The yesteryear Red Devils’ striker spoke to fans and media ahead of their Europa League game on Monday.
Former Manchester United striker and a key member of the treble-winning squad, Andy Cole, still commands a special place in the hearts of the United faithful. His performances in the shirt are always remembered fondly, especially the special partnership he struck with Dwight Yorke at the focal point of the attack.
The 48-year-old joined his former partner in crime in an online event organized by ApolloXSports, where fans got an opportunity to interact with their childhood heroes and pose questions to them.
Bruno Fernandes has enamoured himself with supporters with his perfect blend of creativity and steel ever since he completed his move to Manchester United from Sporting CP in January. Before he joined the club, the side regularly struggled to open up low-blocks and failed to adequate number of chances for the talented forwards. However, the arrival of Fernandes changed all that.
The Portuguese completely transformed the fortunes of the side. On his remarkable displays, Andy Cole said, “You know, he has had a massive impact. I think he has been absolutely brilliant. He can obviously play and when he got in the team with Paul Pogba, they both started understanding each other. I think those two are top footballers.”
“I like how he has come in and been a breath of fresh air. I know in the last couple of games towards the end of the season, he looked a little bit jaded, but I think he has been absolutely superb. Come next season, fingers crossed, he will do exactly the same thing,” the legendary sharpshooter further added.
Meanwhile, in attack, the likes of Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been breathtaking at times with their relentless movement, interchanging, and fabulous one-two’s causing havoc for the opposition.
When asked to list some similarities and differences between the current trio and the attacking four of his time, Cole was having none of the comparisons, but he believes that the young attacking force will only get better with time.
“Not as good as the four we had, not yet. No doubt they have the potential to be. To be the quartet that we had, they are a couple of years behind us. We hope they are going to mature, going to win things and you know we can have this conversation in 2-3 years. Right now, most definitely not.”
In addition to their menacing attack, United have also been very solid defensively, despite the patchy form of goalkeeper David de Gea. The signings of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have definitely helped in that regard. However, the importance of Victor Lindelof in the backline is not talked about often and he doesn’t receive many plaudits for his consistently reliable defensive displays.
Providing his thoughts on the Swedish defender, the Englishman opined, “I am a big fan of Lindelof. When he first came in, he found difficult to settle. Since then, he has played extremely well and I personally, I genuinely believe it looks like he has cemented his place now and you are starting to see the best of him.”
With Pogba back fit and firing, Fernandes knitting everything together in the final third and Nemanja Matic enjoying a mini-renaissance of sorts, United’s midfield has undergone some transformation. Add to that the dependable options of Fred and Scott McTominay and it is arguably United’s strongest department at the moment in terms of the depth and variety of personnel.
“I genuinely believe that at the moment the midfield is as good as I have seen for some time. Paul Pogba in there, Fernandes in there. I am looking for creativity, what we have been lacking for some time now. I am looking at goals, something we have been lacking as well. As a forward, you know what you are going to get from your midfield quartet now.”
“A bit of pace, playing with commitment, we are starting to play really good football again. I mean we all have to take our hats off to what Ole has been doing. Ole looks like he is going back to the old Manchester United, what Manchester United is all about. Like I keep saying, long may this continue,” Andy Cole concluded.