Sponsorship opportunity


Erland Johnsen - Chelsea FC - Biography of career at Chelsea Football Club.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 24 March 1990

Click on image to enlarge

      Central Defender
      Wednesday, 05 April 1967
      Moss, Norway.
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 9th December 1989 in a 4-2 defeat at Queens Park Rangers (Aged: 22)
    • Club Career
      135 League apps (+10 as sub), 1 goal
They need your supprt. If the Cap fits wear it Buy the T shirt. Help support the Charity. Sponsorship. Support

Erland JOHNSEN - Chelsea FC - Biography of career at Chelsea Football Club.

Erland Johnsen pictured at Wembley Stadium playing for Chelsea. See below.                                                      


                                                        Biography (Part 1) 1989 - 1990.


English football matches in the 1980's were often blood-and-thunder affairs in which burly centre-forwards built like navvies battled against burly centre-halves built like bigger navvies. After a spell playing in the considerably more technical Bundesliga, it was clearly a huge culture shock for 22-year-old Erland Johnsen, a recent £300, 000 signing from German giants Bayern Munich, when he made his first appearance for Chelsea in a league match at QPR in December 1989. Having been used to the challenges posed by Voller, Klinsmann, Littbarski et al, the rugged Norwegian defender was suddenly faced by a triple-pronged QPR attack of Mark Falco, Colin Clarke and Les Ferdinand. Rangers won 4-2 and all three of the aforementioned navvies found the net, Ferdinand twice, as Erland was simply battered into submission. To add insult to injury, he was replaced in the second-half by the diminutive winger Kevin McCallister. The man with the bizarre nickname of Moon Man, the origin of which was always a closely guarded secret, was left out for a month before manager Bobby Campbell selected him for what looked, on paper at least, like an easy FA Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra at Stamford Bridge. On grass it was an altogether different matter and it took a late Steve Clarke equaliser to rescue a draw, but Erland kept his place for the replay, which was successfully negotiated thanks to the trusty finishing of Kerry Dixon, and was subsequently named in every starting line-up for the remainder of the season, the highlight of which was a trip to Wembley where Middlesbrough were beaten 1-0 in the Full Members Cup final (see photo above). After captain Graham Roberts' acrimonious departure in February, Johnsen formed a solid defensive partnership with Ken Monkou and even his only notable error in the season's final weeks, in a match against Everton, showed respect for Stamford Bridge etiquette, when he mis-judged a through-ball, allowing the returning hero, Pat Nevin, to race through and score a late consolation for the Merseysiders. At the end of his first season, The Blues finished in a highly creditable 5th place. (Kelvin Barker).


Erland Johnsen pictured playing for Chelsea by George Herringshaw on Saturday, April 09, 1994.


                                                   (Part 2) 1990/91-1993/94.


Incredibly, after such an encouraging start to his Chelsea career, Johnsen spent the majority of the next three seasons in the wilderness. He missed the beginning of the 1990/91 campaign with a broken wrist and his replacement, Jason Cundy, cemented his place in the side with a string of outstanding performances. Erland's six league starts that season was echoed the following year when he became fourth choice behind Cundy, Monkou and new signing Paul Elliott, the first major signing made by Campbell's replacement, Ian Porterfield. His Stamford Bridge career appeared to be all but over when he made just one appearance in 1992/93 prior to Porterfield's sacking, but Ken Bates' choice of caretaker manager, the club's pragmatic former centre-half David Webb, proved to be ideal for the Norwegian. Webb recalled him for his second game in charge and he started every game for the remainder of the campaign, helping to steer The Blues away from the relegation zone in the process. If it was no surprise that David Webb was a fan of Erland's no-nonsense defensive style, it was certainly far less certain that his replacement, elegant midfielder Glenn Hoddle, would be. However, Hoddle gave Erland his most significant run in the side to date, initially selecting him to partner Frank Sinclair in the centre of defence, and eventually playing him alongside Danish international, Jakob Kjeldberg, for the bulk of the season. In April, Erland finally scored his first, and only, goal for The Blues, when he rose at the far-post to convert a Dennis Wise corner in a 2-0 victory over Southampton. Although the club's league form was generally poor, and relegation remained a possibility until the season's penultimate weekend, Chelsea reached the FA Cup final, with Erland an ever-present throughout the FA Cup campaign. The Wembley trip, however, proved to be a huge anti-climax as Manchester United won by a highly flattering 4-0 scoreline. (Kelvin Barker)


 Erland Johnsen pictured on Saturday August 03rd. 1996. Image George Herringshaw.  ©


                                                (Part 3) 1994/95-1996/97.


 For the first time in his Chelsea career, Erland Johnsen began the 1994-95 season knowing that he was now first-choice, and as his confidence surged so did the level of his performances, so much so that he was voted the club's player of the year at the end of the campaign. He made 46 appearances in all competitions that season, including an outstanding contribution throughout the club's run to the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup. Erland failed to build on his fine form from the previous campaign in 1995/96 and after a steady start, in which he was a regular starter throughout the first three months of the season, he dropped out of the team and featured almost exclusively from the substitute's bench after Christmas. It was from this position that he faced Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final, but United came out on top once again. It might have felt like history repeating itself when another elegant superstar, Ruud Gullit, replaced Hoddle as manager in the summer of 1996 but Johnsen was again selected for the manager's first game in charge. However, he was dropped after a League Cup defeat at Bolton in October and didn't return to the starting line-up until Chelsea fielded an under-strength team at West Ham in March. Two weeks before the West Ham match came the moment for which Erland will be best remembered at Stamford Bridge. Having replaced Dan Petrescu at half-time in extra-time of an FA Cup 5th round replay against a negative Leicester side whose intention had been to play for penalties from the first kick-off, Erland collected the ball inside his own half with just three minutes remaining and set off on a powerful run that ended with a penalty box tumble that was deemed worthy of a spot-kick by the referee. Frank Leboeuf converted and Chelsea progressed. A brief return to favour in the spring culminated in Erland being selected for a tricky semi-final tie against Wimbledon which The Blues won with surprising ease, 3-0, but he failed to make it into the team for the final. His last match for the club was a goalless draw with Leeds a fortnight before the trip to Wembley. At the end of the season Erland returned to his native Norway to join Rosenborg on a free transfer after nine years with The Blues. (Kelvin Barker)