Daniel Karell

Veteran soccer journalist. Indiana University Class of 2012. BA in Journalism. Love my wife and dog.

What we love about Norwich City

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Norwich City.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on the Canaries.

Teemu Pukki: Norwich City’s cinderella season in the Premier League is in large part thanks to the heroics and scoring achievements of the Finnish wonder. Pukki scored 30 goals in all competitions last year as Norwich won promotion, and his hard running up top has led to 11 league goals in the Premier League this season. It’s an incredible change for a player who before 2016, only had more than 10 goals in a season once, playing back in Finland with HJK.

Norwich City will likely go down, but not for lack of effort from Pukki and co.

Daniel Farke: The eccentric German manager helped get Norwich City promotion to the Premier League and it seems that even with the club in serious trouble in the relegation zone, the club is sticking by Farke.

Despite playing with a majority of players who helped get the club promoted, Farke has stuck to his guns with an attacking, possession style of play – when not facing the big six – that has certainly been at times great and other times a nightmare. However, all fans have to respect a coach sticking with his or her style and believing that their methods will eventually work out.

Farke may depart at the end of the season, perhaps it’s time for a new challenge. But if not, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lead Norwich City back into the Premier League, should the Canaries go down as expected.

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images)

Unique jerseys: Other than some teams away kits, no one else in the Premier League currently has as bright and provocative a uniform as Norwich City. With their bright yellow tops fading into green, the Norwich City brand is certainly recognizable by Premier League fans. The style sets Norwich apart from other clubs, who can fall into the assortment of reds, blues, or claret and blues (West Ham and Aston Villa, anyone?)

The style may adjust over time, but the colors never change. We love it that way.

Norwich City fans: Some English soccer clubs can date their origins back to the 19th century, but how many clubs and their supporters are still singing songs they sang on the terraces in the 1800’s? Just one, that we know of.

For more than 120 years, soccer fans in East Anglia – northeast of London, where Norwich is located, have been singing “On the ball, city” over and over again to support their team. According to Norwich City, it’s thought to be the oldest soccer chant in the world.

Norwich City supporters stay with their club, win or lose, just like this song.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 15: Norwich City fans wave flags during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road on February 15, 2020 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Ex-Newcastle winger Solano detained for breaking coronavirus curfew

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Former Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham winger Nolberto Solano was briefly detained by police in Peru after breaking the nation’s coronavirus curfew.

Solano told Peruvian national radio station RPP that he was invited to a friend’s home for a meal and it went on longer than expected.

 [ MORE: Premier League schedule

“Those who know me know that I have tried to handle myself in the best way,” Solano said. “I went to a lunch and end up in a situation like the one at night that was not a party, it was just a meeting, a lunch that I was invited by a friend who we always visited. Obviously I am very sorry for all this and I apologize for the case.

“I am not going to justify it, the whole country is in the same situation, one puts oneself in the shoes of people who must live day by day, it is very hard for them, but the most important thing is, health, without that we can not do anything.”

Peru’s government on March 18 announced a curfew from 8:00 p.m. local to 5:00 a.m. local to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus.

Solano is currently an assistant coach for Peru, working with head coach Ricardo Gareca. Solano earned 95 caps for Peru, though he was not able to lead them to the World Cup despite his talent and speed along the wing.

The 45-year-old came up with Peruvian club Sporting Cristal and later played for Boca Juniors before getting snapped up by Newcastle. Solano played eight seasons with Newcastle, wowing the crowds with his athleticism between 1998-2004 and again from 2005-2007. Solano played all over England, featuring for Aston Villa, West Ham, Leicester City, Hull City, and Hartlepool United. Since his playing days, Solano served short spells as a manager, first for Peruvian giant Universitario and then for Jose Galvez. Randomly, he coached a Canadian semi-pro team for a few months in 2014 before it lost its license.

Overall, Solano played 302 Premier League games with 49 goals and 62 assists.

Enrique: ‘I could return’ to Barcelona one day

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Barcelona may be able to go back to a club favorite coach in the future, as Luis Enrique said he would leave the door open for a chance to coach the Blaugrana again.

Speaking in a Q&A from home with Spanish National Team fans on Youtube, Enrique covered a number of topics including the coronavirus, his thoughts on how the current Spain squad compares with other big nations in Europe, and Barcelona.

[READ: The Premier League provides an update on future matches]

“I cannot choose,” Enrique said when asked if he had a favorite season at Barcelona. “I spent eight years as a player and three as a coach, as well as another three at Barça B. I keep all the experience. I feel lucky for having spent so many years in a club like Barça, which gave me everything.

Enrique added, when asked if he would return to Barcelona: “In all the teams where I have trained, I have left the door open and could return, but my time at Barcelona was wonderful and I will always be grateful.”

Enrique was Barcelona manager between 2014 and 2017, and led the club to some of its best results, as well as playing a beautiful style of soccer, since the departure of Pep Guardiola in 2012. Enrique won two La Liga titles as well as the UEFA Champions League, UEFA SuperCup and FIFA Club World Cup. He also won the Copa Del Rey in all three years as manager.

The 49-year-old former midfielder has been Spanish National Team coach since 2018, though he took a break from the position in 2019 as his family suffered a terrible tragedy, the death of his daughter. He has since returned as full-time national team coach.

On a brighter note, when asked what he is doing to fill the time during his self-isolation at home in Spain, Enrique said that one of the things he is doing is learning English. He reportedly lived for six months in Australia after he retired as a player in 2004 and he’s been rumored to take over at Premier League clubs in the past.

In general, you don’t need to speak English to coach in the Premier League, but if he can speak well enough to get his message across, he may feel even more confident about taking a job in England. Perhaps after the 2021 European championships, Enrique could look to move abroad for the first time since a one-season spell at AS Roma in Italy.

Lampard: Hudson-Odoi recovered from COVID-19

Callum Hudson-Odoi coronavirus
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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard provided a bit of positive news on Friday, stating that young Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“I’ve spoken to Callum and it’s great that he’s fully recovered,” Lampard said in a video message posted on Chelsea’s social media channels. “I spoke to him throughout that first week when he first got the illness and it was a strange time. Thankfully he didn’t suffer too much and we are happy he’s come through this. Now it’s just about taking the necessary precautions with the rest of the squad, which we have been doing since he first tested positive and everyone is doing well in the current climate.

[READ: Premier League issues update on playing matches this season]

“It’s a difficult and strange time for everyone and no matter how much we all love football and all love Chelsea, sometimes other things have to come first. This is one of those situations and my message to the players throughout this has been to put your family first. Look after them, and yourself, and keep the motivation that way. I have no concerns with the players losing motivation and I know they will be doing the basics right at home in terms of their fitness and looking after themselves in these times.”

Hudson-Odoi announced on his official Twitter account that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 13, and has been in self-isolation since then. He joined Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as Premier League figures who tested positive for the virus. Since then, the Premier League suspended play and training and England has gone into lockdown, with United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson testing positive for the virus as well.

While the Premier League continues to wait and see if they can finish their season, it’s positive news that Hudson-Odoi has fully recovered and can get back to fitness work at home.

What we love about Newcastle

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up is Newcastle.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to take a closer look at the Magpies.

Alan Shearer: Internationally, Shearer is clearly the most recognizable player associated with the Newcastle United name and brand. Growing up just a couple of miles from St. James Park, Shearer returned to his home in a big-money transfer from Blackburn Rovers in 1996 and starred for his hometown club for the next decade. Including his time with Southampton, where he first went professional, and Blackburn Rovers, where he won a Premier League title, Shearer scored 260 league goals and 64 assists in 441 matches. Shearer retired in 2006 with more than 400 matches played for Newcastle, and more than 200 goals, and numerous records. His 260 league goals are by far the most of any Premier League player and his 206 goals for Newcastle is also a club record mark.

Newcastle United’s Alan Shearer celebrates his goal in front of the fans (Photo by Owen Humphreys – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Shearer, who has since gone on to manage the club briefly and move into television punditry on BBC’s Match of the Day, was honored with a bronze statue outside of the ground. It features the former England international in his oft-seen goal celebration, running towards the fans with his pointer finger held aloft in the sky.

DeAndre Yedlin: Just the second American-born player to play for the Toon (after Oguchi Onyewu had a loan spell in 2007), Newcastle took a chance on a young, speedy winger who was coming off a loan in 2015-2016 at arch rivals Sunderland. While things haven’t always been rosy and sunny at Newcastle for Yedlin, he’s clearly improved on the defensive and tactical side of the game, and it’s shown in U.S. Men’s National Team matches when he’s returned and been fit to play.

To date, Yedlin has made 125 league appearances for the Magpies. He’s also scored five goals, including this beauty last fall.

Miguel Almiron: Other than scoring boatloads of goals, like Alan Shearer did in his heyday, there’s nothing Newcastle fans love more than a hard-working player who happens to also possess incredible technical gifts as well. Enter Miguel Almiron. Although the Paraguayan international has struggled with his end-product, his lightning-fast runs down the channels have excited Newcastle fans since he joined the club in February 2019.

No matter what happens this season or in the future, Newcastle fans will always have his FA Cup double against West Bromwich Albion early in March.

St. James Park faithful: Through all the ups and downs, you can just about always count on the Newcastle fans showing up to support their team. Newcastle fans are considered among the most passionate around the globe, and it’s been quite a while since the club was contending for Champions League places. They’ve also had their fair share of hopes dashed, and have had to deal twice with relegation in the last 15 years. But they still fill up the 52,000-plus seat capacity at the beautifully-redesigned St. James Park.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Newcastle United fans display anti-racism banners during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on April 20, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)