‘I agreed on an extension at Man United, but I wanted to return to the Netherlands’


Arnold Mühren played football in England for seven years between 1978 and 1985 and grew into a great man in the then First Division. The now 69-year-old Volendammer experienced the heyday of Ipswich Town and later won the FA Cup with Manchester United.

Mühren exchanged FC Twente for in 1978 The Tractor Boys, but the legendary Sir Bobby Robson was the trainer. “I didn’t know the whole of Ipswich Town, but Robson made such a good and warm impression on us that my wife Geer said: for this man alone you should play here!“, the 23-time Orange international looks back in conversation with The Telegraph.

Mühren signed and ended up in the middle of the English kick and rush violence. His debut against Liverpool was therefore not something to write home about. “That was a drama. I hit the ball three times in that match: at the kick-off, a throw-in and afterwards when I gave the ball back to the referee. I thought: now I have made a mistake …” The left leg Then he approached Robson, hoping to get more football into the squad. “Mister Robson, if you want to get the best out of me, you have to give me the ball. Otherwise, you might as well line up the material man.”

From Manchester United to Ajax
The tide would eventually turn on Portman Road: compatriot Frans Thijssen also made the switch, Ipswich Town grew into a top club and even won the UEFA Cup in 1981. Mühren left for Manchester United one year later and would remain there until 1985. “I already had an agreement for a contract extension with Man United, but I actually wanted to go home.” The routine returned to the Ajax of then-trainer Johan Cruijff. “He knew I was 34 years old, so he said: you can train twice a week, deal? That was easy for Johan to tell me, because he knew I would show up faithfully every day.”

Mühren would eventually play for Ajax until 1989 and participated in the 1988 European Championship finals at the age of 37. In this he assisted on the legendary volley by Marco van Basten.


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