Temporarily banish thoughts of injuries, current form and other relevant things you might have used as a yardstick for measuring the player's capability. Because I think there is absolutely no doubt that Joe Cole is one of the best players not only in England, but also in Europe and possibly the globe, I'm not exaggerating even though my utterances might suggest otherwise.
But the probability of Arsenal snapping Cole for free from Chelsea was at a paltry 2/10, considering the rivalry between both giants and player loyalty as displayed fervently by some stars e.g Fabregas, Lampard, Clichy, Arteta and others too numerous to mention. This speculative transfer was doomed to fail from the onset.
Yesterday alone I read a couple of exclusives - and I must admit these reports had an iota of truth in them, and I can vouch for the authenticity of their write-ups not because they were written by my mates but for the simple reason that things and transfers in particular are subject to last minute scrutiny, but how things quickly change? I don't know - after all Chelsea allegedly confirmed his departure and also made sure he won't leave Stamford Bridge alone with Germany's captain Michael Ballack also shown the exit at the club.
There was no possible way people were going to let Arsenal, who are the supposed front runner for his signature breath without difficulty.
Even the Metro reported exclusively yesterday that Cole's representatives have already been in preliminary discussions with Arsenal over the possibility of tying up a three-year deal, after contract talks with Chelsea stalled.
Several other clubs, including the Gunners' north London rivals Spurs and big-spending Manchester City, have also been in touch with the player to sound him out about a possible switch.
But like I said the picture is clearer now Arsenal's chairman Peter Hill-Wood confirmed that during discussions with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis "his name never came up at all" which indirectly means the trio are planning a summer swoop that simply put 'didn't make room for Cole' whose much anticipated arrival could have added a different dimension to our attacking style of play.
Hill-Wood said: "I had a long conversation with (chief executive) Ivan Gazidis, who had been with Arsene Wenger and his name never came up at all."
looks to me like the list of new intakes submitted by Wenger to the Arsenal board is really a lengthy one.