Overmars extends Ajax contract amid Arsenal links

By Sports Desk March 18, 2019

Marc Overmars has ended speculation linking him with a return to Arsenal by extending his contract at Ajax through to June 2024.

The Gunners are searching for a technical director and reportedly turned attention to their former winger after missing out on Monchi, who opted to reunite with Sevilla following a spell at Roma.

Overmars appeared to be a strong alternative, having overseen the emergence of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and more since being appointed director of football at Ajax in 2012.

The 45-year-old spent three seasons with the Gunners during his playing career and represented Netherlands at two World Cups.

"There are still plenty of challenges at Ajax and I'm having a good time here," said Overmars.

"We are taking steps with both the youth academy and the first team. From a sporting point of view, we still want to show a lot.

"What is also important to me is that it is nice to work with the people around me. I get pleasure and satisfaction from that."

Arsenal parted ways with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat in February.

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    Manchester United's finest hour in the modern era saw them come from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the 1998-99 Champions League final and Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of that momentous day.

    Alex Ferguson's United had an immensely difficult run en route to the final, having faced Bayern and Barcelona in the group stage, before then eliminating Inter and Juventus in the knockout phase.

    Bayern – who faced rather more modest opposition in Kaiserslautern and Dynamo Kiev before the final – found themselves ahead after just six minutes, with Mario Basler's free-kick finding the bottom-right corner.

    The Germans had the better of things and looked to be heading for the title, but in the first minute of stoppage time Teddy Sheringham turned Ryan Giggs' scuffed shot in from close range.

    Two minutes later, United secured their remarkable turnaround – Sheringham nodded on a David Beckham corner and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prodded home the most famous goal in the club's history.

    On the 20th anniversary, we've looked back at the teams on display that day and investigated what they are up to in 2019…

    MANCHESTER UNITED

    Peter Schmeichel

    Since hanging up his gloves, Schmeichel has remained a prominent media personality, appearing as a pundit for many major broadcasters. In December he declared his interest in the director of football role at United, though nothing more has been heard on that front since.

    Gary Neville

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    Ronny Johnsen

    Norwegian Johnsen has worked as a television pundit in his homeland, while he is also a United ambassador, often travelling to events around the globe and representing the club.

    Jaap Stam

    In his day, Stam was one of the finest centre-backs and he has also shown signs of promise as a coach. After being sacked by Reading last year, he returned to Netherlands and took over PEC Zwolle in December. He seemingly did enough in his first four months to convince Feyenoord, who announced in March that Stam will replace departing coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst in June.

    Denis Irwin

    One of the real unsung heroes of the treble-winning side, Irwin probably isn't considered as much of a 'great' as he should because of his quiet, unassuming nature. As such, perhaps it's no surprise he did not go into coaching, though he has made regular appearances on United's TV channel, worked for Irish broadcasters and written a column for a newspaper.

    Ryan Giggs

    A brief stint as interim manager of United after David Moyes was sacked in 2014 opened the door to Giggs' coaching career. He served as assistant to Louis van Gaal during his two-year spell as boss, before taking charge of Wales' senior side last year, which he juggles with his Salford responsibilities.

    David Beckham

    Given his celebrity-like off-field life as a player, it's probably no surprise Beckham never went into management. A philanthropist and investor, the former England star is more businessman than sportsman these days, though he is joint owner of Inter Miami, a club expected to play in MLS from 2020.

    Nicky Butt

    Having worked as a youth coach after halting his playing days, Butt was hired as the head of United's academy in 2016, overseeing the development of some talented players, such as James Garner, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.

    Jesper Blomqvist

    Another who has done a bit of TV work, but Blomqvist's post-football life is otherwise significantly different to many of his former colleagues – he now runs a pizzeria near Stockholm.

    Dwight Yorke

    Ambition certainly isn't something Yorke lacks, as he put himself forward for the Aston Villa job last October, though he was unsuccessful, probably because his only coaching experience was a stint as Trinidad and Tobago assistant manager a decade ago.

    Andy Cole

    Although Cole has trained to become a coach and briefly worked for Milton Keynes Dons, Huddersfield Town and United, that side of his career is yet to take off, partly down to health issues, having had to have a kidney transplant in April 2017.

    Substitutes:

    Teddy Sheringham

    Great players don't always amount to top managers, which is surely relevant for Sheringham. The former striker was praised for his impact on West Ham's forwards during a stint as an attacking coach but lasted less than a year in his first management position at Stevenage. Similarly, he was in charge of Indian side ATK for six months last season before being sacked.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

    Introduced as a substitute who saved the day in 1999, Solskjaer finds himself in a comparable position 20 years later. After a successful interim period as Jose Mourinho's replacement, he was hired on a full-time basis as United manager in March, but poor results ever since have seen that decision called into question. Can he lead another turnaround at the club? Only time will tell.

     

    BAYERN MUNICH

    Oliver Kahn

    One of the most iconic players – not just goalkeepers – of his generation, Kahn is also having a pretty successful 'retirement'. Still rocking his trademark blond locks, the 49-year-old is an entrepreneur and businessman, pundit and seemingly in line for a major backroom role at Bayern in the future, with reports suggesting he will take over as president once Uli Hoeness decides he has had enough.

    Markus Babbel

    Babbel's management career began brightly, as he presided over part of Stuttgart's Bundesliga title challenge in 2008-09. However, aside from a successful promotion campaign with Hertha Berlin two years later, there has been little to get excited about. Having also coached Hoffenheim and Luzern in Switzerland, the former defender made the switch to Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League last year. They finished the season eighth in the 10-team division.

    Thomas Linke

    Instead of coaching, Linke opted to pursue more management-based roles after ending his playing career. He briefly served as sporting director at RB Leipzig in 2011 before resigning for personal reasons. Later that year he joined Ingolstadt, and under his guidance the club earned promotion in 2014-15. Relegation two years later brought his resignation, but he returned in November for the rest of the season.

    Lothar Matthaus

    Coaching has seen Matthaus embark on an intriguing post-playing career, managing Rapid Vienna, Partizan Belgrade, Hungary, Atletico Paranaense, Red Bull Salzburg, Maccabi Netanya and Bulgaria. None of them were particularly successful, however, and he mostly seen working as a pundit on German television these days.

    Sammy Kuffour

    It is fair to say Kuffour's career since retiring has been rather less nomadic than Matthaus'. Media appearances in his native Ghana have been regular, while he is now on the Ghanaian Football Association's 'normalisation committee', having been appointed after FIFA disbanded their executive committee last year following allegations of misconduct.

    Michael Tarnat

    Tarnat returned to Bayern after retirement, becoming a talent scout and prominent academy coach for the best part of seven years. In 2017 he went back to another of his former clubs, Hannover, where he is the head of the youth development side of things.

    Stefan Effenberg

    Known for his on-field aggression, Effenberg is – perhaps predictably – somewhat infamous for his controversial opinions and brutal honesty as a pundit and columnist. His only venture in management came in 2015-16 with Paderborn, but he was sacked after only five months at the helm. The former midfielder is also a banker.

    Jens Jeremies

    Battling midfielder Jeremies opted against taking his terrier-like attitude into management or coaching. Instead, he has worked as a player agent and run his own charity.

    Mario Basler

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    Carsten Jancker

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    Alexander Zickler

    Like his former strike partner, Zickler went to Austria to cut his teeth in the coaching field, working at Red Bull Salzburg for seven years. That stay is set to come to an end soon, as the former Germany international is to follow the club's first-team coach Marco Rose to Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Substitutes:

    Mehmet Scholl

    Bayern icon Scholl spent the first few years post-retirement working with the club's youth teams and reserve side, with whom he enjoyed two spells. But, since quitting in 2013, he has been focusing on punditry and media work.

    Thorsten Fink

    A fairly prominent management career followed Fink's playing days, with Ingolstadt, Basel, Hamburg and APOEL among those he has managed. His most recent job was at Grasshoppers Zurich, but that ended poorly as he was sacked in March and Switzerland's most successful club were ultimately relegated at the end of the season.

    Hasan Salihamidzic

    Salihamidzic is once again an important figure at Bayern. The former winger is now sporting director and has been praised in recent times for his work in that domain, with the club particularly looking towards younger players.

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    Undimmed by the passage of time and present-day struggles at Old Trafford, Manchester United's 1999 treble remains the greatest single-season achievement in English club football history.

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    Never mind three trophies, United were yet to claim three league wins by the time bitter rivals Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in late September and Ferguson's men had been beaten 3-0 by reigning champions Arsenal four days earlier. Denis Irwin hammered in a 19th-minute penalty after fellow Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer was penalised for handball and Paul Scholes thrashed left-footed into the top corner 11 minutes from time to crown a trademark counter-attack. The victory launched a three-match winning streak – United were up and running.

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    Forest's day did not look like it could get much worse when Solskjaer trotted on to replace Yorke in the 71st minute, United already 4-1 to the good at the City Ground. The "Baby-Faced Assassin" duly pilfered four goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest as United clinically and mercilessly pulled their ill-equipped foes to pieces.

  • Liverpool want to emulate Man City dominance – Henderson Liverpool want to emulate Man City dominance – Henderson

    Jordan Henderson wants to see Liverpool emulate Manchester City and start winning multiple trophies every season.

    Liverpool face Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday looking to secure their first piece of silverware since 2012.

    City claimed a domestic treble this season, including the Premier League, a campaign after winning two trophies.

    Henderson, whose side were beaten in last season's Champions League final, is eager to see Jurgen Klopp's men become similarly successful.

    "City have won three trophies this year, and that's where we want to be," the Liverpool captain told UK newspapers, via The Guardian.

    "We don't want to be going for just one cup or title, we want to be winning more and more each year.

    "If you look at City, they don't stop at one trophy, they are picking up two or three a season, and that's something this club should really be doing. That's the aim, anyway."

    City denied Liverpool in the Premier League this season, despite the Reds securing 97 points.

    Henderson insisted his team had moved on and he hopes they can make the most of their European chance at the Wanda Metropolitano.

    "We can't change what happened in the Premier League now, but we can change what we do in the final," he said.

    "I think we were all disappointed for a couple of days, but football changes so quickly and so does your focus. And there's nothing better to make you focus than a Champions League final.

    "This is obviously a big opportunity for us – and we really want to finish this season with a trophy.

    "If that doesn't happen, it will be really hard to take, but at the same time we can still look forward to what comes in the seasons ahead."

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