Search icon


18th May 2024

Andy Cole reveals bizarre reason he never took penalties

Luke Davies

The Manchester United legend explained the reason he did not take penalties.

Cole is still one of the most underappreciated strikers of the Premier League era; he scored 187 goals in 414 league appearances. However, of these goals, none of them came from the penalty spot.

When speaking on the Overlap, the goalscorer said: “I didn’t believe if I took penalties that I could justify myself… and be a goalscorer. That was my mindset; if I can’t do it in open play I’m not good enough. 

“No, I don’t (regret it). Everyone says to me, ‘You’re an idiot, you should’ve took penalties.’ I would’ve done it if someone said, ‘Yes, go on.’”

Wayne Rooney was bemused by the statement and claimed he could not watch if another player took a penalty while he was on the pitch.

During Cole’s tenure at Old Trafford, the penalty duties were shared between the squad with defenders such as Steve Bruce chipping in at times.

“I couldn’t stand on the pitch while a centre-half was taking a penalty. Or a full-back. My head would be gone,” said Rooney.

Dressing room feuds

Cole revealed a strange relationship with former strike partner Dwight Yorke. 

“I never spoke to Yorkie, I just looked at Yorkie. Sometimes too much information on football pitches is too much. Basically, me and Yorkie played in silence. We just looked at each other.

“I always knew where he was.”

It was not just Yorke who Cole had a fractured relationship with. The 52-year-old was also not Teddy Sheringham’s biggest admirer.

“It started when I made my England debut; for whatever reason he snubbed me, he didn’t shake my hand on my debut. I was mortified, I was disappointed. As far as I’m concerned you’re a senior pro. I’ve always watched England play. 

“I remember first day of pre-season the boys couldn’t stop laughing at me… they knew. 

“I come in pre-season playing a game, you know when someone’s trying to coach you into positions. I let him know, ‘Don’t try and coach me into positions.’

The final straw for me was against Bolton; we ended up drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford. They scored a late goal and he said to me, ‘That’s your fault that.’”

Related links:

Rio Ferdinand says Man City will never be as big as Man United

Thomas Frank ‘strong contender’ to replace Ten Hag at Man United

Chelsea accused of selling their own training ground to themselves