Ever since Jose Mourinho was appointed Manchester United boss this summer, the club has gone through a major upheaval that has sent out a warning to other clubs in the Premier League. After three years of mediocrity under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, the Red Devils suddenly look a different animal.
And former Manchester United striker feels the same way. The 44-year-old revealed in an interview to 888Sport that the Portuguese boss has brought back the ‘fear factor’ that made them a force to reckon with when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford.
“I’m hoping the good times are returning and you can certainly see a swagger,” Cole said. “All the players are talking about what he (Mourinho) wants to win.
“The few games we’ve had so far you can see the fear factor returning and that’s what Manchester United is all about. These past few years teams have gone to Old Trafford believing they can win.
“When you played under Sir Alex Ferguson teams would just hope they wouldn’t get beat by five. Mourinho is bringing that back now and they’re starting to look like the old United.”
United have already started strong with three wins in the first three games. Although they have a maximum of nine points, they trail behind their derby rivals on goal difference. And Manchester City are their next opponents in what promises to be a fiercely-contested derby on 10 September, Saturday.
Both sides have invested heavily in the transfer market this summer to bolster their squads. City spent close to £174m while United spent approximately £150m in signing new players. The rivalry between Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola and Mourinho only adds to the spice of the derby this weekend.
Mourinho reminds me of Sir Alex: Cole
Cole also spoke about how the former Chelsea manager reminded him of Sir Alex himself. He claimed that Mourinho, too, had an aura about him that put him in the same league as the legendary Scottish manager.
“Mourinho and Guardiola are both very good managers and both achieved so much,” Cole explained.
“But Jose has the same great aura about him as Sir Alex. When you look at what he’s done in the game – going to Italy and Spain and doing it out there – and now he’s trying to emulate his phenomenal record in England.”
However, when asked who he thought would win the league title, he did not commit to a prediction.
“The way they have both started the season (City and United) it’s tempting to think that one of them will win it,” Cole said.
“But then when you look at how Chelsea have started as well. The Premier League is so topsy-turvy now and whoever puts a run together and plays as a team then anything is possible. Leicester showed that.”
The full 888sport interview with Andy Cole can be read here.
Published 08 Sep 2016, 16:16 IST