Cole: Why Euro 2020 can galvanise United
Treble-winning striker Andy Cole believes Manchester United, and other Premier League clubs, can learn from the high-octane levels achieved throughout Euro 2020.
The ex-Reds marksman has been impressed, like most observers, by the excitement levels on show during the tournament and believes, with fans now back in stadiums, there is every reason to be optimistic the entertainment will continue when the 2021/22 campaign kicks off.
After an unrelenting schedule in light of COVID-19, Cole feels the blueprint has been set by a number of nations playing with verve, flair and energy.
"I don't know what to expect from United next season," he told us. "Naturally, progression is the way forward but can they compete to win the league against Manchester City, obviously?
“It's going to take time but it all depends which players are brought in really. We'll just have to wait and see. To win the league, United are going to have to do really well to pick up the points they lost disappointedly last season.
“And let's see more free-flowing football and continue getting back to how United used to play.
“It's been proved this tournament that Portugal won it five years ago on the counter-attack but, this year, they tried the same and it catches you out in the end.
“United need to keep playing more galvanising football, create more chances and score more goals; then you never know what can happen.
“I think every team should look at the way the Euros have gone and the football that's been played, even by the so-called lesser nations. It's been a really good tournament.”
Cole, who helped fire the Reds to the Treble in 1999, has been pleased with the tournament on a number of levels as we await Sunday's final at Wembley.
"The majority of the games have been open," he explained. "It's why we love football. We've not seen any drab games or had fall-asleep time! All the games have been exciting and that's what we want from the Euros. The players may be tired but, when you come to a major tournament, you find something because it is a major tournament.
“I will take nothing away from what they've given us. Even VAR works and is half-decent in this tournament! The refs have been brilliant too. It's been really good."