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Cole: I wish I stayed at United

The news that we had signed Robin van Persie last summer took me back to almost 20 years ago when I found we’d bought Andy Cole. Having scored 41 goals in 45 games the season before for Newcastle and 15 goals in 27 games by January of 1994-1995, he was the most exciting striker in the league, and he was ours.

Cole spent seven years at the club, winning five league titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup, and ranks within the top 20 scores in the history of the club, with more goals than the likes of Ronaldo and Cantona.

The signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy meant Cole was no longer our star striker and at the age 30 decided to leave United. He played on for another seven years, representing eight different clubs, and scoring 70 goals, but the man who still has a season ticket at Old Trafford regrets not staying for longer.

“When I left the club, I wanted to play more games and I saw the manager numerous times,” Cole told the official website. “He told me that I didn’t have to go, he didn’t want me to go, I could have stayed for as long as I could and I would get my games. But I was trying to force myself into the World Cup squad. In the end, he just said ‘Okay, I understand and I know what you are like, I will let you go’. The crazy thing is that he sold me for £7million, which is more than what he paid for me. He got me for £6m and sold me for £7m. So I remember that last meeting with him like it was yesterday. I really enjoyed my time but I left far too early. That is my only regret. I could have stayed at the football club for a lot longer and, looking back, I wish I had. Just because you have won everything, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to win it again,” the Treble-winner explained. If I was what I am now – more relaxed and calculated in what I want to do – I would have thought about it and realised I would have played games and still be involved in 20 to 25 games a season and win a hell of a lot more, but it wasn’t to be.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Marq says:

    Not many leaves United and were glad they left. The grass is not always greener elsewhere

  2. ak47 says:

    Coley, you had to do what you had to do. No point living with regrets. Your career has a limited lifespan, no point spending your peak years on the bench.

    He always left the right way and will always be loved by United fans (just not Teddy)

  3. United till I die says:

    Remember when we signed cole like it was yesterday. For weeks The press had been full of rumors fergies was close to signing Stan Collymore who was playing great football at the time then out of nowhere we signed Cole. To say the Newcastle fans were pissed is a understatement. Great player for us in his time at the club

  4. AlphaRS says:

    What’s wrong with Teddy Sheringham?
    Can’t be as bad as the way Rooney has conducted himself at the club. Rooney would be better off at PSG where he won’t have to run around and therefore be blowing out of his arse so much.

  5. Costas says:

    With Ruud’s arrival and Solskjaer’s brilliant form, the writing was on the wall. Cole, like Berbatov, was too good to stay on the bench. So even though I was gutted to see him leave, in hindsight the time was right.

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Love Andy Cole. Feel that statement “force myself into the World Cup squad” was a bit of a smokescreen. Granted that interest has driven Becks decision making since he turned 30 as well. BUT, I can’t recall Andy with more than a dozen England caps. Bit dilluded, bit revisionist? Maybe that’s just me.

    But Andy continues to be a credit to himself and a credit to the club. Love him to bits.

    One of the best chants as well:
    Andy Cole, Andy Cole, Andy Andy Cole,
    he hits the ball, he scores a goal, Andy Andy Cole.

  7. Wale says:

    A word is a enough for the wise.(rooney)

  8. The One says:

    Cheers Andrew for being man enough to admit your mistake. You should have stayed and would definitely have won more trophies with us. Thanks for the wonderful goalden memories, loved watching you banging them in together with Yorkie!! :)

    It’s a bit too late to realise that England’s rubbish. I’m glad Rio has come to his senses, made the right decision to ditch England to concentrate on United, huh!!

  9. 0161-Jon says:

    Always the same story from players who left too soon, they ALWAYS regret it.

    The youngsters like Pogba should have some of these players advising them when they start to think about a move. Was really gutted to see him leave.

  10. Bobby Charlton's Combover says:

    Cole made what he thought was the right decision for him at the time and that’s all anyone can do. He even mentions talking to the manager about it a few times so it doesn’t seem like it was that rash a decision. He could still have made a decent contribution had he stayed but no point regretting it. He had a good spell and was always honest on the pitch and off it and seems like a good lad.

  11. nesh says:

    great Striker just couldn’t understand why he was always overlooked for England…

  12. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Nesh, Cheers, The names were Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham, and most would say that was fair enough. Still, Cole has always been a favorit of mine and I was very happy he was able to focus on his club game.

  13. Stretfordend ryda says:

    Rooney take note


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