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All to Play For: Andy Cole discusses his big move from Newcastle to Man Utd

| 15.01.2021

Premier League legend Andy Cole was the guest on the All To Play For podcast this week.

The former Manchester United striker discussed what it was like to move to Old Trafford from Newcastle.

Cole, who is a Manchester United fan, has also given his thoughts on United’s trip to Anfield this weekend and assessed how his side at doing at the moment.

“Ryan Giggs said to me, if you think scoring 41 goals is enough at this club, you are having a laugh”

Cole said: “When I left Newcastle to join Manchester United, I didn’t quite realise the magnitude of the move. I just wanted to play football. The media circus which came with it was huge. Newcastle fans were obviously not very happy about it.

I played in the FA Cup against Blackburn on the Saturday. The following Monday night I sat down to watch Sheffield United against Manchester United. My representative called me up and said I was on the move to Man United and the deal had been done. I was surprised as I had been in training the morning before and Kevin Keegan never said a word to me about it.

I had a great relationship with Keegan but I once had a huge argument with him. I was training and he came over to me and asked if I didn’t fancy it today. We had just been on a busy run of fixtures so I told him I was a little tired. He said if I didn’t fancy it, I can eff off. I packed my bags and left. Nobody could get hold of me for a few days. When I did return to the club later that week, I had big meeting with Freddy Shepherd and they gave me a new four-year-contract.

It took me a good couple of years before I felt comfortable in the Manchester United shirt. I was thinking about everything too much. At Newcastle the team was built around me. It’s like Harry Kane at Tottenham now. That is his team. When I moved to United, I had to change my game and get involved in different areas a lot.

I remember Ryan Giggs saying to me, if you think scoring 41 goals at this football club is good enough, you are having a laugh. I was thinking, this guy is taking the Mick out of me. Then I realised it was more than just scoring goals. Once I got my rhythm and Yorkie came in, I really started to enjoy it.”

“Yorkie and I knew each other’s game inside out”

“The season Dwight Yorke joined the club, I couldn’t get a game for the opening couple of months. I played against Wimbledon at the old Dell. I got one and Yorkie scored too. The manager actually stumbled on that partnership and everybody was talking about how well we worked together.

Me and Yorkie knew each other’s game inside out. We knew exactly the movement the other player would make. The manager had four strikers and it worked for us all. In my head, I knew the manager’s preferred partnership was me and Yorkie. If we were playing the big game against Tottenham and Chelsea, it was always me and Yorkie.”

“United still have it all to do for the title”

“For United to win the title, they are really going to have to go some. Manchester City have hit incredible form over the last two months. If Liverpool didn’t have the injuries they have had, they would probably be 10 points clear right now.

United have done a great job of grinding out results when they are not playing well. They have not been in this position since Sir Alex left so United fans should be excited.

The gaffer always used to say to us, the league does not get going until March. That’s when you need to get results and it is squeaky bum time.

I like United’s front three but I expect more from Martial. He has only scored two Premier League goals this season and we are in January. That is not good enough for Manchester United.”

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Michael Johnson

From the sunny north-east of England to the slightly sunnier Spain, Michael is a die-hard football fan and an experienced writer who loves to put his passion for the game on the page.