Man United legend Andy Cole opens up his managerial fallouts with Sir Alex Ferguson and Kevin Keegan…and reveals he’s ‘still waiting for Sven-Goran Eriksson to give me a call’ after England snub

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has opened up on a series of managerial fallouts during his career, including a flashpoint with Sir Alex Ferguson after he refused to play in a reserve game. 

The Premier League‘s fourth-highest scorer spend five -and-a-half seasons at Old Trafford and was integral to their treble winning campaign in 1998-99. 

But despite success, Cole’s time in Manchester was not without incident, with notable bust-ups with team-mate Teddy Sheringham, as well as at least one quarrel with Ferguson. 

The striker explained how he got on the bad side of the legendary Scottish manager due to his disappointment at being made a substitute. 

‘I wasn’t a sub kind of guy.’ He said on the Overlap, brought to you by Sky Bet. ‘I remember one year, I fell out with the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] – he asked me to play in a reserve game and I said that I’m not playing.’

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole opened up a series of disagreements he had with managers

Cole explained how he got on the wrong side of Sir Alex Ferguson (pictured) after refusing to play in a reserve match

Cole explained how he got on the wrong side of Sir Alex Ferguson (pictured) after refusing to play in a reserve match

The 52-year-old (pictured alongside former trike partner Dwight Yorke) was five Premier League title during his time at Old Trafford

The 52-year-old (pictured alongside former trike partner Dwight Yorke) was five Premier League title during his time at Old Trafford

‘I think I was coming back from injury or something, but I said that I wasn’t playing. He said, “Okay, no problem.” We went down to Highbury, and he put me upstairs to watch the game and we lost 3-0. 

‘The week after that I got back involved and got myself back into the team. But it was that mentality, to be a sub at times, it cheesed me off and that got the fire burning even more. I look back now and realise that it was pride.’

Cole eventually departed Old Trafford for Blackburn Rovers in 2001, revealing that he had the opportunity to stay but opted for the exit door to secure more playing time.  

‘If I look back on my career now, the things I did then, that’s what I did.’ He continued. ‘I look back now and think, could I have changed that a little bit? No, because would I have been the player I was. 

‘The only thing I’d turn around and say, I left United when I had the opportunity to stay but that was me just saying, my pride says I need to go and play football, play as many games as possible.’

Cole’s glittering career saw him rack up 187 Premier League goals and win a total of five league titles, two FA Cups, the league Cup and the Champions League. 

Yet, in large part due to the unbelievable attacking options at the England manager’s disposal during his career, Cole earned only 15 caps for the Three Lions. 

The 52-year-old claimed that he was convinced he’d ‘never be a starter’ for the national team when he was overlooked by Terry Venables while at Newcastle and revealed that he believes ‘politics’ were at play. 

However, it was the cold shoulder from Sven-Goren Eriksson in 2001 that proved to be the final straw and led him to retire from the national team that year after failing to make the World Cup squad. 

‘I remember saying to myself “This is getting farcical”. I played against [Albania], and I got suspended for the next game. Sven [Goran Eriksson] said to me “I can’t put you in the next squad because you are suspended, but I will put you in the next one after that”.

Sven-Goren Eriksson took over as England manager in 2001 but opted to leave Cole out of his 2002 World Cup squad

Sven-Goren Eriksson took over as England manager in 2001 but opted to leave Cole out of his 2002 World Cup squad

The prolific striker made a shock move to Manchester United from Newcastle in January 1995

The prolific striker made a shock move to Manchester United from Newcastle in January 1995

‘I am still waiting for Sven to give me a call. I asked myself, what the point is of hanging around. There is a younger generation coming through. I said to myself, “I’m tapping out now”.’

Cole continued playing for another seven years before hanging up his boots in 2008. By that point he had turned out for 12 clubs but his startling prowess in front of goal was first noticed during his short spell at St James’ Park in the early 1990s. 

Under the management of Kevin Keegan, the forward scored an impressive 68 goals in 84 appearances for the Magpies before a shock move to the Red Devils in January 1995.

This hasty departure to a title race was also precipitated by a disagreement with his boss. As Cole explained, Keegan shipped him out of the club months after the two shared harsh words ahead of a training session. 

‘I remember we lost the game 2-1.’ Cole added. ‘The morning after, we had a warm down. The manager greeted me and asked if I was up for it this morning. I was honest with him and said I was a little bit tired, but I was up for it still. 

‘He said that if you are not up for you can F off. I turned around, had a shower, packed my bag then left. 

‘I went missing for a few days and I stayed in London. I was speaking to my agent, and he said I needed to go back to Newcastle. I said to him ‘I am not going back’, but I spoke to Freddy Shepard [Newcastle chairman], and he said we must sort this out. 

Cole revealed that he also had a bust up with Magpies boss Kevin Keegan, which eventually led to his exit

Cole revealed that he also had a bust up with Magpies boss Kevin Keegan, which eventually led to his exit

‘I went back up to Newcastle at the end of the week and I had a meeting with Freddy, Terry Mac, Kevin, and a few other people. We ended up sorting the situation out and they ended up giving me a new contract. 

‘We went to play Wimbledon on that Saturday after resolving the situation and we won 3-0. I thought that was the end of it, but Kevin holds on to things.’


Source From: Football | Mail Online

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