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David Ornstein Live Q&A with The Athletic: Summary

2019.10.14 14:19 BenjaniMaples David Ornstein Live Q&A with The Athletic: Summary

Hi guys,
So as you all know, David Ornstein recently did a Q&A for The Athletic, so I thought I’d give you a brief rundown on his questions and answers.
Obviously, I’ve kept these restricted to Arsenal questions and anything close to it, questions about other teams have been omitted.
Are the Arsenal top brass thinking Emery is the man for the long haul at present or thinking about exercising their option to cut him free at the end of this season ?
David Ornstein: From what I gather they are happy with Emery. Josh Kroenke expressed as much when I interviewed him in August. Whether he is their man for the long haul is impossible to say. Much will rest on the outcome of this season. The club's tradition is to stand by their managers and let them build. Of course, this is a new era at Arsenal - certainly a more decisive, you could say ruthless, one - and he's not their manager, rather the head coach. That continental model lends itself to head coaches coming and going without disrupting the overarching structure. Arsene Wenger said a couple of years ago at the AGM that he may have been around for 20-odd years but he can guarantee that once he leaves there will be many more managers/coaches who lead Arsenal in the next 20 years. On the option - and I fully respect other people's information - I've been told multiple sources that it's a three-year contract without a break clause. I could be wrong, it's just what I've been told when asking that specific question. Either way, the outcome of this season is likely to be pivotal.
Hey David,
I read that in Football Hackers, Sven Mislintat had his own stats company that other clubs could access, did this create a conflict of interest with Arsenal?
David Ornstein: No idea, but it's something I'll look into.
Hi David,
Any chance Arsenal will go in for a defender in the January window? We saw rumours of them being linked to Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig, any truth to those as well?
David Ornstein: I don't sense they want or need a defender in January. Famous last words but if and when everyone is fit and available, they have plenty of options. And they will be reluctant to add another number to their defensive ranks before William Saliba comes in next summer. On Upamecano, I'm told interested clubs - of whom Arsenal have long been one - were quoted 100m euros.
Where do you expect Wenger to end up next?
David Ornstein: I don't have any info on that. The Fifa job would appear to be most probably destination - we know the offer is there - but the longer Arsene leaves these things the more likely it is that he's not convinced. He has so many options, maybe too many. But he certainly didn't anticipate enjoying time away from management as much as he is. In an interview I did with him earlier this year, he said for the first time that he might not return to the dugout. The passion and temptation will always be there, but he has clearly found the amount he is able to spread himself - inside and outside of football - since leaving Arsenal to be enjoyable and it could be quite hard to give up. Looking forward to reading his autobiography, especially considering he always vowed to write a book but insisted it would never be made available to the public!
David - that deadline day Arsenal/Arteta deal way back in 2011 was absolutely frantic - or so it seemed on Twitter at the time - more on/off than an office microwave at lunchtime. What was happening there and have you reported on transfers even more frenetic than that?
David Ornstein: That one was crazy. The deal was on, then off, then finally got done. I've taken a lot of stick on Twitter for reporting it was totally off. At the time, it was! My vague recollection was that pretty much everything was agreed, but then on the documentation that Arsenal sent over (I think it may have arrived at Goodison Park via fax!) some of the details were not what had been agreed. Everton/Arteta did not react well and called the move off. But Arsenal assured them - either in subsequent documentation or verbally - that the full agreement would be honoured. Suddenly the deal was back on and got pushed through before the deadline. It's a long time ago so I don't know if that's 100% accurate, but it's my recollection. More frenetic than that? There are plenty of contenders - Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea to West Ham on loan in August 2012 was one of them - but that's for another time!
If Arsenal don't secure Champions League for next season, is that the end of Emery or do the grown-ups have more faith than that?
David Ornstein: Regaining Champions League football is obviously a huge priority. Some I speak to do not believe that alone will determine Emery's future, though. I guess if they miss out, it will come down to the nature of it, the trajectory the team is on etc. There is no getting away from the fact, though, that the outcome of this season is enormous for Emery's future.
Are there some clubs in the league which prove to be a black hole and relatively impossible to get much news out of? We all know you have a legendary reputation when it comes to Arsenal but which clubs are much harder to get transfer lines or other stories out of?
David Ornstein: It all depends on who you know in and around the clubs. There are so many people involved these days - even if the key decision makers remain a small, tight unit - that usually you can have good dialogue with people at all clubs. If some are harder than others it tends to reflect more on an individual's contacts than the club being guarded.
Hi David, will Arsenal go back in for Zaha? And have you heard of any credible links for Upamecano?
David Ornstein: I don't see either materialising but - as always and many people don't seem to appreciate this - these things can change.
Hi David. Thoughts on Torreira, and his possible sale in the summer. Could he stay if Emery is shown the door at the end of the season.
David Ornstein: There's every chance he'll stay either way. It's been widely reported he wasn't top of Emery's list for that position - we know he was/is a fan of Nzonzi - but it was a collective decision to sign him and I still think he can be a success. The reports about him possible leaving last summer did not tally with Arsenal's plan. Of course you can never say never if big offers arrives, but they had no intention of selling him.
What will 1st choice CB pairing when Holding is fit?
David Ornstein: When Luiz was signed and many thought he would be nailed on first choice, a few people around Arsenal suggested to me it was more likely to be Holding and Sokratis, with Luiz and others contesting with them. All three get in if Emery changes to a 3-5-2 but that is rare. The long-term hope appears to be Holding and Saliba.
Any truth in the rumours of Arsenal cancelling Nketiah's loan at Leeds in order for him to get more game time elsewhere?
David Ornstein: News to me. I'll check and Phil Hay may know more.
Most likely January transfers?
David Ornstein: Too early to say. Sounds like a cop-out but at this time clubs have irons in fires, they're waiting to see how things develop on and off the pitch etc but I'm hearing very little of note. Obviously a striker to Manchester United is possible and I'm keen to see if Leroy Sane joins Bayern Munich.
And just like that, he's gone!
Anyone who has an account with The Athletic, can check out the link to the Q&A here, although there aren't many more questions left:
EDIT: The sly old dog has only gone back and answered a few more!
Hi David, I'm a really big fan of your writing and I have joined the Athletic just because you have joined. My question is why did you block me on Twitter? I've never written anything bad about you?! Please unblock me [Twitter name], 🙏😊🤞
David Ornstein: I only do it for good reason, for example if someone calls me a "fraud" or something else unpleasant or untrue and potentially damaging. If it was a mistake I apologise and I've now unblocked you. Thanks for the message and for subscribing.
With the spending Arsenal did over the summer, is another season without Champions League qualification (if they fail this season) financially sustainable without cutting back significantly? Josh Kroenke's UCL wage bill on a UEL budget quote comes to mind
David Ornstein: They're ok, but the longer they're outside the Champions League they tighter they'll need to run the operation and the greater the distance will become to Europe's elite.
Does Ozil have much of a future at the club? Has he played his last match?
David Ornstein: . My guess: yes to your first question and no to the second. It will depend on his level on and off the pitch, and the club's receptiveness to reintegrating him. Otherwise it's an expensive problem to have until 2021!
Hi David, if it did come to the point where Unai Emery was removed from his position as head coach during this season of performances don’t improve and the results follow the same trajectory, how likely is it that Freddie will take over the reigns? And are Arsenal going to go back into the market for a centre back in January?
David Ornstein: Freddie is highly-rated by the players and staff, and the logical feeling is he would take temporary charge if anything happened with Emery. He has 'number one' ambitions of his own and won't hang around somewhere for too long if he doesn't think the opportunity will come. Read much more about him on The Athletic tomorrow!
Hello David, if Unai Emery’s contract isn’t renewed at the end of season, who do you think will be in the frame to replace him? Also do you think Bergkamp will ever come back to the Arsenal in some capacity?
David Ornstein: No idea on the first point and on the second, I think Bergkamp would like to take a job with the Arsenal academy one day. For now, he's trying to buy Wycombe Wanderers or another club!
What's the real story behind the Ozil's situation at Arsenal? Someone on twitter posted a news that, Ozil bribed some members of the coaching crew, when he was asked to train with the U23s. I find it laughable but we need more light on the situation of Ozil at Arsenal.
David Ornstein: That twitter post was described to me as being a complete fabrication. Let's see what happens after the international break. Raul Sanllehi mentioned that Ozil has been training well, so I'm keen to see if he's reintegrated or not.
Do you think Emery was brought in for anything more than steadying the ship and CL qualification? What type of Manager would you envision at Arsenal Next.
David Ornstein: It's never been suggested to me that he was brought in to steady the ship. He was, however, one of the safest bests of those interviewed. You could call it a conservative option and perhaps as the first appointment post-Wenger that was sensible. I'm not sure if the next man in should be any more or less safe, but you could certainly see them going for somebody who connects and communicates better with the fans. That's not a criticism of Emery, just a fact based on what we're seeing.
Hi David,
Welcome to The Athletic!
How secure would you say Emery's current position is at Arsenal? Whilst Arsenal are 3'rd with only a single loss, there seems to be widespread anger at the current system being played. Should we expect Unai to still be in the hot seat this time next year?
David Ornstein: I'm not sure it's "widespread" anger but I take your point. It's a complete guess, but I think he will be in charge until at least the end of his three-year deal. Famous last words!
Hey David,
With arsenal looking deadly in the cups but seem to lack effort within the premier League games, why do you think Emery doesn't reward the likes of Joe Willock and Martenelli with first team starts?
David Ornstein: The intensity, demands and importance of PL football are very different. They are young and are at one of the best clubs to get their opportunity, but the competition for places at Arsenal means they will need to be patient.
Does Arsene's impending autobiography signal his end of club management?
David Ornstein: Not per se but it's becoming increasingly likely club football may have seen the last of him, don't you think?
Hi big orni, welcome to the athletic. I'm wondering wether Ozil has a future at the club in UE's reign. What's your thoughts?
David Ornstein: We know his level and at 30/31 you'd imagine that if everything is ok behind the scenes and on the training ground then he can definitely return to the side.
Hi David
Do you think Mavropanos is running out of time to make an impression at Arsenal?
David Ornstein: Yes. I don't think it's so much the technical side of things that's the issue but the physical side. His development has not gone well so far.
Hi David, any idea if Saliba is likely to be brought back and into the first team next season?
David Ornstein: That's the plan. They're already working closely with him - he's visited London Colney a couple of times to recover from injury and train. They were impressed with his physical prowess when he arrived from St Etienne but concerned with specific areas, like his groin strength. He's young, inexperienced and not fully ready. The facilities and staff numbers are not nearly as advanced at St Etienne as they are at Arsenal, so the Gunners are in regular contact and keeping a close eye on him.
David it’s so great you’ve joined The Athletic! What’s next regarding Arsenal’s transfer strategy? More big money signings paid over more years or are they waiting to unload high-paid players first without any spending beforehand?
David Ornstein: I'm not sure there are many clubs who want to make massive money signings and the Pepe adaptation period underlines how high price tags can often be like millstones. That said, Virgil van Dijk has proved otherwise but he's a freak and I mean that in the most positive way. I think Arsenal - especially with Freddie Ljungberg in the coaching set-up - will really hope youth can be the way forward, alongside a sprinkling of stardust of course.
Who survives. Emery or Özil.
David Ornstein: Both?
Hi David, out of all the transfers which nearly happened for arsenal. Which player do you think would have changed the club the most??
David Ornstein: Oooh where to begin Yaya Toure would have been good. Arsene Wenger would possible say Zlatan, C Ronaldo or Messi. I was told that if Arsenal had qualified for the Champions League in 2017 they would have signed Antoine Griezmann, but missing out for the first time in 20 years ended their hopes on that one. In 1999 they were reportedly close to signing Dietmar Hamman and I thought he would have been perfect at the time, but he went to Liverpool and the other day he told me that although he would have chosen Arsenal ahead of Liverpool because they were 'the' team to play for at that time, the Gunners never showed any serious interest. I also remember Arsenal missing out on Harry Kewell, another who favoured Liverpool, when he left Leeds in 2003. Just before that he scored a stunning goal in a great all-round performance for Leeds at Highbury. It was a big blow to Arsenal at the time, but it didn't work out for him at Liverpool. The list goes on and on. Pepe Reina, Gary Cahill. Too many to remember!
How about van Dijk from Celtic before he joined Southampton. Arsenal were on his case, too!
Do you think the criticism of Emery is deserved at this stage? Not the best football but we’re grinding out more results
David Ornstein: His task was/is huge. Some of it he's doing really well and some of it is proving more difficult. I neither support nor oppose him or any other manager, but I do know there are lots of people who would be doing far worse job and not nearly as many who would be doing better. He has a long way to go to win over the fanbase at large - I suspect it will all come down to results (rather than performances). Boring answer but it's true.
What is the scenario under which Emery will NOT get his contract extended? And when will the powers that be make a decision on said extension?
David Ornstein: He's under contract until 2021 so there's nothing to extend for now.
Is there any concern within the Arsenal hierarchy about the lack of visible on field progress being made? There has been significant investment behind the scenes, so it’ll be interesting to know how Emery’s progress (or lack of) is being viewed.
David Ornstein: I don't sense concern. They all appear to be on the same page - which wasn't the case before the current structure was finalised - and everyone I speak to suggests they know the journey they are on, they know what Emery is doing/trying, they know it's not easy and takes time, and they're relatively content.
Hi David!
How close were the Arsenal hierarchy exactly from appointing Mikel Arteta? And would he still be in the pipeline for any future job should Emery fail to finish in the top 4/attain Champions League football.
Also curious as to whether the Hasenhuttl rumours had legs, given the Bundesliga is such a hot bed for managerial talent - I'd be hoping a future Arsenal boss would be coming over from there.
Cheers!
David Ornstein: Arteta was close and he was certainly highly regarded. As I recall it, he thought he was waiting on a call back to confirm he had the job but the call didn't arrive when it was meant to, and when it did it was to confirm that Arsenal were going with a different option. I don't think that is particularly uncommon in this (at times brutal) industry, but Arsenal did do a good job of keeping their pursuit of Emery quiet. Arteta was ultimately deemed too big a risk at the time because of his lack of management experience and nothing has really changed on that front. Not heard anything about Ralf!
Is emery the right man for Arsenal? And if not who would be on your shortlist to replace him?
David Ornstein: I think he can be the right man for Arsenal - I hear mainly good things about him from people in and around the club. As in the case of Manchester United post-Ferguson, you do wonder once a long-serving manager leaves whether a period will follow that sees a club go through several successors before finding the right one. Clearly the jury is out on Emery among sections of the fanbase and that means, atmosphere-wise, he's walking a tightrope in every game. Although this in no way tells the whole story, the broader picture of reaching a European final and missing out on top four by one point and then finding themselves third the following season suggests his job is not under threat. I know the shortlist of eight that Arsenal picked Emery from but I reckon only a couple of them would feature on any future shortlist. Who would feature? How long have we got?!
statdna is still centralized in arsenal's tranfer policy?
i heard, in 2015 summer tranfer , mustafi xhaka, lucas perez is signed up by statdna is that true?
David Ornstein: Jaeson Rosenfeld is StatsDNA and he is extremely involved and important at Arsenal.
The way things are going, with Bielsa liking Bamford hence Nketiah getting very little game time, do you see him being recalled in January?
David Ornstein: Not the first person to ask that. I haven't heard of concerns yet but Phil Hay may well know more. What's certain is that Arsenal loans manager Ben Knapper will be keeping a close eye and make the right decision - he's very highly rated.
Do you think Mesut Ozil will go in January?
David Ornstein: I doubt it
Hi David,
what was the reasoning behind delaying the Thomas Lemar deal till the last minute a couple summers back? Typical deadline day bargaining / panicking, or was there more to it?
David Ornstein: Monaco were not interested in doing business. Then at the end of the window they indicated the would. Arsenal came in with a big offer and if they got him, Sanchez would have gone to Man City. But Lemar was with the France squad and it was too late and difficult to do the deal.
Do you expect arsenal to trigger the break clause no matter what happens this season?
David Ornstein: As mentioned earlier, my information is that there is no break clause, just a straight three years. I could be wrong, that's just my info.
Question: Arsene Wenger has apparently signed up to write an autobiography next year. He is historically a very discreet and loyal man. Do you think Arsene has now allowed enough time to reduce the feelings of loyalty and discretion (whether enforced legally through NDA or his own personal morals) enough to write an open and honest piece about his time as Arsenals Leader?
David Ornstein: Great question. He will never compromise the trust he build with players or staff, but he will still share more than enough insight to make it a best seller!
Hi David, is there any truth to Laca almost getting sold to Russia this summer? If so, do you think it was the player or his agent who wanted the move?
David Ornstein: I had no info to that effect.
What influence has edu Gasper had at arsenal so far in his short time there ?
David Ornstein: A lot. Staff and players all very impressed. He has the playing/Arsenal/Emery/club/international background, the contacts, character, charisma... all the qualities to success. He's not afraid to be tough or get straight to the point. I think he will be great for Arsenal.
Rather underwhelmed by Pepe’s performances to-date. Was he an expensive mistake?
David Ornstein: I think he'll be a great success in time.
Hey guys... that's very RVP... Who has been your favourite football player to interview and why?
David Ornstein: Argh that's a very difficult question to answer. So many have been good, so many bad and there are so many different reasons why. Sol Campbell is always an interesting one. I've not done nearly as many as some of my colleagues from the Athletic and outside, like Jonathan Northcroft. Hopefully I'll do a lot more in the coming years. In terms of non-players, it would have to be Vincent Tan!
Arsenal’s chances of winning the premier league this season?
David Ornstein: 0
Hi there:
Thanks for your great work and I’m a big fan. Generally speaking, how much do big clubs pay attention to fan reactions on social media? Does the outrage culture of sites like Arsenal Fan TV, have any impact at all? Or are clubs thinking differently about fans?
Many thanks for your fine work.
David Ornstein: The clubs notice and feel it, but at the top level it tends not to affect their decision making. I would be worried if it did!
Hi David. Calum Chambers has arguably been one of Arsenal's best performers this year. Where does Emery see him in his team? He's been great at RB but played in midfield last year and centre back against Newcastle. Also is he near getting an England call up?
David Ornstein: As reported in the summer of 2018 when Arsenal gave him a new deal, Chambers is seen as an important part of Arsenal's plans and Emery likes him a lot. Some in the game feel he's fractionally too short to be a top centre-back and I'm not sure he has the pace for right back. I like him holding in midfielder or as a centre-back option. He will definitely be in Southgate's thinking but has a lot of work to do to break into the squad.
Hi David, Q from NY...with the heart and activity monitors players wear during training do you think that's where the club is getting belief that Ozil is not working hard enough? What do you hear he needs to do get back in the team?
David Ornstein: I'm told the GPS data is indeed one of the factors. If Emery and Sanllehi are telling the truth, Ozil needs to work hard and with greater consistency. It sounds achievable, doesn't it?
Can we expect Bergkamp, Kuyt, Larsson etc to make a bid for Arsenal one day? 😁
And would Dein and Arsene be interested in coming back in some capacity?
David Ornstein: I think you know the answer to the first question, but Bergkamp has ambitions to return and work at the club one day. On Dein, I don't see it now.
Best snack for an Arsenal game?
David Ornstein: Morphine, apparently!
Who was the man you were most convinced that would sign for Arsenal but fell through?
David Ornstein: I wouldn't say convinced, but if you go in so strongly for someone like Luis Suarez you shouldn't come away empty handed.
What's your opinion on VAR?
David Ornstein: Pretty good and I've experienced it inside and outside stadiums. It will get better in time. We just like to moan and don't like change in this country!
Hi David. Big fan thanks for doing a q and a. How do you think it’s looking for emery’s long term future? Do you think nagelsmann would be in the mix to replace him if this season doesn’t go as planned? And do you have any indication on transfer targets for January? Nagelsmann + Upamecano would be special. Cheers
David Ornstein: Sven Mislintat liked him but I'm not sure he would be top of the list for the current hierarchy. That's no reflection on him, just that I think there will be other preferred candidates.
David, when can we expect to see more articles from you on the Athletic!?
David Ornstein: This week.
Hi David. With this new role, do you still remain as a mouthpiece of reliable great football and tranfer insight or its a different direction you are taking. Also what about your live reporting?
David Ornstein: No change to my work, other than not being on national TV and radio - unless they ask me to come on as a contributor. Keep following!
Hi David, served you the other day at Vodafone and decided to sign up!
Firstly do you expect Arsenal or United to make any key signings in January, or due to managerial uncertainty at both clubs will that be postponed until next summer?
Secondly, any chance of a discount 😥
David Ornstein: More chance at United than Arsenal, on both questions. Thanks for all your help and make sure you subscribe - will be worth every penny. See you soon mate.
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2017.04.28 14:37 Heroic_Lifesaver "Who is it this week?" - A preview of Spurs vs Arsenal

Hey there, fellow Gooners! I'm Heroic_Lifesaver and welcome to another edition of WIITW.
If'n you'd be so inclined, I've started a blog with these posts HERE and a Twitter account too.
Here's the last thread that came before the 1-0 win over Leicester in mid-week.
This Sunday, it's the North London Derby!!
The Managers
Arsenal
Spurs
How's your form?
Arsenal
Spurs
Last 5: WWWLW
P: 33 W: 22 D: 8 L: 3 F: 69 A: 22 Pts: 74 Pos: 2nd
Team News
Arsenal
Spurs
Head-to-Head
That's Interesting
How about some goals?
And that's that...
So there it is, everything you needed to know and every goal you needed to see before we head to White Hart Lane for the last time. Hopefully we can leave there with a win. Not only would it be a big win for our top 4 push, but it would also be a real setback to Spurs' title hopes. We may not finish above them this season, but contributing to them missing out on the title would be a nice consolation. Kick off is at 4pm on Sunday.
I'll be back next week to preview our next match - another huge one at home to Man United.
Thanks for reading!
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2017.04.21 16:05 Statcat2017 Shortest Premier League Careers - Nick Culkin, 2 seconds, Manchester United.

This is the tale of how a 21 year old from York took a free kick for Manchester United.
Peter Schmeichel was the first truly great goalkeeper of the Premier League era. Before De Gea, Cech, Van Der Sar and even David Seaman, the big angry Dane was indisputably the number one keeper in the league and, with Buffon still 4 years away from his debut when Schmeichel joined United, possibly the world.
When he went into semi-retirement after winning the treble in 1999, United had a huge gap to fill. Alex Ferguson had done well so far replacing big players, making some key signings and bringing through the best crop of young players in recent English history. Keane replaced Robson. Beckham replaced Kanchelskis. Gary Neville replaced Paul Parker. Sheringham replaced Cantona. That said, where exactly do you go from the best in the world in his position?
Mark Bosnich, apparently. When he signed on a free after seven years at Aston Villa he became the only player Fergie ever signed twice for Manchester United. It would turn out disastrously, with Bosnich clearly unfit. He appeared just over 20 times that season, leading to the panic signing of the notorious Massimo Taibi and plenty of play time for Raimond van der Gouw.
A constant during all this turmoil was a young goalkeeper called Nick Culkin. Signed from his local side York City as a kid, Culkin was a talented but raw goalkeeper. He was the side's third choice keeper, the role filled these days by Joel Perreira or Sam Johnstone when he's not out on loan. He would travel Europe in that capacity as a squad member in case one of the established keepers would get injured in training and he would be needed to sit on the bench.
Sitting on the bench is pretty much all he did for United, and the stars aligned for him in August 1999, just a few months after the treble win. With Bosnich not yet fit and Taibi not yet signed, he got the call to sit on the Highbury bench for United's game with Arsenal with Van Der Gouw starting.
Arsenal at the turn of the millennium were a different beast to the soft-bellied, fragile side Wenger has allowed them to devolve into. With the snarling but graceful Vieira, the cultured Petit and the brilliance of Bergkamp and Henry they were genuine contenders for domestic and European glory year in, year out. Their rivalry with United was incredibly heated, fueled by the rivalry between Keane and Vieira, and their games rarely disappointed.
Freddy Ljungberg had fired Arsenal into a 1-0 half time lead, but two goals from Keane, the second two minutes from time, had put United on top. Arsenal were pressing for an equalizer, and deep in injury time Martin Keown had come up from the back.
Keown was a proper defender, if you will. Big, hard and great in the air, but a good reader of the game and deceptively quick. With only 4 goals in his Arsenal career, however, he was hardly prolific even by the standards of a center half.
The ball came in, Matthew Upson (yes, THAT Matthew Upson) headed the ball towards the goal and Van Der Gouw claimed it in a 50/50 with Keown. In the process the Dutch keeper got a heavy whack to the head and, after treatment, was found unable to continue. Enter Culkin.
This was the culmination of four years hard work at the club. With a few minutes left, Arsenal pressing for an equalizer backed by a raucous Highbury crowd and the possibility he was playing for a place in the team, Culkin was focused as he stepped up to restart the game. He'd need to keep it solid for a few minutes, command the defense, make a save or two.
His free kick arced high into the North London sky. Before it bounced, Graham Poll blew the final whistle. Van Der Gouw would return for the game against Coventry three days later. Culkin would never play for Manchester United again.
Here is a video of Nick Culkin's entire Premiership career.. The couple of seconds between him kicking the ball and the final whistle blowing constitute the shortest Premier League career of all time.
The goalkeeper situation wouldn't improve that season. Post Schmeichel, Culkin would join Bosnich, Van Der Gouw, Taibi, Rachubka, Barthez, Goram, Carroll, Ricardo and Tim Howard before the eventual arrival of Edwin Van Der Sar a few years later. He would end up having a similar influence to Schmeichel, and United wouldn't try and replace him on the cheap, splashing out on David De Gea when he eventually retired.
Culkin would only play professionally up to the age of 26, albeit that did include around 100 games for QPR in the Football League. A knee injury ended things for him and, without enough money to be comfortable, he now works as a gardener owns a gardening business in Manchester.
You'd be forgiven for having completely forgotten Nick by 2014, but he had one trick left in his locker; thanks to the one appearance he made for the upstart club that year, he is the only player (to my knowledge) to have played a competitive league game for both Manchester United and FC United of Manchester.
Edit: Turns out that a guy called Phil Marsh played once in the League Cup for United and also turned out for FCUM. Credit to buymepizza for the find. I don't remember this game very clearly because I was out on a date with a crazy girl with massive boobs and didn't watch it. Kieran Lee scored the winner for United deep in extra time. The United team that day was Kuszczak, Gray (Sub: Lee), Brown, Silvestre, Heinze, Marsh (Sub: Barnes, Sub: Ryan Shawcross), David Jones, Ritchie Jones, Richardson, Smith, Solskjaer.
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2016.06.11 03:00 Montuvito_G Relive: 2006 FIFA World Cup [Day 2]

2006 FIFA World Cup - Day 2

Day 1 here
Hey, soccer. June 9th marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, one of the modern era's most memorable international tournaments. Personally, it has a special place in my heart because it was this tournament that caused to fall madly in love with football. (Also Ecuador kicked ass.)
For many others, however, the tournament is a nostalgic trip to a bygone era. Countless legends represented their countries in 2006; icons such as Klose, Ballack, Beckham, Terry, Larsson, Ljungberg, Crespo, Riquelme, Cambiasso, Cocu, Van Nistelrooy, Cocu, Drogba, Borgetti, Figo, Pauleta, Deco, Rosicky, Nedved, Del Piero, Totti, Gattuso, Pirlo, Toni, Inzaghi, Cannavaro, Nesta, Lucio, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Henry, Thuram, Vieira, Makelele, Raul, Shevchenko, and the eventual Golden Ball winner Zinedine Zidane. This is all without mentioning the legendary Fabulous Five of Brazil as well (Ronaldinho, Kaka, Robinho, Adriano, and Ronaldo).
Despite a World Cup that saw the traditional powers dominate, a few surprise packages emerged and rendered performances that have affected their standing in football to this day. Australia and Ecuador reached the last 16 in only their second ever World Cup, and Ghana squeezed past the Czech Republic and USA to make the second round in their first ever finals. The Ukraine recovered from an opening match thrashing to achieve a respectable quarterfinals finish, beating Switzerland on penalties in the second round. The tournament also saw promising teams fail to live up to their potential, as was the case with Serbia & Montenegro and Croatia.
In the spirit of u/Omar_Til_Death's 1970 FIFA World Cup reliving, I'll be posting the goals and matches of Germany 2006 daily as it happened 10 years ago. Hope you enjoy the series!
(Massive shoutout to u/DrJubalHarshaw for the footage)

Day 2 - June 10, 2006

The first two matches of the tournament provided plenty of entertainment with Germany and Ecuador sealing wins on the opening day. A quick look at their group:
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany 1 1 0 0 4 2 2 3
Ecuador 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
Costa Rica 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2 0
Poland 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
The second day of the tournament would see Group B kick off with England vs Paraguay and Sweden vs Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Argentina vs Cote d'Ivoire in the tournament's Group of Death.
England vs Paraguay
Nowadays, all you get from England fans is pessimism and low expectations. Not so in 2006. The Daily Telegraph proclaimed "England fly out to Germany with high hopes" while The Sun boasted "We'll nut Brazil." Indeed there was a real optimism that England, enjoying the luxury of global super stars like Gerrard, Lampard, Owen, Terry, a 20-year-old Rooney, and captain David Beckham, could win their first World Cup in 40 years.
Paraguay, on the other hand, looked to rely on their traditional guarani spirit. A team filled with battle-hardened veterans such as captain Carlos Gamarra, Roberto Acuna, and Roque Santa Cruz, la Albirroja's goal was clear: emulate their 1998 and 2002 WC performances and reach the second round.
England 1-0 Paraguay
Gamarra OG 3' 1-0
Match summary:*
A testy match saw England nick it with an early own goal from Carlos Gamarra off a Beckham freekick being the only goal of the game. Worse still for Paraguay, their star goalkeeper Justo Villar suffered a tournament-ending injury in the 7th minute, meaning unproven Aldo Bobadilla would now be Paraguay's GK.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Sweden
To date, Trinidad & Tobago is the smallest nation to have ever qualified to the World Cup finals. Having secured their first ever finals participation via a dramatic play-off win over Bahrain, they looked to enjoy their first experience with experienced goalkeeper Shaka Hislop between the posts and veteran striker Dwight Yorke leading the line. Buoyed by the catchiest World Cup tune ever, T&T garnered a lot of neutral support in Germany.
Sweden arrived in Germany in high spirits, having secured a direct berth to the finals via an impressive qualification campaign. The Swedes were enjoying a generation of gifted players with the likes of Barcelona's Henrik Larsson, Juventus' Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg. At 16th place in the FIFA World Rankings, they were favorites alongside England to advance from the group.
Trinidad & Tobago 0-0 Sweden
John 46'
Match summary:
Trinidad & Tobago managed to seal a famous result for their tiny country by surviving a 90-minute Swedish siege on their goal. Despite golden chances for Ibrahimovic and substitute Marcus Allback, they failed to break down the T&T defense and both teams shared the spoils. Avery John's 46th-minute red card was the first sending off of the tournament.
Group B
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
Sweden 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Trinidad & Tobago 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Paraguay 3 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
Argentina vs Cote d'Ivoire
The stakes were unbelievably high for Argentina leading up to Germany 2006. A humiliating first round exit in Korea/Japan 2002 generated a lot of disappointment and anger at their performances and in 2004, Jose Pekerman took over having proved himself with Argentina's youth teams. Pekerman brought fresh blood to the team; players like Riquelme, Saviola, Sorin, Maxi Rodriguez, and a kid from FC Barcelona made his final squad. Argentina's hopes rested on Riquelme, the enganche who had just taken Villarreal to the Champions League semifinals.
As for Cote d'Ivoire, their joy at being in their first ever World Cup was endearing but perhaps short-lived after being thrust in a very difficult group. Along with Argentina, the Netherlands and Serbia & Montenegro awaited their challenge. The Ivorians weren't short of talent, however, with star striker Didier Drogba and Arsenal's eccentric duo Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue giving their country a real sense of hope.
Match summary:
True to pre-tournament predictions, Riquelme lit up the match with two assists, setting up the first for Hernan Crespo off of a freekick and then delivering a sweet pass for Saviola to poke home. Cote d'Ivoire pulled one back with a Didier Drogba strike 8 minutes from fulltime, but Argentina went on to claim a narrow win against an albeit spirited African team.
Argentina 2-1 Cote d'Ivoire
Crespo 24' 1-0
Saviola 38' 2-0
2-1 Drogba 82'
Any issues, comments, questions, please let me know!
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