Jon Dahl Tomasson’s appointment has been met with real intrigue – and not just by Rovers supporters.

Tomasson enjoyed great success as a player, at both domestic and international level, and has made a promising start to his coaching career.

Having starred for his country as a player, he had a three-and-a-half year spell as assistant manager for the national team.

His most recent coaching role came in Sweden, winning back-to-back league titles with Malmo, before opting to leave after two years with the club.

Christian Kjaer, of TV2Sport, is among those working on the Tomasson story, and told the Lancashire Telegraph: “In Denmark we see Blackburn Rovers as a club with great British traditions.

“We know it isn’t the biggest club in the UK right now but we think that Jon Dahl Tomasson can create results and make a new exciting project – maybe like Thomas Frank at Brentford.

“He isn’t the biggest and most famous coach in Denmark but he can make great results which he has shown as an assistant coach with the Danish national team and in Malmo.

“He is up and coming.”

It is in Sweden though where Tomasson has had his best success in management, twice winning the league title during his time at Malmo before leaving in December.

Malmo had gone three years without a Swedish league title, before Tomasson helped deliver back-to-back successes in 2020 and 2021. Since his departure, 10 matches into the 2022 season, Malmo sit fifth.

Frida Fagerlund, of SportBladet, said of Tomasson’s time in charge of Malmo: “He did what was asked of him and some.

“Since MFF have the biggest budget in Allsvenskan you expect them to win every year.

“There’s basically three criteria from the board: Win the league, reach the group stage in Europe and develop young players.

“Two league titles, reaching the group stage of Champions League in 2021 and showing a genuine interest in the whole club and its academy makes him one of the greatest.

“Everyone knew he was using MFF as a first step towards jobs in bigger leagues so it was no surprise when he left.

“Also, I’m not sure how much further he would have been able to take this team.”

Having played all across Europe, winning league titles in Italy and Netherlands, where he has made his home, Tomasson has been able to gain different influences throughout his career.

So were his team at Malmo known for one particular style?

“Jon isn’t very keen on talking about ‘formations and numbers’ but early on he mentioned Jurgen Klopp as an inspiration with Liverpool’s ultra-high pressing,” Fagerlund explained.

“Keeping the ball is also of importance to create an effective attacking football.

“MFF were quite flexible in playing a back three or back four depending on what suited the team at the time.”

It was a back four that Tomasson, and Malmo, largely used, and extensively two players infront of them.

Tomasson has tended to play with inverted wingers, and attackers working around a target man figure in Isaac Kiese Thelin.

Once all of the squad return to pre-season training, Tomasson will have chance to evaluate the Rovers squad ahead of the first friendly on July 9.

Rovers’ focus, outlined by director of football Gregg Broughton, will centre around player development, and not just homegrown players through the Academy.

Tomasson referenced as much in his first interview after taking over, so is that something is accustomed to?

“In the beginning Jon was very good at handing out minutes to youngsters such as Anel Ahmedhodzic, Tim Prica and Amin Sarr.

“During his last year he relied way more on his older players – to be fair the whole squad is quite aged – but because MFF have the biggest budget in the Swedish league it’s always going to be tough for younger talents to establish themselves in the starting line-ups.”

Tomasson posted an emotional farewell upon his departure from Malmo at the end of 2021.

There was an expectation that a job in England, or Holland, were a possibility for Tomasson, with links to Heerenveen and QPR of late.

Of how his appointment will be viewed in Sweden, Fagerlund said: “They might be surprised it’s the Championship but not that it’s a big job.

“This was always the plan.

“I think the Malmö supporters are mostly happy since this shows that coaching them for a couple of years can lead to bigger things if you play your cards right.”

A career that has seen Tomasson be a winner, both as a player and boss, a winning mentality has been installed.

He wasn’t used to losing during his two-year stay with Malmo, only 18 in his 85 matches, which included 46 wins.

Fagerlund said that while Tomasson could be ‘harsh at times, ‘his arrogance kept the players calm even when results went against them’.

She added: “It suited Malmo who wants to be taken seriously and be seen as a big club. In all honesty he came across as very Dutch which is obviously no coincidence since The Netherlands and Italy are the countries that have influenced him the most.”


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