Tag Archives: scouting

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scouting mission decision suggests he's like Alex Ferguson

Comparisons between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sir Alex Ferguson have become inevitable ever since the Norwegian former striker took the manager’s job at Manchester United[1].

Solskjaer spent 11 seasons working under the legendary Ferguson at Old Trafford, and has regularly spoken of his admiration for the man.

There are certain aspects of Solskjaer the coach that have clearly been inspired by Ferguson – and a clear example of this came to light in a recent interview.

In a discussion with Sky Sports[2], the Red Devils boss revealed that while he was in charge of Molde he cut short a scouting trip due to a dislike of a player’s hairstyle – something which Ferguson himself has previous experience with.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was far from impressed with a player's hairstyle while on a scouting trip
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was far from impressed with a player’s hairstyle while on a scouting trip

“I once went to see a player and as he walked out of the dressing room or through the tunnel onto the pitch, he had a Mohican – this was when I was back in Norway,” Solskjaer said.

“I just said to my scout: ‘Let’s go home, not interested.’ That was a very short scouting trip.”

This was reminiscent of a Ferguson story from David Beckham, who claimed the Scot made him shave his head when he once turned up to training with a mohican.

“I walked in the changing room and he hadn’t seen it because I was too scared to even show him,” Beckham told Otro[3].

“I’d gone into training the day before with a beanie on, trained in a beanie, gone back, walked in the hotel, had a beanie on, had dinner, beanie on, breakfast, beanie on, bus on the way to the stadium – beanie.

David Beckham received the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson when he turned up with a mohawk
David Beckham received the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson when he turned up with a mohawk

“Then as I got ready for the game I took it off, and he said ‘go and shave it off’. I giggled and he was like ‘no, I’m serious. Go and shave it off’.

“So I had to find a pair of clippers and I shaved it off in Wembley Stadium. Manager always rules.”

It is clear that for both Solskjaer and Ferguson appearances matter, and it would take a brave United player to turn up to training with a bold hairstyle following Solskjaer’s latest revelation.

References

  1. ^ Manchester United (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Sky Sports (www.youtube.com)
  3. ^ Otro (otro.com)

[email protected] (Alex Milne)

Manchester United scouting Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba after tip-off

Manchester United have been scouting Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba after receiving a tip-off from a well-respected figure in Germany, Express Sport can exclusively reveal. The 22-year-old, who was still playing football in Burkina Faso for US Ouagadougou in 2017, has emerged as one of the brightest defenders in the Bundesliga in the past year and is also under the watchful eye of two other Premier League clubs.
Tapsoba was snapped up by Leverkusen from Victoria Guimaraes in January 2020 when he cost an initial £15.5million in a deal that could still rise to £21.5m in add-ons.

The Bundesliga club’s recruitment team were enchanted by his confidence bringing the ball out from the back and maturity on the field at such a young age.

Now he is the heartbeat of the Leverkusen defence – that also includes former United academy graduate Timothy Fosu-Mensah – and has played every minute of league action this season, besides the two games he missed due to coronavirus in late November.

His current deal contains a release clause believed to be in the region of £44m and Leverkusen are not willing to listen to any offers below that figure and would like to tie him down to an improved contract.

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Tapsoba was the subject of a last-minute enquiry from Liverpool in the January transfer window as the Reds scrambled to bring in defensive reinforcements.

Yet the Premier League champions were told by Leverkusen that they had to pay the £44m release clause in full if they wanted to pursue a deal.

Leicester and Wolves are among those to have watched the player in the past year, something that Tapsoba has been made aware of and the latter are understood to be eyeing a summer deal.

The Foxes have since cooled their interest since completing the signing of Wesley Fofana from Saint-Etienne.

“They (Leicester and Wolves) often sent scouts over,” he said last year in an interview with The Athletic.

“However, I spoke to my mentor Boureima Maiga and he emphasised that it is important that I do not skip any steps in my development. Switching to the Premier League, where I might not play, would not have been a good idea.”

Tapsoba’s willingness to bring the ball out from the back as opposed to kicking it long stems from his unlikely idol: John Stones.

When asked who he used to watch as a kid growing up, Tapsoba named the Manchester City defender when speaking with the Bundesliga’s official website.

“I would say Per Mertesacker, from Germany, is a player that I liked a lot when I was younger,” he said.

“When I started to grow older I liked John Stones a lot too. I watched all the videos on YouTube. I would say that’s what inspired me.

“I also wanted to help my family, because they deserve it very much. They inspired me to work hard every single day.”