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 have already drawn as many games (7) this season as the whole of last season in the Premier League.
* Arsenal conceded more goals due to defensive errors (17) than any other team in the top five European leagues during 2012.
* Theo Walcott has scored or assisted 14 PL goals this season despite starting only nine games. Only Robin van Persie (22) and Luis Suarez (18) have contributed more.
* Aston Villa have actually picked up more points against top-half sides this season (10) than ten other PL clubs including Swansea, Liverpool and West Ham.
* If games ended after 45 minutes, Villa would be in eighth ahead of Arsenal.
* Christian Benteke has scored or assisted ten of Villa's 17 goals this season. No other Villa player has directly contributed to more than four strikes.
* Chelsea had 26 shots against QPR but only two - one each from Fernando Torres and Oscar - were on target.
* Eden Hazard has registered just one assist in his last 12 Premier League games.
* Chelsea have picked more points away from home (20) than at Stamford Bridge (18) so far this season.
* Everton's haul of 36 points from 21 PL games equals their start from 2007/08 when they eventually finished fifth.
* Everton are the first team in Premier League history to both score and concede in 16 consecutive games. Their last clean sheet came on September 22 v Swansea.
* Since the start of the 2010/11 season, Leighton Baines has scored (12) or assisted (15) 27 Premier League goals - ten more than any other defender.
* Fulham are actually a point better off (24) than the same stage last season (23) and have scored nine more goals.
* Fulham have scored 20 goals in the nine PL games started by Bryan Ruiz this season. They scored just 13 in the 12 games he did not start.
* Dimitar Berbatov has scored with his only two shots on target in his last three Premier League games.
* The Reds have still not beaten a team currently in the top half of the Premier League.
* Steven Gerrard has more assists (8) this season than any other PL player. He created seven chances v Sunderland on Wednesday night.
* David Silva and Luis Suarez have created the most clear-cut chances (10) in the Premier League this season.
* Man City have thrown away only two points from a winning position this season - v Arsenal in September.
* They have scored 28 of their 41 PL goals this season after the break.
* Edin Dzeko has scored a PL goal every 90 minutes of football this season. Sergio Aguero has scored every 152 minutes, Carlos Tevez every 183 minutes and Mario Balotelli every 586 minutes.
* Manchester United have already scored more goals (54) this season than 14 teams in the whole of last season - including Everton and Liverpool.
* Robin van Persie has scored or assisted a goal every 78 minutes of PL football this season. His combined total is now 22.
* Javier Hernandez has averaged a goal every 74.8 minutes in the PL this season - more often than any other player with more than one goal.
* Newcastle United
* Newcastle have the worst form of any Premier League team since November with seven points from 12 games.
* Newcastle committed 21 fouls against Everton with Shola Ameobi (7), Papiss Cisse (5) and Cheik Tioté (5) the worst culprits.
* Michael Williamson has made more clearances (221) than any other PL defender this season.
* Norwich are now three points worse off than the same stage last season under Paul Lambert.
* Norwich strikers (Holt, Simeon Jackson, Steve Morison) have scored only six of the Canaries' 24 goals this season. The last goal by a striker came on December 8.
* Striker Harry Kane had no shots and made no chances in 70 minutes v West Ham on Tuesday.
* Shaun Wright-Phillips' goal v Chelsea was his first in the Premier League since May 2010.
* QPR's form over Harry Redknapp's eight games in charge (nine points) is the 12th best in the PL - better than West Brom or West Ham.
* Jamie Mackie completed just eight passes in 90 minutes v Chelsea.
* Reading have faced 391 shots this season - averaging 18.6 per game. They allowed Spurs a massive 34 shots on Tuesday.
* They have thrown away a massive 20 points from winning positions this season.
* They have picked up just two points from a possible 33 away from home in the Premier League.
* Southampton have picked up three points from a possible 30 against teams in the top half of the table this season.
* Jason Puncheon had more shots on target (2) than the whole of the Arsenal team (1) on Tuesday night.
* Morgan Schneiderlin has made more tackles (78) than any other PL player this season.
* Stoke City
* Stoke are now a point worse off (29) than the same stage last season (30) despite their ten-match unbeaten run.
* They have not scored away from home in their last 285 minutes of football.
* Over five seasons that Stoke have been in the PL, they have lost 14-0 on aggregate at the Etihad.
* Sunderland average 3.6 shots on target per game - only Aston Villa, Reading and Stoke are worse.
* Five of Sunderland's seven shots came from defenders at Anfield on Wednesday. Matthew Kilgallon was the only plauer to hit the target.
* They have picked up just one point from a losing position this season - earned from Demba Ba's own goal.
* The draw v Villa marked the first time this season that Swansea have dropped points from a winning position.
* The win over Fulham marked their first without a goal from Michu.
* Pablo Hernández created five chances v Villa was rewarded with his fourth assist of the season.
* No PL player has taken more shots than Gylfi Sigurdsson (31) this season without scoring a goal.
* Aaron Lennon has already matched last season's total of five PL assists.
* Only Manchester United (22) have picked up more points than Tottenham (19) from the last eight games.
* West Brom have not won a single point from the six games they were losing at half-time this season.
* Of PL players to have 20-plus shots this season, Lukaku has the best shooting accuracy (53.7%).
* Shane Long has scored or assisted nine of West Brom's 29 goals this season but started just one of their four festive fixtures.
* Mark Noble has created more chances (31) than any other PL player without being credited with an assist this season.
* The Hammers have attempted more crosses per game (28) than any other club this season.
* Jussi Jääskeläinen hit a long pass 21 times out of 22 v Norwich. He found a teammate only five times.
* Wigan did not have a single shot on target in their home game with Manchester United on Tuesday.
* Arouna Koné has scored or assisted 11 of Wigan's 22 goals this season.
* Wigan have not recorded a 0-0 draw since February v Aston Villa.