And the player said being near his family was an important factor in choosing West Ham ahead of a reunion at QPR with his former Hammers boss Harry Redknapp.
Joe Cole's career
150 appearances, 13 goals (1999-2003)
282 appearances, 39 goals (2003-2010)
42 appearances, five goals (2010-2013)
38 appearances, four goals (loan, 2011-2012)
56 appearances, 10 goals (2001-2010)
"Harry gave me my first chance and I'll be forever indebted to him. It was just a case that I wanted to be close to my family and when West Ham came in it was too much for me not to say no," he said.
Cole said he was "haunted" by West Ham's 2003 relegation on 42 points, in a side which also included Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson.
"You want to come back and put things right," he said. "It is a new club I have come back to. It is so organised and efficient and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes. It has been an eye-opener.
"I just want to be involved in this club going places with the [anticipated move to the] Olympic Stadium and the job the gaffer has done."
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