances for the Sky Blues, scoring twice, both from long-range free kicks.A week after signing for the club, Cole made his debut in a UEFA Champions League qualifier away to MŠK Žilina. His form saw him hit a run of goals towards the end of the season, and he scored a goal on 9 March against Norwich City blasted in from 20 yards off his weaker left foot [22] Cole scored ten goals for Chelsea in 2004–05 and ended the season with a Premier League champions' medal. Where in previous books this would have been topics such as teammates, managers or tactics and told from his own personal experiences; in comparison and as mentioned in the title, this book focuses on the period once the money stops, the crowds go silent and the boots are hung by their laces to answer the question “what does a retired footballer do? He came on as a substitute for fellow new signing Damien Duff with 21 minutes remaining and caused Michal Drahno to score an own goal to conclude a 2–0 victory. He played, and scored, in a 3–0 victory against Platinum Stars, of South Africa's Premier Soccer League, in an unofficial warm-up game.

In August 2008, Cole scored a late equalising goal in a 2–2 draw at Wembley against the Czech Republic after coming on as a substitute.

He signed for Aston Villa in June 2014, then joined Coventry City on loan in October 2015, joining on a permanent deal in January 2016. It is a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of life after the final whistle when the ridiculous amounts of money disappear as quickly as the chants from the adoring crowds. Cole made his first 2009–10 Premier League appearance for Chelsea against Blackburn Rovers, playing in attacking midfield in a 5–0 win.

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