Tore Andre FLO

Tore Andre Flo - Chelsea FC - Biography of his football career at Chelsea FC.

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 13 December 1997

Click on image to enlarge

    • POSITION
      Forward
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Friday, 15 June 1973
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Stryn, Norway
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • Norway footballer
  • CLUBS
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1997 - 2000
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 9th August 1997 scoring in a 3-2 defeat at Coventry City (Aged: 24)
    • Club Career
      112 League games 34 goals.
  • Rangers FC
    • Club Career Dates
      2000 - 2002
    • League Debut
      Sunday, 26th November 2000 scoring in a 5-1 win at home to Celtic (Aged: 27)
    • Club Career
      53 League appearance 28 goals.
  • Sunderland FC
    • Club Career Dates
      2002 - 2003
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 31st August 2002 scoring in a 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United (Aged: 29)
    • Club Career
      29 League games 4 goals.
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Tore Andre FLO - Chelsea FC - Biography of his football career at Chelsea FC.

 Part One.

 

After being strongly linked with a move to either Liverpool or Everton, Norwegian international Tore Andre Flo chose to join Ruud Gullit's Chelsea revolution in May 1997 for a bargain £300, 000, the fee reflecting that Flo's contract with Norwegian side Brann Bergen was soon to expire. His impact on his new club was immediate when he replaced Mark Hughes on the hour mark at Coventry on the opening day of the 1997/98 season and found the net little more than ten minutes later with a powerful header. The gangly striker quickly earned a reputation within the football press as an outstanding header of the ball but he was in fact no more than average in the air and was at his best when he had the ball at his feet, running directly at opposing defenders. Surprisingly, after such a strong start, it took Flo a little while to find his feet and he didn't score again until the beginning of November, when he put the seal on a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa. Faced with the daunting task of ousting Mark Hughes or Gianfranco Zola from the team, Flo was the first to benefit when Gullit started rotating his strikers, and when Hughes was rested at Tottenham in December, Flo grabbed his opportunity in style with a classy treble as The Blues ran out 6-1 winners. Two weeks later they travelled to Sheffield Wednesday and the Norwegian hit-man fired home another outstanding goal en-route to a 4-1 triumph. The Blues eventually finished fourth in the Premiership that year and Tore scored 11 goals in 34 games (18 as a substitute), including a brace in a 6-2 victory over Crystal Palace, and another goal against Spurs as Chelsea completed yet another league double over their big rivals with a 2-0 win.

 

However, it was in the cups that The Blues really excelled in 1997/98 and Flo was an important member of the team which won both the Coca Cola and European Cup Winners cups. In the Coca Cola he scored in wins over Southampton and Ipswich, and in the final against Middlesbrough he replaced Mark Hughes just before the end of normal time before giving Boro's Nigel Pearson a roasting throughout the extra-time period as Chelsea finally broke the Teesiders' resistance to register a 2-0 win. His only goals in the ECWC could hardly have been more crucial, both coming in the first 15 minutes of The Blues' match in Spain against Real Betis, Chelsea's 2-1 win setting them up for a comfortable second-leg victory at home. Flo was in the starting line-up for the final with Stuttgart in Stockholm and was the man who was replaced in the 71st minute by Gianfranco Zola, who rifled the game's only goal 17 seconds later. (Kelvin Barker)

 

 This photo of Tore Andre Flo playing for Chelsea was  taken 27th August 2000 by Nigel French. ©

(Part 2) 1998/99-2000/01

 

 The arrival of Pierluigi Casiraghi in the summer of 1998 forced Tore back onto the sub's bench as the new season began and it was from this position that he made a staggering impact on a match at Blackburn in September, when he replaced Casiraghi ten minutes from time and scored the two goals which turned a 3-2 deficit into an eventual 4-3 win. Manager Luca Vialli ignored the subsequent clamour for Flo to be included in the starting line-up and incredibly it wasn't until the middle of November, in the wake of the injury which resulted in Casiraghi's premature retirement from football, that he made his first league start of the season. He eased quickly back into his goalscoring stride, scoring five times in eight matches, including a last minute header to seal a 2-1 win over Aston Villa which saw Chelsea depose Villa at the top of the table, but an injury suffered during an FA Cup tie at Oldham led to a frustrating seven week spell on the sidelines. Chelsea eventually finished third that year, Flo scoring three more times after his return, including a brace in a 3-0 win at Villa Park. With a Champions League campaign ahead, Vialli recruited Chris Sutton from Blackburn Rovers and the new man began the campaign ahead of Tore. In what proved to be very much a cameo of the season as a whole, Sutton missed two clear chances against Sunderland on the opening day before being replaced late in the game by the Norwegian, who promptly scored his first of the season four minutes later, as The Blues ran out 4-0 victors.

 

Flo scored ten goals in the league that season, and another in a 5-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Gillingham on the way to a Wembley victory over Aston Villa, where he made a late substitute appearance. However, his most impressive form came during Chelsea's run to the last eight of the Champions League. Tore scored eight times, including a double strike in a stunning 5-0 win in Istanbul against Galatasaray, two more in a 3-1 beating of Feyenoord at Stamford Bridge and a cracking low shot in the return match in Rotterdam which was also won 3-1, a brace in a 3-1 win over Barcelona on a magical night in SW6, and finally the goal in the Nou Camp which took The Blues to within seven minutes of the semi-finals before finally bowing out to the Catalan side in extra-time. His 19 goals in all competitions made Flo Chelsea's top scorer that season but he was again on the bench at the start of the 2000/01 campaign. He opened his account for the season with a brace at Old Trafford to salvage a 3-3 draw with Manchester United, in what was Claudio Ranieri's first game in charge, but he again struggled to force his way into a team who's attacking options had now been strengthened by the signings of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen. A goal in a 6-1 rout of Coventry in October proved to be his last for Chelsea. A month later, Glasgow Rangers offered a Scottish record fee of £12 million to take the likeable striker north of the border. It was a sum which Chelsea simply couldn't refuse. (Kelvin Barker)