Manchester United, Andy Cole and Alan Shearer

Just finished reading a heavily rose-tinted article from Rob Smyth (although considering the flak Andy Cole’s taken in his career such a passionate defense is only fair) and I thought I’d ask you guys to to debate this one out:

If Alan Shearer had signed for Manchester United, would he have had a greater record (for Manchester United) than Andy Cole had for us?

On first thought, the answer is quite obvious – Shearer is arguably one of the best footballers England has produced (and that the Premiership has seen) in the last decade, and you would hesitate to put Cole above Shearer in that list (unless you were blinded by hatred for Newcastle United).

But I’m not talking about stats – I’m talking about how well Cole adapted to the needs of the team and demands of the manager. I find it difficult to think that Shearer would have done the same – how would he have gotten along with Cantona? With Ferguson?

Maybe like Ruud, Cole’s one of those strikers who will always score you goals but never achieve greatness (Henry is to Ruud what Shearer possibly was to Cole).