Saluting a Legend – Andy Cole Retires.By: Rob | November 11th, 2008
News today that EPL legend and member of the 100 Club, Andrew Cole has retired after failing to make an impact at Notts Forrest in his 37th year. Cole, who was known as Andy Cole untill he asked to be refered to as Andrew in 2000, is perhaps the greatest English striker of the past 20 years.
What’s that you say? Teddy Sherringham? Didn’t score enough. Ian Wright? Too Tempremental? Alan Sherear? 50 of his goals came from the penalty spot. Meanwhile, Cole won every important domestic trophy, and the Champions League in his time at Manchester United.
Cole who started his career at Fulham, before making his name at Bristol City, was the first great prolific striker in the EPL. Indeed his first season tally at Newcastle – 34 league goals – has yet to be beaten, and has only been equalled once, by Alan Shearer.
Cole scored goals for fun at Newcastle, which earned him a big money move to Manchester United, where he struck up an iconic partnership with Dwight Yorke (which both Blackburn and Sunderland failed to recreate).
It is seriously time to reappraise Cole’s standing in history. His goal record is always compared with Shearer (who scored 260 league goals to Coles 189), but minus those 50 Pens, and you have a much closer reckoning – 210. Cole scored just one spot kick, so he’d be on 188.
Then you have to throw in the fact that Cole won five Prem titles, to Shearer’s one title, a Champions League, to Shearer’s none, and he also lifted the FA Cup, which Big Al never did. He picked up the Carling/League/Worthington Cup with Blackburn Rovers.
Of course, Shearer was always first choice for England – Indeed, Cole’s England career never really got going, just one goal in 15 caps. Glenn Hoddle never really picked him after describing him as “the type of striker who needs six chances to score”, and he was always second choice anyway behind England’s SAS – of Shearer and Sherringham.
Cole never really recovered from leaving United either – despite still having a decent goal return, he never really set the league alight as he had with Yorke at United.
So, today he bought the curtain down on his career and said he wished he’d stayed at United a bit longer. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t, because he’ll always have that surpeme goal record to look back on.
The Artist Formally Known As Andy Cole, We Salute You. Good Luck with whatever you do next.