UK time is: 20:37:07
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Andy Cole - A United Legend?

Andy Cole announced his retirement from football after terminating his contract at Nottingham Forest. He admitted it wasn't the parting he had wanted - but his career's been close to a farce since he left United anyway.

Cole also admitted that he regrets the decision to leave Old Trafford to this day, and advised Carlos Tevez to stick to United and fight for his place. But it's not Tevez I want to talk about, his case's been done to death. I'd pose the question: does Andy Cole deserve to be ranked among the legends at United?

275 appearances brought 121 goals which is just a goal per every other game ratio. That's pretty good but is this legendary stuff?

Most United fans I know are undecided. His quiet nature and the amount of criticism he received during his career makes it hard to think of him as a legend. He wasn't a big-game hero in the mould of Robson, Hughes or Keane, nor such a predatory goalscorer as Ruud van Nistelrooy and he wasn't a catalyst on the grand scale, wasn't a player of outstanding presence like the great Eric Cantona.

In fact, the obvious dislike between them seemed to split Old Trafford a bit and Cole never became such a crowd favourite that he would have deserved to be as most of the fans sided with King Eric. Many even said that the arrival of Cole, for a then record transfer fee in 1995 was actually disruptive for the team.

In my opinion, that is very far from the truth. He never became the main man, he never had a really defining season, the way that 1995/96 was Cantona's campaign. His best, 1998/99, was a tad overshadowed by the brilliance of Keane, Beckham and most importantly, his colleague and great friend Dwight Yorke who took United by storm after signing from Aston Villa.

Shearer, Fowler, Owen, Sheringham: in these days it's easy to forget what striking riches were available for England when Andy was in his prime so he was often overlooked at the national team as well. Glenn Hoddle's famous opinion on him somehow stuck, despite the fact that Hoddle was so often ridiculed in England that he must have lost count of the occasions. It was the former England manager who said that he felt Andy sometimes needed four or five chances to score.

It is highly unjust. Andy Cole was never a predator like Law, Rush or Van Nistelrooy. His main strength was his pace, his mobility and his intelligence - but he wasn't a serial chance-squanderer, the way our brilliant Rooney unfortunately is. Some even claimed he was a big-game bottler which was also far from truth. Most of these accusations were based on the last game of his debut season, the infamous 1-1 draw at West Ham which cost United the title. Cole, who was in great form up to that point, missed two gilt-edged chances where it would have been easier to score.

You can also point to the 1997 European Cup semi-final where he and Cantona spurned a staggering amount of opportunities to put the game beyond Borussia Dortmund who went on to win both legs 1-0... But while these mistakes, these bad games undeniably happened, we mustn't forget when he delivered: he scored an important goal at Middlesbrough on the final day of 1995/96, scored the winner against Spurs which clinched the title in 1999, he was absolutely brilliant at Juventus in the same year and scored the winner which confirmed that we were going to Barcelona.

He was a quiet, unassuming guy who gave great performances to Manchester United. You might have gathered by now that I rated him very highly and indeed, I think that he deserves to be called a legend of the club after seven years' stellar services.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 13 2008

Time: 9:55PM

Your Comments

of the guy is a legend and he did very well at blackburn after he left us too
Patrick Bateman
The bloke oozes class. He may have lost some of his positives but when QPR lost to Burnley at home, he was like his old self, making some sensational runs, and his finishing was sublime. Shame he didn't stick it out a few more years - blame Forest's lack of creativity for that one!
Boxer
he was class in the trebele winning season i think he's a united legend
matth01
united legend!
fenton_01
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Articles

Second Offering? (Saturday April 19 2014)

Dutch Youngster on United Radar (Friday April 18 2014)

Rooney Fit for Everton Clash! (Friday April 18 2014)

Luke Shaw Update #6 (Friday April 18 2014)

Three on Wanted List (Thursday April 17 2014)

At Last, Positive Transfer News! (Thursday April 17 2014)

No! Not Another One (Wednesday April 16 2014)

And Another Bites the Dust (Wednesday April 16 2014)

Carvalho Has Another Suitor! (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Duo Fined and Warned! (Tuesday April 15 2014)

Archived Articles

List All Vital United Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. TheFamousNo7 63
2. Kanchelskis 41
3. MotorMad 31
4. gmauti 3
5. kresek 2
6. nordkap 2
7. Xfunny 1
8. Javan 1
9. ForeverUnited 1

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Newcastle 0 - 4 Man Utd
Man Utd 4 - 1 Aston Villa
Man Utd 0 - 3 Man City
West Ham 0 - 2 Man Utd
Man Utd 0 - 3 Liverpool
WBA 0 - 3 Man Utd

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
4. Arsenal 34 20 7 7 18 67
5. Everton 34 19 9 6 21 66
6. Spurs 35 19 6 10 2 63
7. Man Utd 33 17 6 10 18 57
8. Southampton 35 13 10 12 5 49
9. Newcastle 35 14 4 17 -15 46
10. Stoke 35 11 11 13 -10 44

Breaking League News

Pulis - We Don't Get The Credit We Deserve
Crystal Palace : 19/04/2014 20:34:00
Ole - Soft Penalty Galvanised Us
Cardiff : 19/04/2014 20:12:00
The Irony Of It All!
Chelsea : 19/04/2014 19:53:00
Vlaar - We Still Need A Win
Aston Villa : 19/04/2014 19:50:00
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2
Chelsea : 19/04/2014 19:47:00
Lambert Hails Huge Southampton Point
Aston Villa : 19/04/2014 19:45:00
U21 Manchester City Clash Set
Aston Villa : 19/04/2014 19:39:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Everton v United?
Suggested By:  Red Boy
Home win! 34%
Away win! 66%
Draw! 0%