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Name Andy Cole
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc Never the most talented Cole earned every one of his 187 Premier League goals with a relentless will to win. A journeyman career spanning 13 clubs it is his time at Manchester United alongside favourite running mate Dwight Yorke that he is remembered for. A five-time champion only two players in history have scored more


Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Manchester United

1999 12 13 Retrieve

[Andy `Andrew’ Cole objecting to the six-month ban from driving he received last week for speeding] I am a high-profile person and my privacy should be down to me, Andrew Cole, and not to taxi drivers or anyone else who drives me about

2015 11 04 Retrieve

[Andy Cole recovering after kidney failure following airborne virus] I am on medication including some very strong steroids which has led to the change in my appearance. The consultant is hopeful that I will make a full recovery by next spring

[He has been diagnosed with a condition called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, which causes scarring of the kidney] I have been unable to work or to carry out my normal day-to-day activities and I am under close supervision from the renal team at the Manchester Royal Infirmary

2015 12 30 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] He’s a very special man. [. . .] Given the length of time he’s been at the club, I don’t think any manager’s going to be able to (replicate his success over so many years). When you join a club like Manchester United, you’ve got to bring success, and he’s brought that in abundance. He’s just different. He’s got the character. When people talk about the hairdryer, there’s a lot more to it than that, he’s got the character to bring the best out of his players

2019 09 12 Retrieve

[Andy Cole admits Manchester United remain years away from piecing together a Premier League title challenge] I genuinely believe we’re still a few years away. We’ve just got to keep improving, keep bringing in better players and just try and improve season by season, because the two teams at the top - Liverpool and Manchester City - they’re pulling away from everyone. I was in a team at Manchester United where we were doing exactly the same thing and in the end, everyone else closed the gap. It’s a case of just keep persevering, keep improving season by season and closing the gap

[Former captain Roy Keane has been speaking his mind again, with the Irishman suggesting that United legend Ferguson did not always have the best interests of the club at heart. Cole hopes any differences between two men he holds in the highest regard can be ironed out] It’s disappointing but I’m just hoping that both of them can address the situation and work it out because I’ve got a lot of time for the pair of them. I spoke to Roy the other day and I’ve always had a great relationship with Sir Alex, so fingers crossed they will be able to sort it out

2019 09 28 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Marcus Rashford needs to become a Sergio Aguero or Roberto Firmino type figure for Manchester United] I want to see from Marcus, I know the two are totally different players but if you’re going to play that position, I want to see Aguero. I want to see Firmino. That’s what I want to see. If you look at those two guys playing as a number nine, when I watch them, I get excited watching them. Aguero for me, and I keep saying it, is the best centre-forward in the Premier League. I love this movement, I love that he just wants to get in the box, I want to score goals, I don’t care what it is, header, tap-in, I’m going to do it and I know what I’m going to do. Firmino for Liverpool, he brings people into the game, he sets people up but I’m still going to get in and get my fair share as well. I look at those two and I say to myself I just love watching you two play centre-forward. Marcus has got to learn off those kinds of individuals.

2019 09 28b Retrieve

[Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has asserted that academy graduate Mason Greenwood’s finishing is so good that it’s a joke] He’s got a chance, he has got a chance. His finishing is a joke. Left or right foot, he’s got quality in abundance. I just hope they don’t – which Manchester United won’t do anyway – that they don’t put too much undue pressure on him. He’s got great ability. They (Man Utd) are looking at it and saying ‘We’ve got Mason, we’re going to give Marcus Rashford the opportunity to play centre-forward. The disappointing thing is he’s going to have to get thrown into the deep end a little bit earlier than they would have liked. [That’s] due to injuries and due to them being prepared to allow Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez go. Ideally it would have been nice if they bought themselves another centre-forward

2019 10 03 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Mason Greenwood has the quality and the right mentality to become an important player for Manchester United in the near future] The kid has got quality in abundance, to be fair to him. If he keeps working and keeps progressing, which I have no doubt he will do, it won’t be too long before he is lining up for the first team on a regular basis. When you watch him, as a former centre-forward, you can see with your own eyes that he has two great feet. If you look at his mentality as well, he looks like he has got his head screwed on for a very young boy who has just turned 18. I watched him a lot during the pre-season tour and watched him quite a few times on MUTV as well, so you realise he has quality. It won’t be long

[Cole went on to admit that a lack of firepower is a concern] It is a little bit of a concern, not getting that second goal when we go a goal up and can’t kill the game off. So it has been a little bit disappointing but, listen, Ole and the rest of the coaching staff and team are working very hard to try to put it right. They will hit the net soon

[On United’s aspirations in the Europa League this season] You are in it to win it. That is the way you have got to look at it. This is an opportunity to get into the Champions League next season, guaranteed, if you can’t get there due to our league position. You have got to go out and try to win the competition. The players out here would like to win it, no doubt

2019 10 06 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Marcus Rashford needs to decide what he wants to be] He doesn’t really enjoy it with his back to goal and he wants to pick it up and run at the defender. He is a super talent but he has to decide now what he wants to be. Does he want to be a goalscorer or does he want to play off the left or right? He’s 21 so I’d like to believe he knows what his strongest position is. But if you are going to play as a centre forward for Manchester United, you have got to be looking to get yourself 20 goals. His best return in a season so far is 13 and if that is your best return, and you are the main striker, you are going to have to get yourself a few more

[Cole also believes that the Red Devils are lacking in the middle of the park, with a Roy Keane-esque leader required to drag the club through some testing times] Roy Keane gave everything on the pitch and was a very vocal individual. In the modern game, you won’t see a vocal individual getting stuck into one of his team-mates. But you could say that at Manchester United, we are lacking a little bit of that. You need someone who is prepared to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, let a few people know what time it is. You have always got to try and draw the best out of your team-mates. All of them need to step it up - for each other as team-mates, as well as the management. Ole needs time to play the way he wants to play and get it back to what Manchester United is really about. United have changed manager quite a few times and everyone has their own plan on how they want to play, so it will take a little bit of time

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[Andy Cole cannot see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer entering the race for Koulibaly having already spent big on Harry Maguire and prioritised other areas] I would be surprised if Manchester United spend that on another centre-half - £85million. Everyone knows we need creativity. Another centre-forward and creativity in the wide areas. I would be surprised £85m or £90m on another centre-half when you’ve spent £80m on one centre half but nothing says he’s going to be better than what you’ve already got. All I want for Manchester United is to finish in the top four. Then we can really go for it and bring in some real, real quality players

2020 02 11 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Odion Ighalo will, as a Manchester United fan, be desperate to prove] That’s what we are hoping for. There are no doubts that he will do just that. He is a big supporter of the football club, he’s a fan. He wants to come here and do what he can for Manchester United, play to the best of his ability

I would imagine so. He’s got Premier League experience from his time at Watford, he did well there. He made the move to China but he’s coming back to England and will give it everything he’s got. Being a Manchester United fan, he will want to prove that he’s good enough for the club

I think more in Martial’s case, as he’s been more of a centre-forward. Marcus isn’t a natural centre-forward. You can learn off experienced players but not being that kind of natural centre-forward yourself, I think Marcus’s case is a little bit different

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Andy Cole has urged Mason Greenwood to give his all at Manchester United to ensure his potential is fulfilled] I’ve been very impressed with him. I can remember when he joined as a scholar and I had to do an induction day and everyone was telling me what a player he was going to be. To have seen him do his induction day and then play with the kids and now the first team, you can just see the quality he has. Long may it continue - as long as it doesn’t go to his head. Ole has come out and mentioned that he doesn’t train the best. When you are that age you have to train a little better than you think you are working. You’re young and still learning your trade so you have to give a bit more

The only person who can answer that is Ole. The way Manchester United play now is obviously completely different to my time. In my time you had two strikers. When we had boys on the wing like Becks and Giggsy, you could see why we had two up front. We weren’t even going 4-4-2, we had the intelligence of Dwight or myself, or Ole would drop in there, and you just needed one up front. It wasn’t a rigid 4-4-2, that wasn’t the case

[Cole added on the penchant for a solitary frontman in modern football] It’s a trend to play one up front, someone who’s lively. The way a lot of teams play now, there are not many balls knocked into the channels for a forward to get hold of and try to knit things together. Everything is usually played in front of you. I get frustrated sometimes when you see a striker not prepared to make a run in behind when there is 20-25 yards of space. He wants it to his feet and I’m pulling my hair out. If you force them back, by the time you have done that they don’t want to run in there anymore so you’re going to get your space anyway. Everything is now to feet, to feet, meaning that you have got to mix it up as a centre-forward

[Cole went on to say of playing with two up top] The benefit is that you play off each other. I was comfortable playing like that because whoever I played with, I was confident of playing in a partnership as two individuals. For me, growing up, that’s what I was used to – with someone else up front or someone just behind. It does make life a little bit easier for you, especially if that partnership works well

2020 02 15 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Marcus Rashford has never been a centre-forward] Marcus has never been a centre-forward. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, it’s just Marcus struggled when he had to receive the ball with his back to goal. That’s not his cup of tea. In the wide areas, you never have to play with your back to play all game. When he plays off the left, you can see that he blossoms and that he enjoys that position. Coming in off the left, getting shots off or playing one-twos with the centre-forward, I think he’s done well in that position

Anthony Martial sees himself as a No.9. He has to work on a few things as well to improve himself – ball retention, getting in the right areas to score goals, just like Marcus is doing now in the wide areas. If you’re going to play as a No.9 at whatever level, you have to run in the box because that’s how you are going to score goals. Nothing ever changes. The goal never moves and if you don’t run into the box then you know that your chances of scoring goals becomes very limited

2020 02 16 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Bruno Fernandes will add quality to the Manchester United ranks] Quality. He has got a nice range of passing, he looks to pick people out and try to run forward, which we need. I think he’ll get his fair share of goals as well.

There is still quite a bit of the season to go. If Paul can get himself fit between now and the end of the season then there is a chance that he and Bruno could play in the midfield together

[Scott McTominay is another who comes into the midfield equation] They have missed him getting around the park. But take nothing away from the boys playing in the midfield at the moment. Fred has been absolutely fantastic. He has got used to the Premier League, he knows what it’s all about now and has been really, really good. And [Nemanja] Matic, he has been really good as well. He is getting around the park now and doing what he’s good at

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Manchester United remain very much in contention for a top-four finish this season] Realistically, it looks like you can take away a few spots – Liverpool are going to run away with it, Leicester, Manchester City, there is still a fourth spot up for grabs. A lot of teams are going to work as hard as they can for that place. Manchester United have to try and compete going forward through to the end of the season and try to finish in that fourth spot

Every game is crucial now until the end of the season for Manchester United. We played Chelsea and beat them at home [4-0], the result was quite comfortable even if the game wasn’t. On Monday playing them, it’s a game where either team can win and both will be looking to take the points to try and take that fourth spot

[Pressed on whether United’s counter-attacking system could set up well against a Chelsea side that likes to dominate possession] It could well do. In football, anything can happen. I’m just looking for Manchester United to get back to how Manchester United used to be – galvanising football, getting bums off seats and getting people to enjoy coming to watch Manchester United

Of course. It’s a good draw in the FA Cup and away to Brugge next week. Two cup competitions and they are still in a good position but, as you know in cup competitions, anything can happen

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Andy Cole was one of Many that tipping Mason Greenwood to reach the very top of the game] I’ve been very impressed with him. I can remember when he joined as a scholar and I had to do an induction day and everyone was telling me what a player he was going to be. To have seen him do his induction day and then play with the kids and now the first team, you can just see the quality he has. Long may it continue - as long as it doesn’t go to his head. Ole has come out and mentioned that he doesn’t train the best. When you are that age you have to train a little better than you think you are working. You’re young and still learning your trade so you have to give a bit more.

2020 03 04 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says It won’t take Man Utd 30 years to win the league] Football is a cycle. Losing Sir Alex Ferguson, him retiring, the next manager, whoever was going to step in, was going to find it really, really difficult. I wouldn’t have liked to have followed him as the manager and that’s what it’s been. It’s been very much trial and error, changing managers and all that. But on the flipside, if you look at Liverpool, it’s taken Liverpool 30 years to win the Premier League – obviously not the Premier League, but the main league. I don’t think it’ll take Manchester United 30 years to win the league again, but we’re still a few years behind the Liverpools and the Manchester Citys. Once you close the gap, things will change. Naturally, things will change. But then the gap will change and some of the other teams that get involved in trying to win the Premier League

This has been Marcus’ best season. I think Marcus has made his mind up now, that’s the best position for him. The young boy Greenwood, I think he’s got a great future. He’s got an unbelievable future in front of him. I’m always going to look at the boys up front because that’s the way I watch football. I watch football by watching the boys up front, their movement and how they try to get themselves in positions to score goals. sI think those boys are definitely boys for the future. More so Mason because Marcus has been around for a few years now. He’s just got to fulfil his potential

2020 04 14 Retrieve

[Dwight Yorke says scoring a hat-trick during our 6-1 demolition of Arsenal in February 2001 ranks as one of his fondest memories in a Manchester United shirt] Out of Yorkie’s hat-tricks it was one of his easiest ones. If you look at all the goals as well, you’d take those any day of the week! […] Beckham’s crosses were so quick and accurate, I stopped dribbling past people. I used to go past people and stuff but in this team you didn’t need to do all that because the quality was so good. He’s just ridiculous: [Kevin] De Bruyne has got a bit of fizz, but Becks is still the best I’ve seen

2020 04 15 Retrieve

[Who was worst footballer Andy Cole played alongside with] From that moment on, I knew Sheringham was not for me. We played together for years. We scored a lot of goals. I never spoke a single word to him. I would rather sit down and have a cuppa with Neil Ruddock, who broke my leg in two places in 1996, than with Teddy Sheringham, who I’ve pretty much detested for the past 15 years

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[Ighalo’s contribution at Man Utd leaves Andy Cole feeling ‘really pleased’] I am really pleased with him. When you come to a club like Manchester United as a centre-forward, everyone expects you to score straight away, but it takes a little bit of time. And like Odion said himself, he wasn’t fit and was just coming in from pre-season in China. I think he has done pretty well when he has been given the opportunity, he has applied himself really well in the club and has scored four good goals, four centre-forward goals, you can’t ask for much more

I had a lot of football heroes. When I started supporting Man Utd, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were my heroes. It is a great privilege for me to play at Man Utd, where great players like Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole have played. They were great strikers and scored a lot of goals. So I would watch their movements, the way they played, the way they created space for themselves, watching the way they met crosses behind defenders. I learned all of that and it has helped me a lot in my football career

2020 04 30 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Manchester United still need four of five players to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool] It’s the million-dollar question, whatever we buy to try and close the gap Liverpool and Man City are trying to buy as well to open the gap even further. It’s like Formula 1, once one team starts to close the gap it seems another team does something to find a little bit more. Liverpool are going to win the league for the first time in 30 years, you turn around and think ‘how the hell has it taken this long’, it’s because the gap continues to grow and grow. What it will take? Four, possibly five players, then with performances the gap starts to close and the confidence grows.

I think it’s about the winning mentality, we always had that winning mentality, training was fierce but the camaraderie was fantastic, it was unbelievable. We all had the same goal come the end of the season and that was to win. Once you have things like that it’s half the battle

2020 05 01 Retrieve

[Cole is among those to have been impressed by Fernandes] Mentality, that’s massive in football. Confidence as well. Once you’ve got your confidence people start believing in each other. We can talk about Fernandes coming in, he’s done extremely well and it’s looked like he’s galvanised the rest of the players as well to start playing their A-games

[Pressed further on whether one player can impact an entire squad] He’s done it, he’s started to bring the best out of a few of the other players, which is important

Ole is starting to implement his plan now, which is good. If it does get itself upright again hopefully they can finish really strongly, there’s a good possibility they can still finish in the top four and Champions League football is going to be needed for a club like Manchester United

2020 05 03 Retrieve

[Andy Cole tips Man Utd to challenge for Premier League title in next few seasons] There is definite progress being made, it is all about making small steps. When you are talking about challenging for the league in the next few years, I would genuinely like to believe so. It has taken Liverpool 30 years to get themselves in this position - I never want to see Man Utd in that position, taking 30 years to possibly win the Premier League again. Man Utd will get there - with the better players that they keep and the better players they bring in - come possibly next season or the season after that

2020 05 07 Retrieve

[Andy Cole believes Manchester United need to try and bring in another striker in the summer to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City] I think they do need another striker. If you look at teams at the top, Manchester City and Liverpool, if you look what they’ve got, they’ve got more than one striker. During my time at United there was more than one striker, if you want to be a team that competes at the highest level you need more than one.

Of course that partnership with him (Yorke) made me thrive and we were good friends which helped. But Ole made me thrive too, we want to get in the team but ultimately we want to learn off each other. You marry all these things in and that can only push you on as an individual and make you better and that would happen in the squad now if another striker was brought in

[Ighalo’s loan deal expires at the end of the month and his future remains up in the air] It’s not my decision whether or not they should keep him. But I have been really pleased with him and he’s done well. He has scored when he has come in to the team and he’s doing what they ask of him but ultimately it’s going to be down to what other business United want to do in the summer and how it fits in with that

2020 05 08 Retrieve

[Ex-Man Utd star Andy Cole opens up on mental and physical battle of kidney failure] To say life is different now is an understatement. I was talking to some of my old team-mates the other day and I told them it’s been the toughest five years of my life. I don’t think we really consider how much our health means to us until something happens and it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things as well. You realise the people who are prepared to stay around and those who aren’t. I’ve learned a lot

I genuinely believed I could beat it at the start. Because of my sporting background and my mentality, I thought I would be okay. My mindset was that I would take it like an injury and I’d come back stronger. I would be alright and I’d be back in six months and I shouldn’t worry about it. I was being a typical man and telling myself to man up. Once I realised I wasn’t going to beat it I had to tell myself that I was ill, very ill, but even saying that I still didn’t want to accept it

Adapting for me was always going to be difficult, I’m used to doing things, and with no half measures, so I found it hard that I couldn’t do things the way I wanted. It was the first time my body had dictated what I could and couldn’t do, rather than the other way around, so that was tough. I had to accept my body couldn’t function the way it used to. Then there’s the mental games I was playing with myself. Coming from a sporting background you always want to push yourself to the limit. I always wanted more from myself and when I realised I couldn’t give any more I found myself getting really frustrated and questioning myself

[One of the events Cole could not play a full part in was the Treble reunion game between United’s side of 1999 and their Bayern Munich counterparts at Old Trafford in May 2019] We had spoken before the game and everyone knew where I was at. Some of the boys were a bit disappointed for me because they wanted me to play a bit more, but mentally and physically I knew I couldn’t do it. It was nice for me to be able to be involved but on the flip side I’m still disappointed because I wanted to play. These are the things I have to try and accept

I know what I want for myself and I always set myself goals of where I want to be and what I’m expecting from myself. I don’t like to accept defeat and there have been times where I have thought I’ve failed mentally. But it’s not a case of failure it’s more frustration about not being able to do what I want to do

[Cole’s experiences have pushed him into setting up a fund to help others] I was inspired by the people I’ve come across and I just want to try and help anyone that’s in the position I’m in, or have been in. Naturally I want to raise as much money as possible but also to raise awareness. People don’t understand what the illness is. They think you just get better but that’s never going to be the case. All the medication messes with your system. Last year I was picking up chest infections for fun

Covid is difficult for a lot of people, but I don’t sit around rocking thinking about it. I’ve had the possibilities of illness for the last five years, so I have to work with it. Before we had to close the season down with the pandemic we were really starting to pick up and play well and look like the Manchester United of old. Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] has done really well. I have spoken to him a few times and he’s really enjoying it and genuinely believes he could take United forward. There was a bit of disappointment from everyone we had to call it quits at a time when everything was going well and with the way we were playing, but saying that, there are more important issues going on in the world, and that’s what we need to appreciate

2020 05 11 Retrieve

[Ighalo has received widespread praise for his performances in a United shirt] I think he has done pretty well when he has been given the opportunity, he has applied himself really well in the club and has scored four good goals, four centre-forward goals, you can’t ask for much more

2020 06 05 Retrieve

[Andy Cole says Pogba is a top player & can inspire Man Utd] Before this season came to a halt, United were doing extremely well. They started to play some really nice football, win some games, and were cracking on in their bid to try to get fourth spot. I’m really happy to see Paul back, I think he’s a top, top player. Regardless of all the shenanigans around him, when he gets his head down, he constantly proves how good he is. Fernandes, what he’s done since joining in January is absolutely phenomenal. I’m looking forward to seeing him and Paul play together in midfield. This has been Marcus’s best season, playing in his preferred position, and hopefully he can come back fit and well and have no more problems with his back. So I’m looking forward to seeing all three of them play together.

Ighalo didn’t want his loan to end and go back to China. For me, he brings something different to the team. He gets hold of the ball, he runs into the box, he wants to score goals, and he can get scruffy goals, which is something United haven’t had for a while

2020 06 15 Retrieve

[Andy Cole has admitted that he was left so starstruck lining up next to Ronaldo in the tunnel before Manchester United’s clash with Inter in 1999 that he almost wet himself] I remember when we played Inter Milan that same season and I lined up in the tunnel and I saw Ronaldo. I’m not gonna lie, I nearly wet myself! This is the guy I’ve watched for years. I’m talking about a baller, a straight baller. He had everything in the locker and I’m standing in the tunnel at the San Siro and I’m saying: ‘This is sick!’, but when you’re at that level and you think, ‘Man, I’m actually at this level with these guys. I’m on the same pitch as these guys, I’m on that level’, it’s surreal. I’m always honest and I’m always open when it comes to things like this. Playing against these kinds of guys. It’s something that when I do take the opportunity to look back, I say to my boys: ‘I’ve done alright. I’ve half made it!

If you speak to a lot of the kids now and you speak about Brazilian Ronaldo, they look at you like you’ve got three heads because they don’t know who he is. If we take away his injuries, he could have gone on to win Ballon d’Or after Ballon d’Or and scored a zillion goals. He was a baller! He was an absolute baller. Of course, we’re gonna talk about Cristiano Ronaldo on that level as R9 because that’s what we see now, that’s what the kids see now - but if you take away that injury, he was sick, a proper baller