Andrew Cole’s first four England caps provide an interesting statistic.
Former Newcastle and Manchester United forward Andrew Cole had an interesting start to his England career, playing under four different managers in his first four appearances for the Three Lions.
The unusual statistic is some way explained with the knowledge that those four caps were spread over a four-year period, beginning on 29 March 1995. That fixture saw Terry Venables use the forward from the bench in a 0-0 friendly against Uruguay at Wembley.
His second appearance came two years later – in the 2-0 victory over Italy in the Tournoi de France – this time under Glenn Hoddle. Again Cole was utilised as a substitute and came on for Ian Wright in the 76th minute.
Another two-year hiatus from the international scene then saw Cole employed by temporary manager Howard Wilkinson in the 2-0 loss to France at Wembley, this time replacing Michael Owen in the second half.
It was not until Kevin Keegan took over as England Manager in the following international that Cole’s erratic international career gained more consistency. The man who had taken Cole to Newcastle – and controversially sold him to Man Utd in 1995 – gave the forward his first start in an England shirt; facing Poland at Wembley on 27 March 1999.
Cole would remain one of Keegan’s preferred forwards, and when England qualified for Euro 2000 he was unfortunate to miss out on the tournament with injury, having enjoyed another tremendous season with Premier League winners United.
Cole would go on to collect 15 caps and score one goal for the Three Lions. He also played under a fifth England Manager, Sven Goran-Eriksson.