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 555 touches against Man City on Sunday was their lowest in any game over the last three seasons.
* No player has made more interceptions (11) in a game in Europe's top five leagues this season than Kieran Gibbs vs Man City.
* Jack Wilshere was fouled more times v City (7) than any PL player in any game this season.
* Villa have failed to scored in ten of their 22 PL games this season.
* If games ended after 45 minutes, Villa would be in ninth place ahead of Arsenal.
* Christian Benteke won a phenomenal 16 aerial duels v Southampton. He tops the PL charts for the season with an average of eight per game.
* Chelsea have already won more away games (7) this season than in the whole of last season (6).
* Chelsea have picked up 17 points in their nine PL games under Rafa Benitez. They picked up 15 in the previous nine games under Roberto di Matteo.
* Demba Ba completed just seven passes in 71 minutes v Stoke but set up three chances for his teammates.
* Everton failed to score or concede against Swansea after 16 consective PL games of doing both.
* Leighton Baines has not picked up an assist in his last 17 PL games despite creating more chances (76) than any other player in the top flight this season. He created seven chances v Swansea on Saturday.
* Nikica Jelavic has only hit the target with four of his 17 shots since he last scored v Tottenham on December 9.
* Fulham are only a point worse off (25) than the same stage last season (26) and have scored five more goals.
* They have thrown away a massive 18 points from winning positions this season.
* Dimitar Berbatov has managed just two shots on target in his last four PL games for Fulham.
* The Reds have still not beaten a team currently in the top half of the Premier League.
* Steven Gerrard is the only midfielder or striker in the Premier League to have played every minute this season.
* Liverpool attempted 12 crosses v Manchester United on Sunday and not one reached a teammate.
* Edin Dzeko has now scored the same number of goals (10) as Jermain Defoe this PL season but he has taken just 47 shots to Defoe's 89.
* City have scored 12 goals in the last four matches started by Dzeko.
* City committed 19 fouls v Arsenal - every single outfield starter was penalised at least once.
* Namenja Vidic became Manchester United's 16th PL goalscorer of the season - the highest total in the division.
* Only Chelsea in 2005/06 had amassed more points after 22 games (61) than Manchester United this season (55).
* Rafael made seven tackles v Liverpool on Sunday. He has averaged 3.5 a game this season in comparison with Patrice Evra's 2.6.
* Newcastle United
* Newcastle recorded their first away clean sheet since May when they drew 0-0 at Norwich on Saturday.
* Yohan Cabaye recorded a dismal 53% pass completion rate in his 33 minutes on the pitch v Norwich.
* Gabriel Obertan has not started a PL game Newcastle have won since December 26 2011 v Bolton.
* Norwich are now three points worse off than the same stage last season under Paul Lambert.
* Norwich strikers (Grant 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.
* Their only two shots on target v Newcastle were from wide players Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington.
* QPR's form over Harry Redknapp's nine games in charge (ten points) is the 13th best in the PL - better than West Brom or West Ham.
* They managed zero shots on target v Tottenham on Saturday.
* Adel Taarabt was dispossessed five times and lose the ball another four times through poor control v Tottenham.
* Reading are the only PL team in the last three seasons to win a game they were losing by two goals after 80 minutes.
* They made only five tackles in 90 minutes v the Baggies on Saturday.
* Adam Le Fondre touched the ball just five times in 25 minutes v West Brom - scoring one goal and completing one pass.
* Southampton's record of 16 points from ten games is only one point worse than Chelsea over the same period.
* Only three of their 21 points this season have been picked up against top-half sides.
* Morgan Schneiderlin has made more tackles (82) than any other PL player this season.
* Stoke City
* Stoke are now a point worse off (29) than the same stage in 2010/11 and 2011/12(30).
* They have conceded 10 goals in their last three PL games. They had conceded the same number of goals in their previous 15 PL games.
* In their (almost) five seasons in the PL, Stoke's joint top scorers in the Premier League are Jonathan Walters and Ricardo Fuller with just 18 goals.
* Sunderland have kept clean sheets in four of their last six PL home games.
* Stéphane Sessegnon made five key passes v West Hame - the same number as all his other teammates put together.
* David Vaughan has the best pass completion rate (89.9%) of any Sunderland player this season but has started only one game (the 3-0 win over West Ham).
* Defender Chico made eight effective clearances, seven tackles and six interceptions v Everton on Saturday.
* Chico has made more tackles per game this season (3.4) than any other PL central defender.
* If games ended after 45 minutes, Swansea would be in 16th position below Reading and Newcastle.
* Tottenham's points haul over the last ten games (23) is second only to Manchester United (28).
* Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor have only scored one goal each in their last seven PL games as a partnership.
* Gareth Bale has claimed only one PL assist this season after reaching double figures in 2011/12.
* Romelu Lukaku has scored nine PL goals from just 47 shots this season. Gareth Bale has reached the same total from 73 attempts.
* Lukaku had six shots v Reading - two were goals, two hit the crossbar and two were blocked.
* The Baggies had won all six PL games they were winning at half-time until throwing away a 2-0 lead at Reading on Saturday.
* West Ham have picked up only one point from their last five away games. Only Reading have worse away form.
* They have not scored in four of those five games - Andy Carroll's consolation goal at Tottenham is the only exception.
* The Hammers have not won any of the three PL games missed by Mark Noble this season.
* Wigan's five points from their last eight PL games makes them the worst team in the division on form.
* Franco Di Santo's goal v Fulham ended a run of 14 PL games without a goal for the Argentine striker.
* Wigan have averaged more possession this season (53.8%) than Everton (52.2%) or Tottenham (51%).