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Tore Andre Flo


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He was excellent for us, from scoring on his debut vs coventry to when he played his last game, he always gave 100%

I remember him mostly for the 2 he got against Blackburn at ewood park in 98/99. What an unbelievable game that was. Yeah I remember the hattrick vs the yids, i posted the vid of that game not long ago. Also the 2 in Istanbul stick in the mind. He was such a great finisher, one of the best ive ever seen at SB.

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  • 1 year later...
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  • 1 year later...

He's back! In a coaching capacity -

{google translated from a Norwegian site} :

.........................................................................

At Cobham, who is Chelsea's training ground, the 39-year-old to be trained youth for this year's Champions League winner.

After the Sogn Avis know Flo will primarily have gotten a coach commitment that will last for two months.

Stryn No've never hidden the fact that he wished himself a job as a football coach after his career ended. During his time in Sogndal he completed including football federation highest coach education.

" I have experienced and studied many coaches in different countries throughout his career mi. This combined with the training means that I can be well shod to a wooden club in the future, said Flo Sogn Avis when he took the course."

Flo has already acquired in practicing experiences, when he was the last year before he came to Sogndal was practicing on his own football academy in London. An academy that was facilitated young players between six and 14 years, where the focus was directed towards technical skills.

"This I have learned much from, and the trainer is something that interests me. I wish to continue in a role within football even after I put my shoes on the shelf, said Flo told the paper last summer."

Then he put shoes on the shelf for a little over a month ago, was Flo candidate for a role within Sogndal its sports medical apparatus. This was the nothing of, and no stryn chose to move home to the family home in Ascott just outside London.

There came the offer from Chelsea which has now engaged the former storscoraren with a contract as a coach for youth for a period.

Thus there will be a return to former club he played 149 matches and scored 50 goals for the period from 1997 to 2000.

It did not succeed Sogn Avis to make contact with the fresh Chelsea coaches Tuesday.

........................................

http://www.sognavis.no/lokal_sport/article6232140.ece

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Great to have him back in this capacity. He was a massive part of what was one of the greatest nights in Chelsea history and put two away against Barcelona right in front of me. Legend.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq6a40_chelsea-vs-fc-barcelona-3-1-5-4-2000_sport#.UdPjRD6Y7zU

Remember when we signed him for about £300k too and he had his debut at somewhere like Coventry I think. Managed to score too if I remember correctly, heading the ball back across goal.

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great to have him back full-time. would love to see the club do the same with Gudjohnsen when he's hung up his boots

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Wonderful to see the club involve ex players in the youth set-up. I had a tiny bit of a crush on him when I was 13. Okay, it was a little more than a crush. Fine....I named my goldfish after him! :blush: Anyway he was amazing in the Barcelona match at home and also loved scoring against spurs.

Highlights of the 6-1 trashing at three point lane where he scored a hat trick.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xac81s_1997-98-pl-tottenham-1-6-chelsea_sport

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  • 7 years later...

Tore Andre Flo: ‘Rangers was a rollercoaster – the price tag made life difficult’

https://theathletic.com/2229154/2020/11/30/tore-andre-flo-rangers-record-signing/

TORE-ANDRE-FLO-RANGERS-e1606764468522-1024x727.jpg

Tore Andre Flo is talking about the moment he sliced through the ball like a sword, managing to redirect the ball past Rab Douglas with an instinctive finish.

Despite the ball being behind him after Jorg Albertz’s header cannoned down off the bar, he was able to somehow contort his long limbs and make it look like a tap-in.

“It was just a reaction,” the former Norway striker tells The Athletic. “The ball came to my side and I just flicked up my leg. I got a good connection even though it was with a strange part of my foot.

“To score against Celtic in my first game was the most special goal I scored.”

He had only signed for Rangers three days earlier, on November 23, 2000, but his debut goal against Celtic had put Dick Advocaat’s side back in front and set them on their way to an emphatic 5-1 victory.

It was the sort of calmness and technique in front of goal that had seen Rangers part with £12 million to make him the most expensive transfer in Scottish history, a record that still stands.

This week 20 years ago, he must have felt destined for glory. Instead, even though he scored 38 goals in 73 games, is it fair to say this was as good as it got for him in Scotland?

“I can’t really remember any moments I felt greater than that, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster,” he says.

Rangers had won 11 out of 12 league titles but were trailing Celtic by 16 points, who had been strengthened by the appointment of Martin O’Neill.

“We looked at the game as a potential turning point,” says Flo. “I could feel it when I came that something needed to happen as I had seen the 6-2 (defeat at Celtic Park) earlier in the season.

“I got a great pass from Jorg Albertz after two minutes. I chipped it but it just bounced wide of the post. You try to think you will get more of those chances. That day it turned out we got quite a few but we couldn’t keep it up to make it a real (title) chase that season.”

And that is the crux of his high water mark at Rangers as it proved to be a pyrrhic victory; Celtic romped to their first treble in over 30 years. For Flo, it would be his only goal against Celtic and one without significance.

He soon found out that honeymoon periods do not last very long in Glasgow, at least certainly not with such a big price tag.

Advocaat, after winning five of the six trophies on offer since taking over from Walter Smith in 1998, had been allowed to spend another £20 million-plus in the summer of 2000. Flo was brought in to complement the growing Dutch contingent, which included Ronald de Boer and Fernando Ricksen.

Try as much as you like to separate the fee from the player but one way or another, the subject boomerangs its way back into the conversation. It is bound up in everything; used as a caveat to his goal record or a stick to beat him with where he fell short.

But, two decades on, has he accepted this is just the way it is, or does it hurt that this perception of him failing to hit the heights expected of him is set in stone?

“That price tag definitely made life more difficult for me but that’s how football is,” says Flo. “There was a lot of talk about the money during the transfer but I couldn’t worry or think about that as I was coming from a club that was doing really well and I was doing well at Chelsea so that pushed up the price.

“I was aware that it was a high amount but in England, it was happening all the time and it was going up and up. It wasn’t crazy but since then, it’s gone way up in England and the other way in Scotland, so I wasn’t aware of it as much at the time as it turned out to be.”

Time has not helped Flo in that regard. The club’s financial collapse in 2012 saw Sir David Murray’s extravagant spending come to be recognised as reckless egotism at play.

His transfer, against a backdrop of debts approaching £50 million and a £35 million loss in 2002, is widely viewed as Murray’s final and most bold roll of the dice at European success before he began downsizing.

At the time, Murray had been publicly courting a major signing to join the forward line and had even publicly said they were ready to spend £10 million on the right player. The Belgium striker Emile Mpenza and Spain’s Diego Tristan had been reportedly targeted before Flo.

“If you looked at the teams, then there were many big signings for Rangers and Celtic,” says Flo. “He (Murray) wanted to go for it and put Rangers on the map. All of our aims at the time were to go far in the Champions League. We wanted to establish ourselves as the No 1 side in Scotland.

“The whole thing was strange as, coming from England, it was the way things were going and it has ever since. It’s been different in Scotland but at the time, they were talking a lot about Celtic and Rangers going into the Premier League, so I think people thought that was possible within a short time.”

Perhaps if a player had been signed for more money in the intervening period, it would have made the fee seem less exorbitant and his contributions better appreciated. Ryan Kent, who Rangers signed for £7.5 million from Liverpool last summer, also came in for criticism last season due to his lack of goals.

“My advice to him would be to ignore that and enjoy what is happening on the pitch as it’s a great club to be playing for. Keep your shoulders down and relax and don’t think about that.”

Pondering what statistics would have deemed him a success is a futile task now but just what would it have taken? Would an average of a goal a game have been prolific enough to justify the money? Would fewer goals but more against Celtic and in Europe have left a bigger impression?

Or did he simply feel that nothing he could do was ever good enough?

“No, it all came down to that price. If I came for a third of the price everybody would look and say I had a really good two years but because of the price tag expectations were extremely high. I had two great seasons up there and really loved it. I scored 38 goals and did well in a lot of games.

“I could definitely feel that the expectations were a lot higher than when I played for Chelsea. I could feel that through the media but from the supporters, I really felt very welcomed. The media kept going with it and going with it.

“It maybe did (become bigger as time went on) as the media always mentioned it. It made it difficult for me as it was always about the fee rather than about how I played. I think if we won the league, I would have been viewed differently.”

He picked up two trophies, scoring the opener in the 2002 League Cup final versus Ayr United, and managed three goals across two legs against Maribor in a Champions League qualifier. He also played well in France as Rangers put out a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain team on penalties in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. There were clearly plenty of impressive performances but there was also the sense that when they needed a big goal, it never quite came from Flo.

“I felt I should have done better in a couple of those games. Fenerbache away (third round of Champions League qualifying) I had such a sore foot. I shouldn’t have played as it held me back but I wanted to show what I could do but wasn’t able to do it well enough.”

Despite his impressive scoring record, his lack of big goals saw critics focus on the supposed weaknesses of his game. While Celtic had brought in Chris Sutton and John Hartson to aid a direct style of play, there was a misconception that Flo, standing at 6ft 4in, was naturally the same type of player.

“I wasn’t, and it definitely wasn’t the way Chelsea were playing. It wasn’t the football I came from. If I stayed longer, I think I’d have learned more about how the Scottish game was played as I think I had the build to be more of a physical player but my football up until then had been about being technical.

“I wouldn’t say that I was used wrong either. Advocaat wanted to play good football but there was something with the mixture of physicality and the nicer football that I didn’t always take to. I didn’t find my way in every game but I wouldn’t blame anyone but myself for that.”

Flo, with his languid style and gangly gait, did not exactly extinguish Scandinavian stereotypes. He glided across the ground elegantly and never looked rushed or panicked. He was cool but Glasgow is the antithesis of having ice veins.

In a place where fire tends to be met with fire, was it just a cultural clash that the laid-back body language and the sometimes aloof appearance just did not capture the hearts of some fans?

“There might be something in that. I’m naturally quite a calm guy but sometimes on the pitch, I could probably have done better if I had been more aggressive in the way I was playing.

“At some clubs, you are really successful doing it this way and at others, it isn’t. If I knew what I know now about how football works and how media works, I think I would have been much more relaxed and had more energy on the pitch to do whatever I could do there, rather than using up my energy thinking about other things.”

He pauses for thought when he is asked what he means. “You can feel the pressure and that can take some of your energy away sometimes. You are a bit disappointed that the price tag is more focused on what I actually did on the pitch so that can take the energy away.

“The confidence went a bit up and down. As a striker, you always play better if you are loaded with confidence.”

It is hard to escape the sense that ironically he came to feel devalued by the transfer fee casting a shadow over everything he did. He may have been just a number at Chelsea among the likes of Gianfranco Zola and Eidur Gudjohnsen but the eight-figure fee left him feeling suffocated by the coverage at times and exposed by it at others.

“It’s tricky this as when people are talking about me for Chelsea it’s always really, really positive and then when it’s about Rangers, when my scoring record was even better, it’s negative.

“The difference is that, when I played at Chelsea, if it went really well it was all positive and when I played medium, someone else took the positive headlines and left me out of it. But when you are the most expensive player, if you play a medium game the headlines are still put negatively.”

The common prognosis is that Advocaat, after winning five of the six trophies in his first two seasons, changed too much of the squad too quickly. Just a month before Flo arrived, Lorenzo Amoruso had been stripped of the captaincy after a falling-out with the manager — Barry Ferguson took over the armband — but Flo was oblivious, suggesting it was not as detrimental as suggested at the time.

“I’m not sure I was even aware of that. There was a lot of different nationalities but I was used to that coming from Chelsea as I played in the first game in the Premier League to be only foreign players. I thought the atmosphere was really good.

“There were a lot of Dutch players but I found them easy to be around. We were together a lot of the time off the pitch as we lived in the same area so we met more often than most of the other clubs I’ve been with. There was nothing wrong with the dressing room.

“We had a very good team and we did well for big periods in both seasons but when Celtic were winning all the time, it wasn’t good enough.”

Rangers went from a team who romped to a title to a team bullied in the one-off matches. Rangers faced their rivals 10 times during Flo’s 18 months but there were just three victories as Celtic won back-to-back league titles by a margin of 15 points and then 18 points.

“They were very, very physical. Difficult to play against. In every challenge, you had to give everything to just get on the ball. (Being) physical was their strength as they really went into the challenges. I remember Bobo Balde,” sighs Flo.

“He was very tough to play against. There were many one-v-one challenges with him and you could really feel it when he came into you. With Celtic being a physically stronger team than we were, we tried to play a nicer kind of football but they overpowered us at times, which was annoying.

“The atmosphere in that game was just unbelievable. I’ve said to many people within football that they don’t really know anything about atmosphere until you play in a game like that. I don’t think anything can prepare you for it. I’d heard players talking about it before but when you’re out there it’s so loud you can’t hear any of your team-mates talk.

“But if you look at the football we were capable of playing, we could be very very good but we couldn’t quite cope with their physicality.”

Alex McLeish took over from Advocaat in December 2001, just over a year after Flo had signed. Rangers were trailing by 12 points after 17 games and the Dutchman moved upstairs to become director of football and allow McLeish to make the move from Hibernian.

McLeish inspired a turnaround and claimed both domestic cups that season but Flo had to make do with coming off the bench in the League Cup semi-final against Celtic, the UEFA Cup second-leg against Feyenoord (which they lost 4-3 on aggregate) and in the dramatic 3-2 Scottish Cup final win over Celtic, in which Peter Lovenkrands was the hero.

The cup double was the precursor to the treble the following season but Flo moved to Sunderland at the start of that season, with Rangers selling him for £5 million less than they bought him.

“I sometimes do wish I’d stayed because they got the team back on track and won the league the next season. That would have changed a lot of people’s view of my time there.”

The conversation gravitates back to the £12 million elephant in the room for the final time, without intention. Detecting a slight sense of fatigue, it felt necessary to acknowledge the hypocrisy of asking about the media banging on about the price tag while he is asked to do the same 20 years later.

“I understand,” he says, laughing.

He is now in a position where he can digest these experiences and help the young players at Chelsea, many of whom have been bought for significant sums, deal with the scrutiny they face in his role as loans manager. Where Rangers are concerned, though, he is enjoying their rise while others carry the pressure.

“I’m really proud that I was able to spend two years at such a club. I always say that it’s one of the biggest and best clubs in the world. There have been problems in recent years but when it gets back on its feet like it is now it’s one of the best around.”

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