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Joe Cole embraces life with Lille to reinvigorate his England hopes

Early afternoon drinking decaffeinated espresso at a cafe just off Lille's Place du Général de Gaulle, the placarded stragglers from a trade union protest against austerity measures adding to the hustle and bustle on the cobbled street, and the Englishman abroad seems at ease. Content, even. Joe Cole has training scheduled for later in the day before he and his wife, Carly, attend a first classroom French lesson since their schooldays. Life is hectic but, as the drone from the strikers' megaphones recedes, there is time to take it all in.

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