SUNSPORT’S Danny Higginbotham talks to Andrew Cole about the Liverpool vs Manchester United clash on Saturday, their time together at Old Trafford and Cole’s brilliant record at Anfield…
DANNY HIGGINBOTHAM: You had a great record against Liverpool — 11 goals, eight at Anfield and four for United. I remember the 3-1 in 1997. You scored two. What was it like scoring at Anfield for United?
SunSport man Danny Higginbotham met former Manchester United striker Andrew Cole ahead of the Liverpool clash[/caption]
Cole scored 11 goals at Anfield[/caption]
ANDREW COLE: I loved scoring goals, man, being involved with them. And scoring at Anfield was special.
You have certain teams and, no disrespect, I always fancied they would give me a chance. I could be out the team for two games and Sir Alex would always bring me back for Liverpool.
DH: Was scoring at Anfield your biggest high?
AC: It was great but it wasn’t my biggest high. Just playing for a big team, winning games, having a good rapport with your fans and your team-mates, that’s the high.
Higginbotham and Cole had a short spell together at Old Trafford[/caption]
Cole celebrates one his two goals in a 3-1 win at Anfield in 1997[/caption]
Latest Man Utd news
DH: Did Liverpool games mean more to Sir Alex Ferguson?
AC: Oh, man. Massive. Every game was big but then there was Liverpool!
When we beat them the gaffer would come into the changing room and do a little jig.
I remember one game, I got sent off at Anfield but we still won. Normally, he’d fine you if you were sent off but he was buzzing so much, he forgot. I got away with one there.
DH: Ever score at The Kop?
AC: Yeah, for Blackburn. A half-volley.
DH: Dipped over the keeper’s head. I remember. When you were playing for United which was the bigger game, City or Liverpool?
AC: Liverpool for sure.
DH: And now?
AC: Liverpool’s always going to be big, with the history, the European Cups . . . but it’s changed a bit because they haven’t been challenging for the title. But it’s still a massive, massive game.
DH: So City have taken over?
AC: No. It takes more prominence because they can win the league but Liverpool is still bigger.
DH: I agree. Which was your best United goal?
AC: For the importance, maybe against Spurs to win the league in 1999. That led to the Treble.
But I enjoyed them all. Little chips, tap-ins, headers.
DH: No matter what you did for United, winning the Treble, all the goals, people still go back to that West Ham game in 1995.
AC: Of course.
DH: But it’s ridiculous. It didn’t matter what anybody did, that ball was not going in! Ludek Miklosko had the game of his life.
AC: It’s swings and roundabouts. That was ’95 and I was lambasted for costing Man U the title and then in ’99 it had gone full circle. That’s football. I don’t sit at home and study it. At the time I took it tough. But I look back on my career, what I achieved given where I came from . . .
Cole seals Manchester United the Premier League title with a lob against Spurs in 1999 – United would win the Treble in the following weeks[/caption]
DH: I made my home debut against Leicester in 1999 and you scored a kind of overhead kick. It was a hard chance but you looked like you expected to score.
As a young lad at Old Trafford, seeing the way you guys trained, the standards, how seriously you’d take it, the arguments, it never felt like you were going to get beat.
AC: It was an unbelievable mentality. We’d bicker over the smallest things in training. We’d be in the square and if someone passed it a yard short, we’d argue for ten minutes about who was going in the box.
It didn’t mean we didn’t like each other. It was about standards.
DH: That Treble team was unbelievable. So good. Talent but you wouldn’t back down either.
AC: Yeah, we looked after each other.
DH: That spine! Schmeichel, Stam, Keane and you and Yorke up top. It’s the best team I’ve seen in the Premier League.
The Treble winning team on a bus parade through Manchester[/caption]
AC: Yeah. And the boys always used to say how important the spine of the team was.
But it was an unbelievable team. The best I ever played in.
DH: I left United at 21. Never good enough for the first team. But what I took away from Old Trafford was how to conduct myself on and off the pitch. How to train.
It was less about ‘this is your body shape as a defender’ — more about how to behave. It was invaluable.
AC: The gaffer had a lot to do with that. Setting standards. He knew everyone’s name. He’s a top man.
DH: Agreed. Even down to the snotty-nosed apprentices, he knew everyone.
Now on to this United team. Obviously, there’s been massive rebuilding. But I look at this side and I’m seeing the United I love, the one I supported as a kid. And a manager who looks like a United manager.
I think this is Jose Mourinho’s dream job. Do you see him there long term?
AC: I hope so. I know he’s had that cycle of three years, people fall out of love with him, he moves on — but I’d like to think he’d be here long term and will bring back success.
DH: The spine is good now.
DH: Are you surprised Romelu Lukaku hit the ground running?
AC: No. He’d done it in the Premier League for the past five seasons. He was always going to score goals.
DH: But there’s pressure being United’s record striker signing? You were. Did you feel it?
AC: Yes, but it was different. I had to keep United at the top. Now Romelu has to get them there but that buys you a bit of time.
If I didn’t cut it, I’d be on the bench. Mind you, if Romelu doesn’t, United can go out and buy a new striker.
DH: Is there more pressure on Liverpool than United tomorrow?
AC: Yeah. They’re at home. They’re shipping goals. Klopp’s been there two years and it’s still a bit topsy-turvy. But this is also United’s first real test.
DH: True. Will United play on the break?
AC: It wouldn’t surprise me. Liverpool are the home team. They need to win. United can sit a bit and Soak it all up. And they have pace to do damage.
DH: And Liverpool struggle when they are hit on the break. Fellaini is out for United. No one would have thought it mattered a year ago, but he’s been unbelievable lately.
AC: He’s had a great start this season. You need someone who believes in you and the manager does. On the flip side, look at Herrera who was United’s best player last season — he can’t get a game. That’s football.
Cole pictured with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the gym - the Swede is working his way back to fitness[/caption]
DH: I saw a picture of you in the gym with Zlatan. How’s he?
AC: Really good. Back next year, I think, so he’s done well really.
DH: Where does he fit in now, though?
AC: He’ll get games because he’s got so much quality. And he’s brilliant in the dressing room. I love Zlatan. He tells you how it is. He’s legendary.
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
‘Ronaldo vs Neymar’: Real Madrid draw PSG in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs go head-to-head… and Twitter loves it
REAL MADRID will play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs were drawn against each other. The reigning European champions will now need to go up against fearsome trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani after Friday’s exciting draw. Elsewhere, Chelsea will face Barcelona, Liverpool take on Porto, Manchester […]
REAL MADRID will play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 as two of Europe’s biggest clubs were drawn against each other.
The reigning European champions will now need to go up against fearsome trio Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani after Friday’s exciting draw.
Real Madrid were always set to face a tougher draw than they’re used to, after slipping to second in their group.
Zinedine Zidane’s Los Blancos finished behind Tottenham in Group H, after dropping EIGHT points on the way.
Meanwhile, PSG edged Bayern Munich to top spot in Group B, both of whom earned 15 points out of a possible 18.
Real Madrid vs PSG looks set to be an astonishing tie, after the Ligue 1 giants set the new record for goals in a group stage, with 25.
The draw now means one of the tournament favourites will be going home early, opening the door for one of England’s FIVE clubs to go all the way.
AU’S THAT? Inside the extravagant world of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang… set to bring his talent, and ‘Batmobile’, to Chelsea
However, it was the worst possible morning for Chelsea, who – after slumping to second in their group – ended up drawing Barcelona in the last-16.
Liverpool and Manchester City enjoyed seemingly favourable draws though – going up against Porto and Basel respectively.
MORE FOOTBALL FEATURES
Tottenham meanwhile face a tricky tie against Italian giants Juventus.
Manchester United will go up against Sevilla, who finished second in their group, behind Liverpool.
Full Champions League last-16 draw
Juventus vs TOTTENHAM
Basel vs MAN CITY
Porto vs LIVERPOOL
Sevilla vs MAN UNITED
Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma
CHELSEA vs Barcelona
Bayern Munich vs Besiktas
Europa League draw: Live stream, TV channel, start time, seedings and Arsenal and Celtic’s possible knockout stage opponents
ARSENAL secured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade over a month ago. And now the Arsene Wenger’s side will finally find out their last 32 opponents. A wide range of opponents are available to the Gunners, from an intimidating trip to Dortmund to […]
ARSENAL secured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade over a month ago.
And now the Arsene Wenger’s side will finally find out their last 32 opponents.
A wide range of opponents are available to the Gunners, from an intimidating trip to Dortmund to a match against minnows Ostersund or Ludogorets.
They will also be joined by Celtic, who finished a distant third behind PSG and Bayern Munich in arguably the Champions League’s toughest group.
When is the Europa League draw?
The Europa League draw will take place on Monday, December 11 at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
It will commence at 12pm UK time, or 1pm CET.
What TV channel is the Europa League draw on?
The Europa League draw will be live on BT Sport.
Who could Arsenal and Celtic face in the last 32?
This season’s Europa League is set to be a lot tougher than the tournament won by Manchester United last year.
Arsenal can face any of the second placed teams from the 12 Europa League groups (apart from Red Star Belgrade) or the worst four third placed teams in the Champions League group stage.
Conversely, Celtic can play any of the first placed teams from the 12 Europa League groups or any of the best four third placed teams in the Champions League group stage.
Who are the seeded and unseeded teams for the Europa League draw?
Red Bull Salzburg
Zenit St Petersburg
Red Star Belgrade
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
Mikel Arteta covers his face on way to training after being hurt in Manchester derby tunnel bust-up
MIKEL ARTETA arrived for training with Manchster City covering his injured face. The City coach allegedly had a bottle thrown at him in the tunnel after yesterday’s Manchester derby. Arteta was ‘left with blood pouring down his face’ after City’s 2-1 win. More follows
MIKEL ARTETA arrived for training with Manchster City covering his injured face.
The City coach allegedly had a bottle thrown at him in the tunnel after yesterday’s Manchester derby.
Arteta was ‘left with blood pouring down his face’ after City’s 2-1 win.
Bizarre2 months ago
Bromans star Brandon Myers challenges Love Island’s Chris Hughes to penis competition saying his nine-and-a-half member is bigger
Celebrity1 month ago
Lucy Pinder looks gorgeous in pictures from her 2018 calendar
Christmas 20173 months ago
John Lewis has unveiled the top 10 toys for Christmas 2017… and they could just break the bank
Celebrity3 months ago
Who is Nermina Pieters-Mekic? New star of Real Housewives of Cheshire and wife of Stoke City ace Erik
Bizarre2 months ago
Ex-Strictly stunner Ola Jordan sizzles in red swimsuit on holiday with husband James in Greece
Celebrity3 months ago
Who is Rachel Lugo? Real Housewives of Cheshire star and property pro – what you need to know
Health3 months ago
Women will cry six times a month on average – TWICE as much as men
Money3 months ago
We reveal our guide to organising a kids birthday bash without busting your budget — plus, get a free fiver from our rewards club