Johnsen on Ole, Wimbledon and winning at Anfield
Have you listened to the latest episode of UTD Podcast?
Following on from recent editions starring ‘90s favourites Gary Pallister, Eric Cantona and Jesper Blomqvist, this week, the team sit down with our former Norwegian centre-back Ronny Johnsen, who played for the Reds between 1996 and 2002.
In an interview which lasts over an hour, and is available to listen to now on Deezer and all your favourite podcast platforms, Ronny talks about being scouted by United alongside international team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I played in the game when [Jim] Ryan was first over [to watch me],” Johnsen told hosts Sam Homewood and David May in an Oslo hotel.
“He was not supposed to start either, it was one of them. He came in and I think it was the first game he played and he scored a fantastic goal in the top corner. I was like ‘oh my God!’
“And then everything happened for him, and the qualities he had were unbelievable.”
Johnsen also recalls two memorable away trips with United: his debut at Wimbledon and a famous win over Liverpool at Anfield.
In the former, the Norwegian received a less-than-warm welcome to English football from the notoriously inhospitable Vinnie Jones, as well as observing one of the finest goals in United’s history.
“I was on the bench, but came on, I think, at the beginning of the second half [and played] in midfield,” Ronny adds.
“A long ball came from our back four. I was running, just turning around, running after it and Jones came running the other way. He missed me by that much, with his elbow! And I was like, what is that?
“I met Vinnie some years later and he said: 'I was going to flatten you, stand over you and say 'welcome to English football!'
“Also in that game, David Beckham scored from the halfway line, and I never saw that before either. Two things in a game, I’ve never seen, even in training!”
UTD Podcast: How Sir Alex celebrated Anfield win
UTD Podcast | Ronny Johnsen explained why Sir Alex demanded quiet in the dressing room after winning at Anfield...
Later in the season, we virtually secured the title with a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Merseyside.
What Johnsen remembers most, however, is something Alex Ferguson did in the dressing room after the game.
“We came into the changing room and the gaffer came in a little bit late,” Johnsen tells our hosts, in the video above. “We were buzzing and he said: ‘Quiet, quiet!’ The changing rooms in that stadium are very close to each other and you can hear their manager go ballistic and [Ferguson] is like: ‘Listen, you can hear them!’
“I loved it!”
You can listen to the rest of the episode, and the whole of the UTD Podcast series, here.
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