At the age of 30 he gave up sales and marketing to pursue his calling as a coach and ended up in the MLS for two years. He's now moved to Seoul to start again...
There are key differences - largely off the pitch - but Liverpool fan Sam Drury has spotted five things that are similar five years on. A big sale, a big Italian arrival...
* Lukas Podolski recorded a rare 100% pass completion rate v Southampton on Saturday as well as scoring his second Arsenal goal.
* Santiago Cazorla has made 18 chances for teammates this season - only Leighton Baines has made more.
* Arsenal have completed 55 dribbles this season. Liverpool are next on the list with just 36.
* Aston Villa have ended a run of 13 PL games without a win.
* Darren Bent has taken 11 shots this season but only two have been on target. None have been scored.
* Barry Bannan attempted a massive 16 crosses v Swansea and created four chances for teammates.
* Frank Lampard recorded an out-of-sorts 69% pass completion rate v QPR on Saturday.
* Eden Hazard has completed twice as many chances (10) as any of his Chelsea colleagues this season.
* Victor Moses completed 100% of his 11 passes v QPR - replacing Ryan Bertrand (7 of 11) off the bench.
* Leighton Baines has created more chances for teammates (19) than any other PL player this season. But on Monday night v Newcastle, none of his eight crosses reached a teammate.
* Sylvain Distin and Marouane Fellaini are third and fourth on the 'aerial duels won' list this season.
* Victor Anichebe has scored in six of his 11 PL sub appearances since the start of last season.
* Damien Duff has the highest pass completion rate in the PL at 95.4%.
* Hugo Rodallega has had more shots (14) than any other PL player this season without scoring a goal.
* Dimitar Berbatov has created more chances for his teammates (7) in 1.5 games than any other Fulham player in four matches.
* No team has taken more shots than Liverpool (75) so far this season but only 15 have been on target.
* Luis Suarez has created the most chances in the PL (12) without getting an assist.
* Raheem Sterling was fouled seven times by Sunderland on Saturday but only one player (Seb Larsson) was booked.
* Man City have conceded six goals from ten shots on target from the opposition in their first four games.
* City have picked up five points from losing positions so far this season.
* Javi García won seven aerial duels on his debut v Stoke on Saturday.
* Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick are the only two Man United players to have started all four PL games this season.
* Danny Welbeck did not hit the target with any of his seven shots v Wigan on Saturday. He has not tested the keeper with ten shots in total this season.
* Alexander Büttner scored a goal but lost the ball seven times and committed five fouls v Wigan.
* Newcastle United
* Demba Ba has scored 19 goals in 38 PL games for Newcastle.
* Newcastle are yet to score a first-half goal in four PL matches this season.
* Vurnon Anita made four tackles and three interceptions v Everton on Monday but his pass completion was a low 64%.
* Sébastien Bassong has won 18 of his 23 aerial duels in three PL games for Norwich. Only Peter Crouch has won more aerial duels per game (9.8) this season.
* Norwich have not picked up a single yellow card in four games. The last team to manage that feat were Blackburn in 1993-94.
* Robert Snodgrass had six of the Canaries' 25 shots v West Ham on Saturday.
* QPR had double the points (4) after four games under Neil Warnock at the start of last season.
* Ryan Nelsen made four tackles, two interceptions, seven effective clearances and two shot blocks v Chelsea on Saturday.
* Alejandro Faurlin has been accurate with 17 of his 18 attempted long balls in two games this season.
* Hal Robson-Kanu has scored with his only shot in the Premier League.
* None of Reading's starting XI managed a single shot on target v Spurs on Sunday.
* Garath McCleary failed to teach a teammate with any of his ten crosses v Spurs.
* The last three clubs to have zero opints after pour games were West Ham (2010-11), Portsmouth (2009-10) and Sunderland (2005-06). All were relegated.
* ...but Southampton survived after a zero-point start in 1998-99. They managed only one point from eight games.
* Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin hace made more interceptions (15) than any other PL players this season.
* Stoke City
* Stoke have averaged 33% possession and a 66.7% pass completion rate so far this season.
* Peter Crouch has won 39 of 55 aerial duels in four matches. Stoke have three players (Crouch, Ryan Shawcross and Jonathan Walters) in the top six of 'aeriel duels won' in the PL.
* Stoke have not won any of their last ten PL games.
* Sunderland's three goals this season have come from just five shots on target.
* Steven Fletcher has scored with his three shots as a Sunderland player.
* Sunderland have spent only 18% of their games in the opposition half this season.
* Swansea managed a pass accuracy of 83% and possession of 57% at Villa but only three shots on target.
* Alan Tate won nine aerial duels v Villa but was effective with only four of 19 attempted clearances.
* The Swans have won only one of their last six away games in the Premier League.
* Jermain Defoe has taken 26 shots so far this season - the most of any player in the Premier League.
* Gareth Bale scored v Reading with his 14th shot of the season so far.
* Tottenham have conceded the fewest shots (38) in the PL this season. Arsenal have conceded 40.
* Gareth McAuley has won an impressive 12 of 16 aerial duels this season. Centre-half partner Jonas Olsson has won 11 of 18.
* Romelu Lukaku was accurate with all ten of his passes after coming off the bench in the 3-0 defeat at Fulham.
* The Baggies' seven points from four games still marks their best ever PL start.
* Jussi Jaaskelainen has made more saves (23) than any other PL keeper this season.
* Mark Noble has made more tackles (22) than any other PL player this season.
* Carlton Cole recorded a woeful 50% pass completion rate v Norwich on Saturday.
* Wigan actually had one more point (5) at the same stage last season.
* Midfielder James McCarthy has recorded exactly the same pass completion rate (93%) as Joe Allen this season.
* The aggregate score in eight OT meetings between Manchester United and Wigan is 28-1.