EPL: No better partnership than Cole-Yorke

Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are all the rage, despite the hiccup at the Emirates Stadium last Saturday.

David Moyes is purring over his Manchester United goal tandem Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

But Andy Cole is in no mood to consider these two strike partnerships as the best.

Armed with the confidence he had when he scored goals for fun for United, former marksman Cole told this reporter how his partnership with Dwight Yorke hit the highest notes.

"The best. Why? If you judge (partnerships) by what they've achieved and seen what Dwight and I have achieved, it is clear," said the 42-year-old, on the sidelines of the press conference announcing United's three-year partnership with Unilever here on Monday.

"Name them (modern partnerships), who do you think is better (than the Cole-Yorke partnership)?"

When Rooney and van Persie were mentioned, he countered: "What are you judging them on? Goals? Dwight and I scored goals, too.

"I'm just being honest here."

Honest, and cocksure.

Trinidadian Yorke and Cole were the spearheads when United swept to an unprecedented Treble triumph in 1999, lifting the Premiership trophy, FA Cup and the Champions League title.

Yorke fired in 29 goals in all competitions that season, while Cole swept in 24.

The two strikers went on to help United to retain the Premiership crown over the next two seasons, before Yorke was sold to Blackburn.

Englishman Cole scored 93 goals in 195 games over eight seasons at Old Trafford and remains the second-highest scorer overall - behind Alan Shearer's 260 - with 187 career goals in the Premiership.


Despite his sparkling form at club level, the former Arsenal apprentice and Newcastle hero was capped only 15 times for England, scoring just once for his country.

Asked if his lack of goals for the Three Lions was a blight on his career, Cole said: "Not at all, England was not meant to be. I don't stay awake at night and go 'f***'.

"In football, there's politics and during the time when I was involved, there was a lot of politics going on and I suppose that's why I didn't get as many caps as I would have liked.

"But I am not going to cry over spilt milk; I've enjoyed my footballing career and I can look back and say, 'I've achieved things I never thought I could have achieved'."

The cornerstone of United's 1999 feat, and the heartbeat of the side for so many years, was former captain Roy Keane.

The Irishman was criticised by Sir Alex Ferguson in his autobiography, particularly for his attempt to his teammates in public.

Keane hit back at the former United manager, questioning his loyalty to former players.

Opening up on his former captain, Cole said Keane was every bit as direct with his own teammates, if the need arose.

"With certain individuals, he (Keane) would be frank, and it depends on how you take that as an individual. If you take it personally, it's down to you, but you can also use it as a tool to get the best out of yourself," said Cole.

"Some players speak very well and can get the best out of players that way. Roy was a player who spoke his mind and led by example by how he played on the football pitch.

"Some speak, others do, and Roy was definitely a doer."

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