Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Paul Pogba, Manchester United and the way forward, what will happen next!

The complications at Manchester United were not solved by sacking Jose Mourinho, despite getting a great respond from both fans and players when appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a caretaker capacity.

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For people with a careful eye you have to see behind results and act on reality instead of being “blinded” by pundits selling an idea week in and week out, making their program or news more popular with more clicks than the other.

The real fact was that Jose Mourinho had in his short period won the League Cup, Europa League, The Community Shield and ended runners up in the FA Cup. He also managed to end 2nd in the Premier League in the previous season.

The results away to Juventus and the home win against Fulham at Old Trafford was never given any applauds and in real it was just a cruel campaign to get a brilliant manager, probably one of the best, out and get in something new more exciting, since Jose Mourinho wins you trophies but seldom with a big smile and funny stories.

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Ed Woodward went for Jose Mourinho when he wanted to reestablish the winning mentality which was there all the time. A bit of a “tug of war” with Paul Pogba and his “staff” was not well taken by the fans and instead of supporting a manager winning you titles and giving you Champions League football, they wanted a romantic love affair with a previous great and they got him, the sunshine boy, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Despite not seeing behind results, and what really was going on, people started to believe in “fantasy” with a man that got a splended start, throwing Norwegian chocolate around and making everyone happy. Who wouldn’t be happy to see “Sunny” back at Old Trafford, all of them, those people that worked at the club, must have been very satisfied, but that had nothing to do with football, traning methods and transfer dealings.

Paul Pogba had a bad run just before Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer came in, managed to get a grip on a new role and shined a bit in the start, getting good support from Herrera and Matic in midfield, but without the two servants he never really managed to fulfill his potential and that has little to do with Solskjaer and Mourinho, it’s just the type of player Paul Pogba is, to get his freedom he needs to be served by battling players behind him.

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Simple stuff, not any magic behind this. When Pogba played for France he had a battling N’Gole Kantè working his socks off to give him space and freedom to act on those terms that is given, and that makes Pogba special.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did pick a great team against Cardiff City and he balanced it well, but with injuries, lack of form, fatigue and too many games in a short period of time you will all sorts of challenges that will be difficult to handle as we all could see towards the end of the season.

The fact that Man Utd ended exactly at the same place as they were in the PL when Jose Mourinho was sacked and almost with the same results, it tells a story of a team of players not better than the position they were in and that is really the truth, so why sack Jose, and just give a damn about continuity.

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Solskjaer is not brought in because of his previous life as a manager, or on a list of merits, and just being a boss in a caretaker capacity that can lift spirit. Why you appoint him full time and not look behind what is really going on, is a big riddle.

When appointing a manager at the largest clubs in the world, you should not act on impulse or just look at the last game played, you have to put a deeper thought into it, it looks strange to see how Manchester United can gamble with their future and make this appointment.

With the fixture list, the fact that Man Utd are now looking as a club entering an experimental face and working for a goal that was there just a year ago, being 2nd in the league. A huge gap from a season to another has no real impact, with Leicester City winning the Premier League with 10 points and the next being part of a relegation fight.

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The Paul Pogba affair is a bit like what was going on almost 50 year ago with George Best. Pogba i tired of Man Utd and Best was tired of football, hanging up his boots and lots of problems at the club at the time with managers changing and little or no continuity after Sir Matt Busby left as manager.

The big star faults and some of the best players are coming to a certain age and will not get better. Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law were still around, but they were not able to keep things flowing as it used to and you see the pattern.

The chance of Manchester United dropping into a mid table position or even being part of a relegation fight looks almost impossible, but with the form shown in the last month we might have to worry for the future.

The grim truth is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not attracting the right sort of players, doesn’t have the contacts at the shelf he is at, and the players available are either too expensive or not interested in a move.

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Big stars such as Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba all have a desire to leave, and even Marcus Rashford is linked with a move away from Manchester United, seen as a possible target for Barcelona.

The long and known interest for Harry Maguire was pulled of last summer when the England international signed a new and improved deal at Leicester City, and being given a price tag of £90million, you surely would think twice before you make an approach.

Manchester United is a club on the move, somewhere and up a hill, but surely that run will not be finished by the end of this season coming up. The real trut might be that Manchester United fans are living in the past, thinking of those great years of Sir Alex Ferguson, getting a sniff of it by seeing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again and celebrating in their own little fantasy World were they like to be, wake up now, or you could end up like Leeds United did after Don Revie left.

 

Newsletter – June 2019, Latest Site Updates, Hot Topic, What’s Next

We will entertain you with a newsletter when we feel it is time to talk and give you an update on what’s coming next, what we have done to make our services better and hopefully bring you the news you are looking for in football.

Latest Site Updates,

We have now added new teams to our section and you can see that West Ham, Tottenham and Wolverhampton all have new and fresh updated club sites. As always with the best links to those sites really giving you the stuff needed to follow your team.

You will find them all from the top menu and all other teams included as well.

Hot Topic,

The summer is the update of transfers and so far a few has come in. The top signing done must be Eden Hazard who has left Chelsea and will play for Real Madrid next season. Zinedine Zidane will do what it takes to bring Real Madrid back in contention for the major titles as Real has faulted a bit this season.

What’s Next,

We will continue to update the site with new club pages, the ground guide section is under way as well and will soon be filled with more ground key info. Don’t miss out on our book recommendations and check our “extra” section who can be added with new info day by day.

As always our weekly update on transfer gossip and talk is out, so is the “happy birthday” retro stories, don’t miss out on the Norwegian Blue talk, which is unique and based on stories never printed or talked about before. If you like “The Football Pink” and “These Football Times” never miss a “Norwegian Blue” update.

We will add new stuff as we continue to grow our site, you can as always follow us on Facebook and Twitter and don’t miss out our updates on Pinterest. From the Website section you will find the Social Media links.

The Unique History of Terry McDermott, Olympic Gold and League Winning Medals

This history of Terry McDermott is probably well known among Liverpool fans going back to the early days of the 70’s and 80’s, but in the USA that same name has nothing to do with football, rather being famous for winning olympic gold medals in skating.

As the footballer Terry McDermott started his career the skater with the same name was on his swansong after winning the bronze medal at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics. McDermott the skater was a sprinter competing in the 500 meter competition.

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His total history of results are based on his participation at three Olympics during the 60’s, winning the Gold Medal in 1964 and the bronze as earlier mentioned in 1968. He finished 7th in his first on home soil in 1960, Squaw Valley, California.

We only have one Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish, and we can seperate father and son Frank Lampard, due to the fact that we have the knowledge. But to see Terry McDermott as one both performing greatly on ice and a football field was a new aspect.

Terry McDermott, the footballer, started his career at Bury FC, and was snapped up by Newcastle at an early age, being spotted probably in that FA Cup final against Liverpool in 1974, despite being on the losing side he must have given an impression.

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After joining Liverpool shortly after the final, he never looked back, but as we all know returned to Newcastle to help them back to the top in a team with great talent, of course there was Kevin Keegan, but the likes of Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle also had their say in that team.

Terry McDermott never played in the 1982 World Cup, but was in the squad and had before played 25 times for The Three Lions, and a few of those games coming in the Euro’s two years earlier.

We all know what happened at Liverpool for Terry McDermott, being selected and a key player during those wonderful years and successes under Bob Paisley, winning the European Cup, UEFA Cup and league titles in 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1982.

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Terry McDermott the skater managed to win his gold and when picking up the bronze he shared it with Norwegian Magne Thomassen. Terry McDermott the footballer had to see, being part of the England team, getting defeated by Norway, 2-1 back in 1981.

For Norway to defeat England in football back in 1981 was something that couldn’t happen, but on the day, with a carpenter in goal, a previous auditer and bankier in the heart of defense and some skillful amateur players working wonders, it all happened.

Norwegian football history was a fact, with Terry McDermott in the England side, just before that in the 1980 Olympics Terry McDermott were on the board of the comity and surely again part of US history as another great scater picked up five out of five possible goals in that competition, probably Eric Heiden was inspired by the only previous gold medalist from his country.

Norwegian Blue is a very popular blog among Norwegian fans of English football and written in Norwegian. Soccervoice is a “sister” site, so we will translate the stories we feel are suitable for inclusion.

If you like to visit the original site and learn Norwegian, click here

Retro Footy Topics – Happy Birthday and Remembrance, June 2019

The month of Juni is one of summer and a number of previous stars from the past are celebrating their birthdays, some of them are still doing a great job in football no longer as players but in other capacities.

We are also looking at some of those who have passed away, and that we so fondly remembers. You can always look up our list of birthdays at the top of the menu.

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In June there are many stars to celebrate, and also some that needs to be mentioned that no longer is with us, one of the are Keith Weller who would have turned 73 on the 11th of June. Sadly Keith Weller lost his battle against cancer back in November 2004 at the age of 58. Keith had a glorious football career, spending a number of years in US, after a great number of games at Spurs, Millwall and Leicester.

He later became a coach in the NASL touring USA and promoting “soccer”, playing for clubs such as New England Tea Men, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tulsa Roughnecks. He was later a coach and manager at clubs such as Dallas Sidekicks, San Diego Sockers and Sacramento Knights.

A former teammate of Keith Weller was Dennis Rofe. Rofe spent most of his career with Leicester City were he played alongside Weller. Rofe was signed by Leicester manager Jimmy Bloomfield back in 1972, just a year after Weller joined. Rofe turned 69 on the first of June. Rofe had a respected career in English football, playing for Orient, Leicester, Chelsea and Southampton. He has spent most of his life in football being a coach or in management  at Southampton, Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers.

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One of those players to come up against Dennis Rofe many times was Peter Barnes. The England winger turned 62 on the 10th of June, another Manchester City hero Glyn Pardoe also celebrated his birthday this month, on the 1st. Pardoe played for Manchester City from 1962 to 1976 and this was his only club in professional football. Peter Barnes had another destiny in football, being probably at his very best in his early 20’s, making a great England debut at the age of 20 against Italy in 1977, winning 2-0 win at Wembley.

Barnes had allready won the League Cup a year before, defeating Newcastle in the final and scoring one of the goals. He left Man City as early as 1979, then manager Malcolm Allison accepting a record fee of £750.000 from West Bromwich. Barnes later moved to Leeds and Coventry, before he made a surprising move to neighbour Man Utd and again an emotional return to Man City at the age of 30, lasting just a few months before a long run of teams were entertained by the player that had gained 22 caps for England before the age of 25.

The greatest goalkeeper ever to have played might be difficult to decide, but up there among the best are a player that has stopped shots from Peter Barnes a number of times. Former Spurs and Arsenal goalkeeper Pat Jennings turned 73 on the 12th of June. He is also fondly remembered for his international career with Northern Ireland playing 119 times for his country, including two World Cups, 1982 and 1986.

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On the 19th of June a player fondly remembered for his performances especially at Manchester United and Stoke City, but also being a good servant at Birmingham City and Leeds United, who he won the League Cup with in 1968. JG picked up a few more medals winning the League Cup with Stoke City and the FA Cup with Manchester United. One of those who never won a full England cap but probably would have done well if selected. Greenhoff will turn 73 on his day.

Alongside Jimmy Greenhoff at Stoke City were another player that was also short of England caps, playing only two games in an England shirt. Alan Hudson turning 68 on the 21st of June. His talent was fantastic, but he never managed to fulfill his potential and missing out on the World Cup, being seen as a top selection for both the 1974 and 1978 World Cup. At the time playing for Stoke and Arsenal. Hudson is probably best known for his time at Chelsea winning the European Cup Winners Cup. He spent a number of years with Seattle Sounders in the NASL, being seen as one of the “lost once” in that set up under Ron Greenwood, not picking players from over the pond.

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John Aston, previously with Manchester United, playing in that European Cup final win in 1968, turns 72 on the 28th of June. Aston joined Luton Town and had one season back in the top flight, but had to see The Hatters relegated as he moved on to Mansfield and ended his playing career at Blackburn Rovers.

At last from the past we include Mervyn Day who might be seen as a West Ham legend but had respectful careers with both Aston Villa and Leeds United, where he was part of a League winning squad in 1992. Day was seen as a potential England international but was never selected in great competition with players such as Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Joe Corrigan and Phil Parkes. Day turns 64 on the 26th.

If you like to see all names included in June, click here

 

 

Transfer Talk, Man Utd chasing, Barca in for Griezman, Man City waiting on what?

Man Utd are eager to make those moves that will give them a chance to challenge the top four clubs. but they need to act carefully as they need to hit bulls eye in their transfer deals. Harry Maguire from Leicester City, Inter Milan midfielder Ivan Perisic and Belgian international Youri Tielemans.  The big question is, who will be left out.

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Barcelona are closing in on Antoine Griezman, but it’s not done and settled yet. The French international will of course challenge the current set up in the Barce first 11, difficult to see how this will be all together.

Manchester City are chasing players that currently is not been seen by other Premier League clubs. Atletico Madrid star Rodri is on the “Pep radar” and a fee of around £60million could be what it takes to bring the former Villareal player to The Etihad.

Aston Villa are leading the chase for Stoke and England goalkeeper Jack Butland. Butland has a past at neighbour Birmingham City and would probably welcome a switch back to the top flight.

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Derby County will fight to keep Frank Lampard. Chelsea wants their former player to take over from Sarri who has departed for Juventus. Lampard (40) has just one year experience from management, but who will turn down an approach from your former employee and taking over one of the most attractive jobs in football.

A rather absurd rumour is the one about Scott McTominay joining Crystal Palace. Scott might be eager to get first team football week in and week out, but to see him joining The Eagles is a bit strange. The reason might be that a contract extension would be what the young Scot is looking for.

Denzel Dumfries is a target for Manchester United. The Dutch international who operates on right back could be an ideal signing to bring to Old Trafford with this position not really 100% covered at the moment. Dumfries is currently with PSV Eindhoven and has a past Heerenveen and Sparta Rotterdam.

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West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson is in demand. A number of Premier League clubs are ready to bring him in, with Burnley and Watford the front runners in a chase that also include Norwich City and Crystal Palace.

Bournemouth are eager to solve their long term goalkeeper challenge. Asmir Begovic and Artur Boric are both considered not the ideal first team alternative and are now looking for a chance to bring in Jack Butland, who is also heavily linked with Aston Villa, but if the Stoke goalkeeper moved to Villa, Joe Hart is considered the next option.

Michael Appleton is among a number of candidates for the vacant manager job at Hull City. He has earlier been among the front runners at West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough, but the former Oxford United boss and Leicester City assistant could be lucky this time.

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Tanguy Ndombele is a target for Tottenham. But the Lyon star is also wanted at Juventus with Sarri hopefully managing to convince the 22 year midfielder to join the top team of Italian Serie A.

Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is a target for Liverpool. This is yet another storm toward south and The Saints to bring yet another recruit from that club. Virgil van Dijk, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane are all at Anfield, joining from Southampton.

Aaron Van-Bissaka looks certain to join Manchester United from Crystal Palace. The “Babes” policy continues at Old Trafford as yet another youngster joins Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad of players.

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Atalanta defender Timothy Castagne is a target for Crystal Palace. The Serie A club might be a bit reluctant, but a substantial offer will not be possible to turn down as financial issues must be taken into consideration. Castagne (23) could be the ideal replacement for Van-Bissake if he joins Crystal Palace.

Joao Cancelo is a close target Pep Guardiola and Man City. The Juve right back could slot in and be a good addition to the Manchester City squad. The 25 year old Portuguese international has a past at Valencia and Benfica.

The strange life of English football and foreign influence!

Gareth Southgate is concerned about foreign influence in English club football, something that is an ongoing saga.

Tottenham had five english players in their starting line-up against Liverpool in the CL final. Liverpool fielded few from start as well.

Arsenal had only one in their team against Chelsea, who had none, som og course a worry to see si few English players, but the other Home nations must be more worries as they are almost vanished from english football.

Only one player, the Scottish left back Andy Robertson had any involvement in the two finals something that was a bit og the life of English clubs in the pasta.

Often said and heard was that you couldn’t win a title without a Scottish player in your team, but til many was not good either.

Going back to the 80’s and 70’s when English clubs dominated in Europe, you seldom had a full English team, but also players from the other Britisk nations.

Aston Villa won the European Cup in 1982, with dominstion of english players but among those in the picked 11 were three Scots. Allan Evans and Ken McNaught in the heart of the defense, with Des Bremner playing in midfielder.

Back in 1975 when Leeds faced Bayern Munich only four players picked in the starting line-up by Jimmy Armfield were English. Paul Madeley, Allan Clarke, Norman Hinter and Paul Reaney, the rest played for other nations.

Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were other clubs winning the European Cup in this period of time, and the influence of players such as Archie Gemmill, John Robertson, Kenny Burns, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Greame Souness, Alan Hansen and several others made those teams great.

When Liverpool played Everton in the 1986 FA Cup final, and became double winners that season, they had a team fielded without a single English player.

Gareth Southgate has a point, but his worries is nothing new AS this has been a topic for almost 50 years .

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