But however much - or little - the soon to be out-of-contractplaymaker at the World Cup, his club career is set to take a turn forthe better.
Leaving Chelsea could be just what Cole needs - and there is a plus for the Stamford Bridge club in his departure too.
Thinking outside the box: Joe Cole will move his career on after leaving Chelsea
For him, it should provide the chance to re-start a career that hasstalled, an opportunity to remind everyone of his huge talent.
Chelsea are undoubtedly losing a player of great skill but also someone who has lost his way.
They can console themselves too that they have refused to be held to ransom over his wage demands as his contract ran down.
That they have stood firm on a point of principle.
More from Leo Spall. LEO'S LONDON: Tottenham must offer Redknapp a new long-term deal02/06/10 LEO'S LONDON: If Arsenal star Fabregas leaves for Barcelona Arsene Wenger will be without a genuine icon for the first time26/05/10 LEO'S LONDON: Cole is back to his arrogant best - and that's great news19/05/10 LEO'S LONDON: Didier Drogba lit up the capital but Gareth Bale, Thomas Vermaelen, Bobby Zamora and Steve Morison gave him a run for his money12/05/10 LEO'S LONDON: Chelsea deserve to win the Premier League as they're not a one-man team like Roon-chester United05/05/10 LEO'S LONDON: Terry is still a Chelsea powerhouse despite problems28/04/10 LEO'S LONDON: Give Michael Dawson a World Cup shirt - he deserves one more than Matthew Upson, Joleon Lescott and Wes Brown21/04/10 LEO'S LONDON: Ancelotti is not the Special One but winning the double could change that14/04/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE Many fans have been perplexed by Chelsea's stance, but it has not been solely based on cost control.
In refusing to grant Cole a wage rise of £30,000-a-week, they havetried to show that the club rather than the players still call theshots.
Sure, they will still pay mind-boggling sums of money to their starsevery week, but if they are boxed into a corner they come out fighting.
Every club have their own character and this is Chelsea's: they seldom back down - just ask Adrian Mutu.
So the fact that they are willing to pay almost as much for YossiBenayoun as they would have for Cole on the deal that he wanted shouldnot come as a shock.
It would have cost Chelsea £22million to sign the England playmaker on the £110,000-a-week he wanted, over four years.
Benayoun, if his transfer from Liverpool is completed, will costaround £19.5m for the same period when a £6.5m fee and £65,000-a-weekwages are included.
Is the Israeli as good a player? Probably not, and he is 18 months older than Cole, but he is still a fantastic talent.
Chelsea are refreshing their squad, jettisoning Michael Ballack andprobably Deco to leave room for an exciting creative signing inaddition to Benayoun.
And don't forget that a series of Chelsea managers have failed to get the best out of Cole.
Out in style: Joe Cole leaves Chelsea after winning the Double
Refashioned as a left-sided player under Jose Mourinho, thepotential shown by the 28-year-old when a trainee at West Ham is stillto be fully realised.
Injuries are partly to blame but, now fit again, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is not the man to kick start his career.
Even taking into account Cole's fitness problems last season, the Italian didn' t know what to do with him.
Ancelotti started the midfielder just 14 times in the Premier League and substituted him in 10 of those games.
That is four complete league matches all season and 12 games when Cole only appeared from the bench.
It is plainly time for a change for Cole and Chelsea have not lost face in deciding to let him go.
Leaving Arsenal? Cesc Fabregas
Whoever is fortunate enough to sign Joe Cole must give him the chance to lead their side.
He loves to play like a Brazilian No 10 and needs the opportunity to become his new club's talisman.
But if it is Arsenal that he signs for - and they look like thefavourites - then Arsene Wenger deserves to go as crimson as the trimon his club's new away kit.
It's not that Cole would not fit in well in the Frenchman's team.Quite the contrary, he has all the makings of becoming a big hit atArsenal.
It is just that when Wenger was asked about Cole as it became clearhe was heading for the Chelsea exit near the end of last season, he wascategorical.
Yes, Cole will be a good signing for someone, Wenger said, just not Arsenal.
Wenger insisted his midfield was the one area of his squad he wouldnot be strengthening and that he was absolutely satisfied with.
Sure, things change, but unless Arsenal are to end up red-facedover Cesc Fabregas too, it is hard to see the transformation to promptsuch a U-turn.
Sheffield Wednesday will not face any FA action over the crowdtrouble at their relegation decider against Crystal Palace in May.
The governing body are satisfied that the club followed properprocedures - so maybe the FA ought to raise the standards against whichclubs are measured.
Wednesday cannot be blamed for the behaviour of over-excited yobs,who were accused of attacking Palace's Clint Hill and gettinginvolved in skirmishes.
But these people were able to invade the pitch despite Wednesdaydoing everything that was required of them and surely that is what therules are there for: to prevent such incursions.