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...
* Arsenal's 12 points from eight games marks their fourth worst start to a PL season.
* Mikel Arteta has attempted more passes (764) than any other player in the PL this season but has created only 11 chances.
* Arsenal have won only one of the last seven PL games started by Aaron Ramsey.
* Aston Villa have won one of their last 18 PL games. Paul Lambert has won only one of his last 13 PL games as manager.
* Villa had 12 shots v Fulham but only one - from right-back Matthew Lowton - was on target.
* Darren Bent has created more chances for teammates this season (11) than any of Villa's midfielers.
* Eden Hazard and Juan Mata are top of the PL assists chart this season with five each.
* Mata has picked up his five assists from just 16 key passes. Santi Cazorla has created 30 chances but only two have been taken at Arsenal.
* In Mata's last six games in all competitions, he has claimed six goals and seven assists.
* Everton have taken exactly the same number of shots (157) as Man City this season. No club has taken more.
* Everton have become the first PL team to reach double figures for hitting the woodwork this season after Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin joined the club v QPR.
* Phil Neville found a teammate with 100% of his 31 passes v QPR on Sunday.
* Chris Baird has made more interceptions per game (4.2) than any other PL player this season.
* Fulham have won 13 of 23 home games since the start of last season. Only Man United, Man City, Spurs and Chelsea have a better record.
* John Arne Riise attempted a massive 17 crosses v Villa and was eventually rewarded with an assist for Baird's goal.
* Luis Suarez hit the target with only one of his ten shots v Reading. He has recorded more off-target shots (27) than Sunderland (26) this season.
* Suarez is the only Liverpool player to have recorded more than one assist this season.
* Glen Johnson hit six long balls and three crosses v Reading. None reached a Liverpool teammate.
* Man City have won 11 points from losing positions this season. Only Manchester United (12) have won more.
* Mario Balotelli has taken more shots (18) than any other PL player without scoring this season.
* Edin Dzeko has scored a PL goal every 56 minutes this season.
* Manchester United have scored six goals from corners in the PL this season - twice as many as any other team.
* Wayne Rooney has scored 16 PL goals in 2012 but has scored in just ten games - 12 goals have come in braces.
* Robin van Persie has scored or assisted nine of United's 21 PL goals this season.
* Newcastle United
* Demba Ba is PL joint top-scorer with Michu and Robin van Persie on six goals. But he has taken 33 shots to the other pair's 20.
* Michael Williamson has attempted more clearances per game (16.4) than any other footballer in the PL this season.
* Newcastle play more long balls per game (75) than any other PL side.
* Norwich have conceded 17 goals this season. Ten of those goals have come in the two games missed by Sebastien Bassong.
* The Canaries made a massive 26 tackles v Arsenal with Elliott Bennett contributing six challenges.
* Grant Holt has scored a goal every 2.44 games in the PL since the start of last season.
* QPR had nine points after eight games under Neil Warnock at the start of last season. This season they have three points.
* Adel Taarabt and Esteban Granero created a total of seven chances for teammates v Everton but none were taken.
* Julio Cesar is the only PL keeper to be credited with an assist this season after his punch sent Junior Hoilett scampering away v Everton on Sunday.
* Pavel Pogrebnyak came off after 74 minutes v Liverpool having had no shots, created no chances and completed just 11 passes.
* Only Manchester United (28) have attempted more crosses per game than Reading (26) this season.
* Danny Guthrie is the only Reading players to average an 80% pass completion this season. He has also created more chances (8) than any other player.
* Rickie Lambert is the only Southampton striker to have scored this season (he's got four) but he was dropped for the game v West Ham.
* Adam Lallana scored with his 14th shot as a PL player v West Ham on Saturday.
* Southampton have conceded more goals (24) than any team after eight top-flight games since Wolves in 1963. Wolves eventually finished 16th that season.
* Stoke City
* Peter Crouch won more aerial duels (11) than the whole of the Man United side on Saturday.
* Stoke have the lowest average possession percentage with just 37.3% so far this season. They managed just 36% at Old Trafford.
* Stoke have not won an away game against a side currently in the PL since December 2011 at Everton.
* Sunderland's six goals this season have come from just 12 shots on target. They had just one shot on target v Newcastle despite enjoying 66% possession and 21 shots in total.
* A massive 56% of their shots have been taken from outside the box this season.
* Demba Ba is now their second highest PL scorer after his own goal in the Wear-Tyne derby.
* Michu has scored six goals from just eight shots on target this season.
* Playing in an advanced striker's role, Michu won as many aerial duels (4) v Wigan as the rest of his team in total.
* Midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng's pass completion rate of 92.5% is only barely short of Joe Allen's 92.9% at Liverpool but the South Korean has created more chances (8) than Allen (6) despite starting half as many games.
* Only five goals have been scored in the first halves of Tottenham's eight PL matches this season. 22 goals have been scored after the break.
* Spurs and Arsenal have allowed their opponents the least number of shots (81) this season.
* Gylfi Sigurdsson has taken 17 shots (just five on target) for Spurs in the PL this season without scoring.
* Gareth McAuley has won an impressive 24 of 30 aerial duels this season. He won seven v Man City on Saturday.
* West Brom's 14 points from eight games marks their best ever PL start.
* In Romelu Lukaku's eight minutes on the pitch, he attempted as many shots (3) as passes (3).
* West Ham's 14 points from eight games marks their best ever PL start.
* Six players (Mohamed Diamé, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Winston Reid, James Collins and Jussi Jaaskelainen) have started all eight of West Ham's games.
* No player has created more chances than Noble (17) this season without registering an assist.
* Wigan have exactly the same record (P8 W1 D2 L5) as the same stage last season.
* The Latics are the only team yet to gain a single point from a losing position this season.
* Substitute Ben Watson touched the ball more (45) in 20 minutes on the pitch than strikers Franco Di Santo (38) and Arouna Kone (38) in the whole match.