It was January 1984. The favourites to win the cup, Manchester United – managed by “Big Ron”- against a Bournemouth side of the third division, managed by an unknown gaffer in Harry Redknapp. Who would of thought that it would nearly take 32 years for the Cherries to beat United again?
An inspirational performance meant that the record has been in the past thanks to a United youth Product – Josh King.
Shoot takes a look at the former Blackburn Rovers man and how he is coping in England’s top division following his move to the South Coast in May
Where did it all start for King?
As a youngster, King was classed as the next king of football in Norway – his birthplace. So much so, still as a teenager, King was snapped up by one of the greatest sides in the world, Manchester United, following a trial at Carrington. Offers also came from Sunderland, Ipswich and Chelsea, but it wasn’t a hard choice for the young striker.
At the age of 16, he eventually put pen-to-paper at Old Trafford and was placed into United’s youth set up, where he played on frequent occasions for their pristine Under-18 side. However, to eventually play for their first team, it was imperative that he got out on loan to gain experience in senior football.
What happened next?
After impressing in the United pre-season of 2010-11, King was scouted and snapped up on loan by Preston North End who were, at the time, under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson’s son, Darren.
Following a short spell at Deepdale, he was recalled by United following the sacking of Ferguson junior, and shipped out on loan to another club. This time it was Borussia Monchengladbach – a Bundesliga outfit with better players, bigger stadiums and world class clubs. How would be cope? With pure ease of course and he could have done better things in Germany if it wasn’t for injury.
Later loans came in England with Hull and Blackburn before he put pen-to-paper at Ewood Park permanently. After playing a star part in Gary Bowyer’s set up in Lancashire, he made a huge decision in May when he decided not to renew his contract with the former Premier League champions to sign for newly-promoted Bournemouth. As things stand, it was a good move.
How big of a surprise was his winner against United?
It had to be United. A cold and wet evening on the South Coast on Saturday provided the 23-year-old with surely his career highlight. Prior to the beginning of November, the goalscoring which seemed to come with ease in the second tier of English football had proven to be a real challenge. However, following his first goal in red and white in a 2-2 draw against Swansea, he has started find more and more confidence in front of goal. Despite his first being memorable, arguably his most unforgettable goal in his entire of his career came against an out of form Manchester United, who let him go to Blackburn only a few years ago.
How does he do for his country?
After impressing in England at Championship level and also making an impact in the younger age groups for Norway, King received his first call-up into the Norwegian senior squad in September 2012. His debut came in this international break and he has since established himself as a regular within the Norway set up. Because of his age, he also featured in the 2013 UEFA Under-21 European Championships in fixtures against some of the best upcoming talents when he played against Italy and Spain respectively. He was, however, dropped in this year’s Euro 2016 qualification play-offs, but that will change if he continues to net in the Premier League.
Why is he so dangerous?
At 6ft 1in, King is your average target man who expresses a lot of talent. His striking is consistent and he is willing to shoot from distance as well. He can use either foot, when necessary, and is not worried when in on goal one-on-one with the defender. Overall, he is a huge talent who has a bright future if he can carry on to be as bright as he is currently.
Super Stat: King’s finish at Dean Court on Saturday was the first time he had scored at his home ground in the league since August 2013 – when he scored at Ewood Park for Blackburn against Barnsley.