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Andy Cole's explanation for why he didn't take penalties is so cold

Andy Cole's explanation for why he didn't take penalties is so cold

The former Manchester United striker only ever took two penalties in his entire career.

It remains one of the most impressive stats in football. Without scoring a penalty, Andy Cole is still the third-highest goal scorer in Premier League history with 187 Premier League goals in 414 appearances.

To put that record into further perspective, Alan Shearer – the all-time top scorer in top flight history [260] – netted 56 times from the spot, which is the most in the competition's history.

Shearer, who is the only player to have scored more than Cole if you exclude penalties, is rightly commended for his achievements in front of goal. But it almost feels like the latter is overlooked.

Cole’s goals-per-league games ratio was higher than the former Blackburn and Newcastle striker, which is quite incredible when you think about his lack of penalty goals.

So why did he not take them? Speaking on the Filthy Fellas' recent podcast, Cole was asked why he didn't take spot-kicks during his trophy-laden career.

"My mentality was if I couldn't score goals from open play then I'm not good enough," he said.

Last year, Cole explained his decision to not take spot-kicks in further detail, when he opened up about a conversation he had with his personal trainer, who said his record would have been better with goals from penalties.

"I've always said I'm extremely proud of my record," he told Manchester United's official website.

"Talking this morning with my personal trainer, and like fact-checking from him, he were messing about and he said you know, if you took penalties, you would most probably be number one.

"I just laugh at him but have been taking a little bit of flak from a few people recently for not taking penalties.

"Where would I be had I taken them and whatever. But, like I say, I am very proud of what I achieved. If people don't want to talk more about what I achieved after taking no penalties, I cannot help it can I?"

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Cole added: "It is what it is. It wasn't even that [others wanted to take it more], I wanted to score goals in open play. I genuinely said that to myself. If I didn't think I could do that, I don't think I'd be good enough, that was a simple way to look at it.

"You can say that's arrogant but I'm not arrogant. Football is played in open play and to have a penalty, I suppose it's that simple, if you can't score goals in open play, you're not good enough to play at the elite level.

"That is the way I looked at it, even more so now, and I'm proud of my record."

During his six-year spell at Manchester United, Cole played alongside a host of top penalty takers, including Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin, who netted seven spot-kicks during his Old Trafford career.

"In any good team, it's about teamwork," he said last year. "If you got fouled for a penalty and someone obviously wanted to take it, it was all about being part of the team.

"Of course, if that's the way other strikers want to get more goals, knock yourself out. You can't condemn anyone for getting more goals from penalties and, in that case, adding another 10-12 goals to your season's tally. You know what, it's fair play."

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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/FILTHYFELLAS - Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Fulham, Sunderland, Portsmouth