Premier League managers’ playing careers rated, including Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

4 Sep

All 20 Premier League managers have done exceptionally well to get into the position they’re in.

They’re in charge of teams in, arguably, the best league in the world – but what were they like as players?

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola played for Barcelona at senior level for over ten years
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Some reached the very top of football, playing for huge clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona.

However, others didn’t have so much to put on their CV’s when they were trying to break into management.

Below you can see where each Premier League manager ranks based on their playing careers, according to talkSPORT.com.

20. Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)

The veteran manager is best known for his days in the dugout and with good reason too.

Hodgson played for Palace at youth level but could never break into the first-team and then went on to play non-league football at a string of clubs for several years.

He began his training to become a coach in his early twenties so it’s no surprise Hodgson occupies bottom spot in this chart.

Hodgson never really made it as a player
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19. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)

He didn’t have much of a playing career at senior level but this was through no fault of Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman, who has managed Swansea and Liverpool in the Premier League before taking his current post at Leicester, had to retire as a professional at 20-years-old due to a genetic knee injury.

Like Hodgson, Rodgers studied coaching very young and has built up his name ever since.

18. Daniel Farke (Norwich City)

The German has taken Norwich back to the big time and their attractive playing style should see the Canaries get a lot of good results this season.

Farke, 42, has already achieved more as a manager than he ever did as a player
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However, Farke’s career as a player was not so good as he spent his short playing career in the lower levels of German football, representing SV Lippstadt, Bonner SC and SV Meppen.

17. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)

Another one whose playing career was blighted by injury, Cherries boss Howe enjoyed limited success before turning to management.

He begun his career at Bournemouth and was signed by Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth in 2002 but sustained a knee injury shortly afterwards.

Pompey got promoted to the Premier League in 2003 but Howe was not part of that success and he eventually hung up his boots in 2007, aged 29.

It’s likely Howe would have had more success as a player were it not for his injuries
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16. Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)

Sheffield United manager Wilder is living the dream by managing the club he supports in the top flight and he was arguably living the dream at the start of his playing career too by playing for them.

But after six years at Bramall Lane, via four different loan spells, Wilder was offloaded to Rotherham United.

The former right-back played for eleven different clubs in his playing career but did not see any kind of success compared to what he’s experienced as a manager.

15. Dean Smith (Aston Villa)

Villans boss Smith played for five different clubs in the football league over a 16-year playing career but his success was limited.

Smith is now in charge of Villa, the team he grew up supporting
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Smith came close to achieving promotion to the third tier of English football with Leyton Orient but the O’s lost in the play-off final twice.

The closest he ever got to the Premier League as a player was when he was at Sheffield Wednesday, who were one league below for one season.

14. Sean Dyche (Burnley)

A promising start to former Nottingham Forest man Dyche’s playing career was put on hold by a broken leg and after that he had to settle with bouncing around clubs in the lower divisions.

Probably the most memorable moment of his playing career saw him reach the FA Cup semi-finals with Chesterfield in 1997 where they almost beat Premier League side Middlesbrough.

12. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
Dyche almost helped Chesterfield to surprise FA Cup glory
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Dyche scored a penalty which put Chesterfield 2-0 up against Boro at Old Trafford but the game finished 3-3. Boro booked their place in the final by winning the replay 3-0.

13. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

By his own admission, Klopp was not a particularly talented footballer and probably would have moved into management sooner than he did if Mainz let him.

Klopp played for five different German clubs but his days at Mainz are what his playing days are best known for.

He played for them for eleven years but never played in the Bundesliga despite going close to promotion a couple of times. He became manager in February 2001 and the rest as they say is history.

Klopp has achieved plenty as a manager, however
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12. Marco Silva (Everton) 

The Toffees boss edges out Klopp as he managed to make a grand total of two appearances in Portugal’s top flight but Silva didn’t have much of a playing career.

These appearances came while on loan at S.C. Campomaiorense but Silva spent most of his playing days at second or third division clubs in Portugal.

11. Graham Potter (Brighton)

You could argue that Potter has somewhat come from nowhere in recent seasons, however, he has plenty of experience playing in England.

The Brighton boss played for twelve different clubs including a season-long spell at Southampton in the Premier League, which helped him earn his only international cap for England’s Under-21 side.

It remains to be seen whether Potter will be a success as Brighton boss
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10. Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham)

The Chilean was a one-club man throughout his 13-year playing career, representing Universidad de Chile.

Pellegrini started when the club were going through a lean patch of form but they won the league title in 1979. He hung up his boots in 1986 aged 32.

9. Unai Emery (Arsenal)

Although he made just five LaLiga appearances, Emery enjoyed a decent career playing in the second tier of Spanish football, making over 200 appearances over the space of seven seasons.

However, a knee injury brought the Arsenal manager’s playing career to a premature end in 2004/05 and he retired from the game aged 32.

Emery has managed some big sides in Europe including Valencia, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain
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8. Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)

Saints boss Hasenhuttl spent most of his playing career in his homeland of Austria and enjoyed a good amount of success there.

He won the Austrian Bundesliga four times and Austrian Cup twice, before having a spell with German side FC Cologne which didn’t really work out.

7. Javi Gracia (Watford)

After breaking into LaLiga by helping UE Lleida achieve promotion in 1993, Gracia established himself as a top flight player.

He went down a division by signing for Villarreal in 1999 but was part of their side which got promoted before going back down four years later with Cordoba where he saw out the final year of his playing days.

Gracia is Watford’s longest ever serving manager in the Premier League, having been appointed in January 2018
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6. Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)

Die hard England fans will know Pochettino as the player who gave away a penalty during England’s victory over Argentina at the 2002 World Cup, even if Michael Owen did go down a bit too easily.

The Argentine played at a good level though, representing Espanyol for ten years over two spells and played for French giants Paris Saint-Germain for two years.

Pochettino’s most notable achievements as a player include two Copa del Rey titles.

He can also count Ronaldinho as a former teammate, while he shared a room with Diego Maradona on international duty with Argentina.

5. Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves)

The Wolves boss won a bucket load of trophies in Portugal, particularly during his days at Porto.

Nuno won a surprising amount of trophies as a player
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Nuno won the Primeira Liga five times, the UEFA Cup and a Champions League title under a certain Jose Mourinho.

However, it should be noted that Nuno was the second choice goalkeeper throughout his glory days at Porto.

4. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)

All this man knows is success. Guardiola has won trophies as a player and a manager.

The Manchester City boss is best known as a player for Barcelona where he won LaLiga five times, the Copa del Rey twice and was also in the team which helped them win the European Cup in 1992 – the Blaugrana’s first title in Europe’s premier club competition.

He also had some success at international level, helping Spain to Olympic gold at the 1992 games in Barcelona.

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)

If Solskjaer can have similar success as Manchester United manager as he did as a player then fans will be happy.

Solskjaer’s best moment as a player saw him score the winner in the 1999 Champions League final
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The Norwegian won six Premier Leagues, two FA Cups and a Champions League title in 1999, scoring the winning goal in the dramatic 2-1 triumph over Bayern Munich.

Solskjaer was something of a fringe player at Old Trafford at times but that was only due to the huge talent the United squad had when he was there.

2. Steve Bruce (Newcastle United)

His managerial career has had plenty of setbacks but there’s no doubting Bruce enjoyed a great playing career.

Bruce is best known for his days at Manchester United where he won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Amazingly though, he never made a senior appearance for England’s national team despite captaining the Red Devils.

Steve Bruce (left) helped United win their first league title in 27 years
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1. Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

But at the top has to be new Chelsea boss Lampard, who is arguably the club’s greatest ever player.

Super Lamps, as he’s affectionately known, won everything on offer for club players including the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League.

He also finished second to Ronaldinho in the Ballon d’Or awards in 2005.

Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer
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Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Norwich vs Chelsea team news: Who comes in for doubtful N’Golo Kante as Frank Lampard’s side seek first win of Premier League campaign?

23 Aug

Chelsea travel to Norwich in the early kick off on Saturday in the hope of securing their first Premier League win under Frank Lampard.

The Blues have so far been dismantled by Manchester United at Old Trafford and were held to a draw by Leicester at home.

Lampard is looking for his first win as Chelsea boss
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However, they have showed glimpses of brilliance in parts and are still waiting on key members of the squad to return from injury, such as Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Meanwhile, Norwich have had a promising start to the campaign.

The Canaries were comfortably beaten by Liverpool but did not play badly at all, with the result undoubtedly flattering the European champions.

Their second match saw them turn on the style, with Finnish striker Teemu Pukki scoring a hat-trick in a convincing 3-1 victory over Newcastle.

Saturday’s clash is LIVE on talkSPORT and talkSPORT.com has predicted how both sides will line up…

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  • Norwich vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Derby vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Liverpool vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Swansea vs Birmingham (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

Daniel Farke has openly admitted he will stick to his philosophy against the big teams in the Premier League and that was evident in the Liverpool defeat.

The Canaries played some lovely football but were ultimately caught on the break by Liverpool’s clinical attackers.

Nonetheless, Norwich will line-up in their accustomed 4-2-3-1 formation and try to play their own free-flowing, attacking brand of football.

Norwich star Pukki has started the new season in fine form
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Tim Krul will start in goal, with Grant Hanley and Ben Godfrey in front of him as the centre-back pairing.

Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis are set to occupy the right and left sides of the defence respectively, and the pair will look to burst down the flanks and whip balls in to the attackers.

Tom Trybull and Moritz Leitner will occupy the two spots at the base of the midfield, with the former acting as the shield of the back four and the latter given the freedom to push forward in attack.

Behind the red-hot Teemu Pukki will be Todd Cantwell, who has been outstanding in the opening two matches, Marco Stiepermann and Emiliano Buendia, who is Farke’s most creative player on the pitch.

Top scorer Pukki will once again lead the line and he will be looking to add to his tally of four goals this season.

Is this how Norwich line-up against Chelsea?

Lampard will also stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation that he has been using so far this campaign.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is really blossoming into a supreme goalkeeper and he will of course be occupying his spot between the sticks.

Lampard will use the same back four that he has used so far this term, with Emerson Palmieri preferred to Marcos Alonso on the left and captain Cesar Azpilicueta bursting down the right.

Mount scored on his home Premier League debut for Chelsea
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Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma will again pair up as the central defenders, with this trip to Norfolk coming too early for Rudiger to make a return.

In the middle of the park, Mateo Kovacic will partner Jorginho as the double-pivot after Lampard revealed N’Golo Kante is a doubt for the match with an ankle sprain.

On the wings, Christian Pulisic should start on the left while Pedro will assume his natural spot on the right.

And Lampard may take a gamble on Tammy Abraham to lead the line over the more experienced Olivier Giroud, with the Frenchman struggling to make an impact against Leicester last week.

Is this how Chelsea will line-up against Norwich?

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Norwich’s Onel Hernandez is expected to be out for a minimum of three months after damaging his knee climbing the stairs

16 Aug

Norwich manager Daniel Farke has revealed winger Onel Hernández is facing months on the sidelines after he slipped climbing some stairs to his flat.

The 26-year-old, who became the first Cuban to play in the Premier League last weekend, suffered the knee injury on Thursday while at home.

Hernandez has injured his knee

Hernandez is due to have a scan on Friday for a full assessment of the damage, but Farke confirmed he has definitely suffered a lateral meniscus tear.

There are even concerns the forward may have ruptured his ACL, which would see him ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

The club have already booked him in for surgery on Monday, and Farke admitted that he will be a huge loss.

“It sounds a bit funny, but the result is, If I’m honest, pretty horrible for us,” Farke said.

“Onel slipped on the way to his flat, he slipped on the stairs and fell on his knee. It’s definitely a lateral meniscus tear, so we have to wait for the scan, but 95% it’s confirmed.

“We also have to check if there’s something wrong with his ACL. We need his pace in the offensive side of the game. If he is out for that long, several months, it’s a big blow for us.”

Norwich vs Newcastle: The key battles as the Canaries take on the Magpies in the Premier League, including Teemu Pukki vs Jamal Lascelles

16 Aug

Norwich entertain Newcastle in their first home game back in the Premier League on Saturday, live on talkSPORT 2.

The Canaries suffered a 4-1 opening-day defeat to Champions League holders Liverpool, but showed glimpses of quality at Anfield.

Teemu Pukki is Norwich’s star man
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Norwich manager Daniel Farke is set to stick to his free-flowing football which helped his side win promotion from the Championship last season.

Meanwhile, Steve Bruce will be looking to secure his first win as Newcastle boss after losing 1-0 to Arsenal last weekend.

Below, talkSPORT.com looks at the key battles that could take place at Carrow Road.

Jamaal Lascelles vs Teemu Pukki

Lascelles endured a tough afternoon against Arsenal hitman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who netted the only goal at St James’ Park.

And the Newcastle captain’s job won’t get any easier when he tries to keep Teemu Pukki quiet.

Pukki netted 29 times in the second tier last term and opened his Premier League account by scoring a consolation goal against Liverpool.

His clever movement and runs in behind troubled Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.

With Newcastle’s tendency to play with three centre-backs, the defence will have their work cut out with Pukki in attack.

LIVE on talkSPORT

talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here's what's coming up this week...

  • Huddersfield Town vs Fulham (Friday, 7.45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Arsenal vs Burnley (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Sunderland vs Portsmouth (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Norwich City vs Newcastle United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 5.30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Reading vs Cardiff City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

Ben Godfrey vs Joelinton

Godfrey returned from a loan spell with League One club Shrewsbury last summer to play a crucial role in Norwich’s promotion-winning season.

Playing as a defensive midfielder at Shrewsbury, Farke transformed the 21-year-old into a centre-half as he struck up a solid partnership with Christoph Zimmermann.

But Godfrey could be in for a tough afternoon against Joelinton, Newcastle’s £40million club-record signing.

The stocky Brazilian enjoyed a promising Magpies debut. His hold-up play helped relieve the pressure on his team, while he showed good ability with his feet for a big man.

Joelinton, wearing Alan Shearer’s iconic no.9 shirt, has all the makings of becoming a fans’ favourite on Tyneside and the 23-year-old could use his physicality to bully Godfrey and score his first goal in England.

Joelinton showed signs of promise during his Premier League debut
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Emi Buendia vs Matt Ritchie

Buendia was one of the Championship bargains of 2018 after joining Norwich for just £1.4million from Getafe.

He adapted to life in England superbly, scoring eight goals and registering 12 assists last term. And the winger looked lively against Liverpool and played Pukki in for Norwich’s only goal of the game.

Ritchie has been playing as a left-wing-back for the past year, but is a winger by trait. Norwich will be relying on Buendia’s pace and trickery to exploit Ritchie’s defensive frailties.

Emi Buendia could be a key player for Norwich this season
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Tom Trybull vs Jonjo Shelvey

Shelvey could have left Newcastle if Rafa Benitez had stayed on as manager this summer.

The midfielder played just seven times during the second half of last season after falling out of favour with the Spaniard. However, Benitez’s successor, Bruce has made it clear that Shelvey will be part of his first-team plans for the 2019/20 campaign.

The former Charlton star hobbled off in the 54th minute against Arsenal, and as a result, Newcastle lost their control and balance in midfield as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went on to net the winner.

But Shelvey is fit for Newcastle’s trip to Norwich after returning to training this week.

The hard-working and energetic Trybull will have to get close to the 27-year-old to prevent him from dominating the midfield. Stopping Shelvey controlling the game from a deep-lying position could prove to be the difference on Saturday.

Jonjo Shelvey will be fit to face Norwich this week
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Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.

We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Liverpool ease past Norwich City at Anfield as Reds claim 4-1 win in opening Premier League game

9 Aug

The last time Liverpool started a league season by beating Norwich City at home, the Reds won the title.

A 1-0 win at the start of the 1976-77 season proved to the catalyst for success as Liverpool beat Manchester City of all sides to lift the old First Division trophy.

Liverpool were at their rampant best and put four past the Championship winners in the first 45 minutes
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But after watching the Reds dismantle Norwich City on Friday night, it is highly unlikely Jurgen Klopp will need any statistics or superstitions to assure himself he has assembled a title-winning side.

Strikes from Divock Origi, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and an own goal from Grant Hanley gave the Reds a comfortable victory against last season’s Championship winners, who performed better than the scoreline suggested and grabbed a deserved consolation through Teemu Pukki.

In the four years Klopp has been in charge at Anfield, facing sides in the bottom half of the table at home was once the source of much frustration. But silencing the Canaries 4-1 sent out the clearest indicator to Pep Guardiola’s champions that the Reds mean business once again.

Daniel Farke’s side gave a good account of themselves, and their first half an hour of Premier League football since 2016 suggests they will be not cannon fodder as some critics have suggested.

Virgil van Dijk powered a header past Tim Krul in the Norwich goal
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Norwich got off to the worst possible start as they gifted Liverpool the opener just seven minutes in, when Hanley deflected the ball into his own goal.

Divock Origi crossed from the left and when the Scotland international tried to clear the ball he inadvertently.

Liverpool doubled their lead with 19 minutes on the clock and it was last season’s top scorer Mohamed Salah who applied the assured finish.

Mohamed Salah showed he has lost none of his predatory instincts in front of goal
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Roberto Firmino slid the ball behind the Norwich defence and Salah took one touch before coolly steering it past Krul.

Norwich were not sitting back and had a couple of chances before Marco Stiepermann hit a shot from the edge of the area which Alisson Becker palmed away with 25 minutes gone.

But the game was less than half an hour old when Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk scored the third. Salah swung in a corner from the left and Van Dijk powered his header home.

The only negative from the first 45 minutes of the new season as far as Klopp is concerned will be the worrying sight of Alisson limping off with what appeared to be a knee injury just before the 40 minute mark.

Alisson limps off down the tunnel in clear discomfort
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The injury did not distract Liverpool, however, as they made if four just before the interval.

Trent Alexander-Arnold fizzed a delightful pass into the path of Origi, who glanced his header into the Canaries’ net.

A problem with the officials’ headsets delayed the start of the second half.

When play eventually resumed, Liverpool started in the same fashion and hit the woodwork twice in quick succession.

First Jordan Henderson saw Krul push his rising shot on to the bar and when the ball was recycled Firmino struggled to get it from under his feet and clipped it against the outside of the post.

Norwich refused to cave in though and grabbed a deserved goal midway through the second half.

Emi Buendia slid the ball through the Liverpool defence and Pukki controlled before shooting past Adrian.

There was to be no late rally, however, as Liverpool closed out a comfortable win.

The title hopefuls next take on Chelsea next Wednesday in the UEFA Super Cup, before resuming their Premier League campaign with a trip to Southampton.

As for Norwich, Farke must rally his troops as they return to Carrow Road to take on Newcastle United next Saturday.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Jurgen Klopp press conference: Sadio Mane injury news, Philippe Coutinho transfer latest and Norwich City preview

8 Aug

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to stay ‘angry and greedy’ as they bid to eclipse the success of last season and finally end a 30-year league championship drought.

The Reds lifted the European Cup in Madrid, but fell one point short of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

Liverpool finished last season as champions of Europe
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Not since 1990 has the league title been adorned in the red ribbons of Liverpool, meaning next May will mark three decades since their last success.

Klopp’s side begin their domestic campaign by welcoming Norwich City to Anfield on Friday night.

Ahead of the clash, the German spoke to the media abut the Canaries and also discussed the fitness of Sadio Mane and rumours linking the club with Philippe Coutinho.


On Liverpool’s aims for the coming season

“It’s the new season again. We have to be angry again, we have to be greedy again, we have to be all these things.

Jurgen Klopp has outlined his aims for the upcoming season
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“What’s very important is that as the team that won the Champions League last year, we have to stay the team that nobody wants to play against.

“Not because of the name or the quality but the intensity. That’s what I will ask the boys for and that’s what we have to show tomorrow night.”

On Championship winners Norwich City

“I don’t think I’ve faced a Premier League side before where I’ve worked with so many of the players. When they were really young, of course.

“For them, winning the Championship was for us like winning the Champions League – it’s so long ago you can’t really build on it but both teams have reasons to be confident.

Daniel Farke moved to Carrow Road from Borussia Dortmund’s reserve team in 2017, and has imported a number of players from Klopp’s old club
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“They were really special for a Championship team last year with the way they played. There was a clear structure, a clear plan. There was little coincidence in the game because everything looked properly planned out so they have all my respect.

“In these kinds of fixtures, with all the stories around them, they are always the banana skins. They are made for something like that.

“If you are not ready for it, if you are not 100 per cent, then you will slip. They are too good for that.”

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Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • West Ham vs Manchester City (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Leeds vs Nottingham Forest (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Crystal Palace vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Tottenham vs Aston Villa (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT

On the fitness of forward Sadio Mane

“He only had two weeks off so he didn’t lose a lot, that’s the good news.

“Yesterday was his first session with the team and he looks absolutely OK and in good spirits and looking forward to it. He’s an option so we will see.”

On any possible deadline day deals amid Philippe Coutinho links

“Our transfer window was about checking options and thinking about it and then making decisions.

“That’s how we always do it. And if nothing happens then the decision was that it was not the right option for us. We will not make signings just to sign somebody because that makes no sense.”

Norwich City’s open-top bus breaks down and stalls Premier League promotion celebration

6 May

Norwich’s open-top bus broke down and stalled their promotion parade on Monday, forcing them to find a replacement.

The Canaries will be playing Premier League football next season after winning the Championship title on Sunday.

There were jubilant scenes in Norwich on Monday

The club were due to parade through the city on a personalised yellow bus with the words ‘We are Premier League’ on it.

But it became unusable and they switched to a red sightseeing tourist bus.

During the parade, Norwich boss Daniel Farke, who fought back tears, said: “I have no words.

“It’s really outstanding what this club and these supporters and this place has achieved during this season.

“All words are right. So world class, special, unique, extraordinary. We are all unbelievably proud.

“It’s more like when Stuart (Webber, the sporting director) and me signed here for Norwich.

“We said ‘Okay, the most important thing is we want to give the pride back’, and when you got the picture (on Monday at the parade), you got the feeling it was well done.”

Still, the whole affair was more successful than the Norwich bus parade the Canaries had for winning the Mr Clutch Cup in the film, Mike Bassett: England Manager!

Manchester United transfer news: Rio Ferdinand ‘recommends’ Norwich starlet Ben Godfrey to Old Trafford chiefs

5 May

Manchester United want to sign Norwich starlet Ben Godfrey, according to reports.

And he is believed to have been recommended to the club by Rio Ferdinand, who mentors the versatile player in his New Era agency.

Ben Godfrey has starred for Norwich in the second half of the season

Godfrey, who can play in midfield or defence, has been crucial to Norwich’s promotion-winning campaign in the Championship.

He has made 35 appearances at the back this term after initially struggling to nail down a starting place under Canaries boss Daniel Farke.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to sign centre-halves this summer – and The Sun claim £15million-rated Godfrey is on his wishlist.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Carrow Road after spending last year on loan at Shrewsbury in League One.

Farke has been full of praise for Godfrey after establishing himself as a key member of his squad.

In March, the German coach said: “You can speak about the best centre-backs in the world now but at 19 and 20 they will have made mistakes.

“The best ones learn. Ben is playing without mistakes and that is outstanding.

Rio Ferdinand is a big fan of Ben Godfrey

“He is a pretty emotional player and I like that a lot because it means you are capable of finding another gear.

“When he played in the holding [midfield] role he was able to drag his team through, but playing at centre-back if we are losing or having a difficult period and he starts to get the red mist we have to calm him down.

“Now he is able to calm himself down, to focus and control his emotions.”

Last week, Ferdinand emerged as a frontrunner to become the club’s new director of football. If he does land the role, it could increase Godfrey’s chances of moving to Old Trafford.

Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles as a player with United, has worked as a TV pundit since retiring in 2015.

Norwich City fans give their newborn son ‘Farkelife’ middle name in honour of their promotion winning manager Daniel Farke

30 Apr

A Norwich City-mad couple have given their son the middle name ‘Farkelife’ in honour of manager Daniel Farke.

The Canaries sealed promotion to the Premier League last weekend with a 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers.

Maiko and Shun Tomii with their baby son Kiraku
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Shun and Maiko Tomii welcomed their baby Kiraku into the world on April 23.

With the birth coming so close to Norwich sealing promotion, they decided to bestow a middle name to their son in honour of the achievement.

They decided on Farkelife, after the Blur-inspired chant based on their German manager Daniel Farke.

Mr Tomii has been a Norwich fan since he moved to the city from Japan 25 years ago.

He and his wife also run a sushi restaurant in the city.

“In Japan we don’t put middle names – it’s a European thing,” he told the Eastern Daily Press.

“I wanted something English or something related to Norwich and in support of Norwich.

“My wife said to me ‘what about Farkelife?’

“Maybe not the name of a player – it’s not just about Pukki it’s about the club, about the supporters, the whole culture in one word, Farkelife.”

Norwich need just a point in their final game of the season, at Aston Villa, to seal the Championship title.

Norwich City news: How the Canaries can claim promotion to the Premier League on Good Friday should Sheffield United slip up against Nottingham Forest

19 Apr

Norwich City could confirm their promotion to the Premier League on Good Friday if results go their way.

The Canaries are in touching distance of returning to the top-flight for the first time since 2016.

Norwich City are on the brink of promotion

Daniel Farke’s side have been the standout team in the Championship this season and have been top for the last 10 games and have spent 19 weeks total at the summit.

They have also lost the fewest amount of games, six, and have scored the most goals, 85.

Daniel Farke has led his side to the top of the Championship

Norwich City boast the league’s top scorer in Teemu Pukki, who has netted 27 times, and he was named as the player of the season.

They currently have a seven point gap over third place Sheffield United going into the final four games of the season.

LIVE ON talkSPORT

talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here's what's coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2...

  • Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Leeds vs Wigan (Friday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sunderland vs Doncaster (Friday, 5:15pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Norwich vs Sheffield Wednesday (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Newcastle vs Southampton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Accrington Stanley vs Luton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Manchester United (Sunday, 1:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Cardiff vs Liverpool (Sunday, 4pm) – talkSPORT

There is a full programme of Championship football on Good Friday, and then again on Monday.

Norwich fans will be keenly watching Sheffield United’s match at home to Nottingham Forest, which is live on talkSPORT 2 with kick-off at 12.30pm.

Should the Blades lose to Forest then they know a win in their match later in the day will seal their promotion.

Norwich host Sheffield Wednesday in the 7.45pm kick-off, with commentary also live on talkSPORT 2.

A draw for Sheffield United and win for the Canaries would see the gap move to nine points with three games to go.

Should both teams win, then Norwich’s promotion could be confirmed on Bank Holiday Monday. If they win that match, at Stoke City, they will be playing Premier League football regardless of how the Blades fair.