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A question for the more mature Town fans. 19:13 - Apr 22 with 2166 viewsMattinLondon

When we signed both Frans Thijssen and Arnold Mühren what was the initial reaction? I’m guessing signing two foreign players back then was unusual. But was a lot know of them and did people get quite excited about them signing straight away? Ta.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:28 - Apr 22 with 1744 viewsPJH

I remember it as being exciting because, in part, it was different.

It was just after the 1978 World Cup and Spurs signed Ardiles and Villa about that time, Birmingham signed Tarantini all of them from the Argentine WC winners.

Muhren was not in the Dutch squad in Argentina but Dutch football and Dutch players were at a high level then.

Thijssen arrived 6 months after Muhren, partly on Muhren's recommendation.

We had to change our style of play to accommodate them and thereafter played through midfield rather than over it.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:33 - Apr 22 with 1724 viewsgtsb1966

With no internet or mobile phones there wasn't really any reaction. No YouTube to check them out so we relied on the great man to get the signings right and boy did he get it right. They were magnificent.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:40 - Apr 22 with 1681 viewscressi

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:33 - Apr 22 by gtsb1966

With no internet or mobile phones there wasn't really any reaction. No YouTube to check them out so we relied on the great man to get the signings right and boy did he get it right. They were magnificent.


Robson did some fantastic business sold Talbot and got the Dutch men. Also swapped Peddelty and Terry Austin for Paul Mariner can't Cook swap Drinnan and Jackson for Harry Kane
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:47 - Apr 22 with 1654 viewsPJH

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:40 - Apr 22 by cressi

Robson did some fantastic business sold Talbot and got the Dutch men. Also swapped Peddelty and Terry Austin for Paul Mariner can't Cook swap Drinnan and Jackson for Harry Kane


Overall I think we got the two Dutchmen plus £100k or £150k for Talbot although Talbot did not leave until shortly before Thijssen arrived so he played half a season in the same team as Muhren.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:53 - Apr 22 with 1623 viewsmichaeldownunder

I can remember the first game and thinking whats the point of Muhren. He watched the ball going back and forwards over his head. Running up and down but not getting a touch, a bit like Douglas Haha. Then after a few games we started to keep the ball on the floor more his passing range was a joy to watch. He could hit a 70 yard ( yard not meter) pass with so much back spin that it would stop dead for our forwards to collect. I can also remember him doing a spin on the ball to loose Alan Ball it was so great and not seen before over here that Alan ball stopped and clapped him.
In more than one game the other side would try and cut him inhalf with a tackle but he seemed to just flat over them, also we had some protectors in the team like Hunter who would be his back up on and off the ball.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:53 - Apr 22 with 1618 viewsBluespeed225

I remember some excitement as although Arnold was not in the 78’ World Cup, he was Dutch and they had been everyone at schools adopted team in 74’ and 78’. The open day pre season saw him run ‘over’ the cones while knocking the ball through them in a slalom relay game, taking the lead for his team. A small, but wonderful sign of things to come. Fine players and men.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:54 - Apr 22 with 1613 viewsFarmerpiles

I was a kid living in London, relying on bbc radio for my Town results amongst all the other league matches at 4.45. Occasionally they would have a Town match live which was unbelievable for me. I read in my dads Sunday paper Ipswich had bought Arnold Muhren from Holland. Wow! Weve signed a Dutch player.!Never heard of him said my dad.Imagine my utter disappointment when the following sat I listened to the results roll in. We lost (can't remember to who). Why all the fuss over Arnold Muhren i thought. Little did i know what he and later Franz would give us. TWTD.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:03 - Apr 22 with 1583 viewsSharkey

I do remember his name was spelled Thyssen in 'Shoot', and even possibly in the club's press release.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:06 - Apr 22 with 1564 viewsNBVJohn

I couldn’t wait to see Muhren, though I recall that it took both him and the team time to settle. I think it really started to bed in when Thijssen arrived.

The style of play altered rapidly and the only disappointment was that it spelled the end for Clive Woods, who was a tricky and exciting winger.

Predictably most of the headlines took a ‘Town talking double Dutch’ approach.

The rest is history.....what a team that was.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:08 - Apr 22 with 1553 viewsbluebudgie

Town supporters were excited as the story of Muhren s signing was covered by the Evening Star with Bobby Robson going to Holland and flying Muhren and his wife back to Ipswich airport before getting the pilot to fly over the Suffolk countryside to try and impress the couple enough to make the move. As stated before Muhren didn't fit into the team at first and didn't look particularly good as Town was not playing to his strengths. I remember watching his debut against Liverpool at home and we lost 3-0 with Muhren hardly touching the ball. By the time Thijssen arrived Robson had changed Towns' style of play and it was worth the admission price to see those two great Dutch masters alone, although they were part of a team that became one of the best in Europe. The national media being London-based didn't give Robson the credit he was due for signing two foreigners(which was practically unheard of) concentrating on Spurs signings Ardiless and Villa but that enabled Town to go under the radar and almost win the treble in1981. Great Halcyon days that I feel so privileged to be part of.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:16 - Apr 22 with 1532 viewsChurchman

I was gutted we lost Talbot. Muhren tootled along first. We’d played Forest in the Charity Shield and got walloped with an injury ravaged team without him. The first home game for Muhren was Liverpool. We got absolutely hammered 3-0 and looked all over the shop. Muhren looked awkward, lightweight and the ball sailed over his head like the Luftwaffe. We beat Man U next game but struggled first half of the season losing to all and sundry.

Frans I think pitched up in the autumn (may be wrong) and from the off the ball stuck to his foot like chewing gum to the cat. He looked the better player. Gradually the initial curiosity and nervousness at those two gave way to ‘hello, we could be on to something here’. Muhren could pass teams to death, Thijssen could turn players inside out and also pass them to death.

Then there was John Wark who thanks to the Dutch lads could make late runs, you name it, and put the ball away with aplomb. You were halfway home before you get to the wrecking ball forward line of Mariner, Brazil and Gates. It was almost cruel and teams would run out at Portman Road and you knew they knew they stood no chance. And mostly they didn’t.

Second half of the season we started taking teams apart. Whilst we were too far behind to do too much we finished 6th and got UEFA Cup slot. You could see good times were heading our way. Ardiles and Villa signed for Spurs that season and made more press headlines, not least because Ossie was a World Cup winner. What a player he was. But I’d argue that the Dutch lads had more of an impact than anybody. Both brilliant players.

I haven’t romanticised about this. We were that good. A privilege to see them play.
[Post edited 22 Apr 20:17]
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:18 - Apr 22 with 1515 viewsskankerman

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:08 - Apr 22 by bluebudgie

Town supporters were excited as the story of Muhren s signing was covered by the Evening Star with Bobby Robson going to Holland and flying Muhren and his wife back to Ipswich airport before getting the pilot to fly over the Suffolk countryside to try and impress the couple enough to make the move. As stated before Muhren didn't fit into the team at first and didn't look particularly good as Town was not playing to his strengths. I remember watching his debut against Liverpool at home and we lost 3-0 with Muhren hardly touching the ball. By the time Thijssen arrived Robson had changed Towns' style of play and it was worth the admission price to see those two great Dutch masters alone, although they were part of a team that became one of the best in Europe. The national media being London-based didn't give Robson the credit he was due for signing two foreigners(which was practically unheard of) concentrating on Spurs signings Ardiless and Villa but that enabled Town to go under the radar and almost win the treble in1981. Great Halcyon days that I feel so privileged to be part of.


Wonderful days and memories for a young 12 year old boy from Northampton who luckily spent many a Saturday in the Churchman and courtesy of his dad
Always proud to be a blue
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:21 - Apr 22 with 1491 viewsPhilTWTD

Here's what they thought about it themselves.

https://www.twtd.co.uk/ipswich-town-news/28180/muhren-and-thijssen-back-at-town
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:25 - Apr 22 with 1454 viewsChurchman

I would add that football was of course invented in 1992 with Sky and in the 90s Keegan’s Newcastle team were labelled ‘the Entertainers’. They were on the TV more than Eastenders and bilious Richard Keys and co banged on about them relentlessly.

They should have seen our mob play. Entertainers? They were good but weren’t fit to tie our our team’s laces - if they could ever have caught them.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:26 - Apr 22 with 1445 viewssouthnorfolkblue

Initial reaction was one of excitement, because foreign signings were very much the exception at the time. Muhren took a while to settle. I saw one of his first games away at Wolves and he barely got a kick. We had been a pretty direct side prior to him joining. From recollection Frans settled quicker. Arnie always reckoned that Frans was the better player, which with hindsight was some accolade

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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:32 - Apr 22 with 1420 viewsLord_Lucan

I don't think I had progressed to the North Stand by then, probably because I was apprehensive and it was adult prices only.

I kind of remember people in the Churchmans getting very excited about it, at one point a song was nearly sung.

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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:51 - Apr 22 with 1336 viewsFtnfwest

It was exciting but as others have said, they were unknown in this country so it wasn’t like they were marquee signings at all. Until a year or two ago I’d forgotten that Talbot didn’t leave until around the time thijssen arrived. I always thought left when Arnold arrived.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:54 - Apr 22 with 1324 viewsLord_Lucan

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:51 - Apr 22 by Ftnfwest

It was exciting but as others have said, they were unknown in this country so it wasn’t like they were marquee signings at all. Until a year or two ago I’d forgotten that Talbot didn’t leave until around the time thijssen arrived. I always thought left when Arnold arrived.


So did I.

My memory is that Talbot left when Muhren came

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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 21:19 - Apr 22 with 1244 viewsChurchman

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:54 - Apr 22 by Lord_Lucan

So did I.

My memory is that Talbot left when Muhren came


According to Wiki, Talbot left in Jan 79 about the time Thijssen arrived. My memory is rubbish.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 21:47 - Apr 22 with 1149 viewsPJH

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 20:54 - Apr 22 by Lord_Lucan

So did I.

My memory is that Talbot left when Muhren came


Talbot played 21 League games for us in 1978/79 and Muhren played in every one of them.

Thijssen arrived almost 5 weeks after Talbot moved to Arsenal so Thijssen was sort of a replacement for Talbot.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 22:24 - Apr 22 with 1085 viewsRadlett_blue

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 21:47 - Apr 22 by PJH

Talbot played 21 League games for us in 1978/79 and Muhren played in every one of them.

Thijssen arrived almost 5 weeks after Talbot moved to Arsenal so Thijssen was sort of a replacement for Talbot.


I was disappointed when Talbot left as I thought we would miss his industry. However, the £450k fee seemed full value & of course we picked up the relatively unheralded Frans Thijssen for only £200k.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 22:36 - Apr 22 with 1053 viewsazuremerlangus

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 22:24 - Apr 22 by Radlett_blue

I was disappointed when Talbot left as I thought we would miss his industry. However, the £450k fee seemed full value & of course we picked up the relatively unheralded Frans Thijssen for only £200k.


To put those transfer fees into perspective Trevor Francis went for £1 million that year (the first player to go for £1m).

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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 22:40 - Apr 22 with 1044 viewsLord_Lucan

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 22:36 - Apr 22 by azuremerlangus

To put those transfer fees into perspective Trevor Francis went for £1 million that year (the first player to go for £1m).


Brian Clough told Francis to say nothing when he was first bombarded by the press.

Francis duly said "No comment" and Clough fined him.

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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 22:44 - Apr 22 with 1029 viewsbluefunk

I remember Muhrens first game, he spent most of his time watching the ball get pinged over his head. He really didn’t look anything like the player we came to know, because of the style SBR played at that time. So not very excited immediately, no.
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A question for the more mature Town fans. on 08:16 - Apr 23 with 823 viewsHarlestonblue

A question for the more mature Town fans. on 19:47 - Apr 22 by PJH

Overall I think we got the two Dutchmen plus £100k or £150k for Talbot although Talbot did not leave until shortly before Thijssen arrived so he played half a season in the same team as Muhren.


£440.000 for Talbot. Great bit of business by the great man.
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