Who is … John ‘Faxe’ Jensen?

A former Danish football player, who is now a coach

 

What’s his claim to fame?

 

What, besides acquiring his nickname from an incident as a Brøndby youth player when his more experienced team-mates decided to teach him a lesson and shower him with their favourite brand of beer. Most of it ended up in his shorts, apparently.

 

Yes

 

He scored the opening goal for Denmark in their 2-0 defeat of Germany in the final of the 1992 European Championship. 

 

Striker was he?

 

Nope. While he did score four goals in 69 games for the Danish national team, the defensive midfielder was famous for his inability to score at Arsenal. Their ever-optimistic fans loved him for it and came up with a song in his honour: “We’ll be there when Jensen scores!” And whenever Jensen did get the ball, no matter where he was on the field, the Arsenal supporters would yell “Shoooot!”

 

Sounds frustrating – did he ever get one?

 

It came on a windy, wet day in 1994, in his 98th game for the club. The club went on to lose 1-3, but it didn’t stop the fans singing “Johnny Jensen, Johnny, Johnny Jensen” for the rest of the match. You might even be able to pick up a T-shirt proclaiming “I saw John Jensen score” from a flea market in North London somewhere. 

 

What happened after that?

 

After 138 appearances, and just one goal, Jensen moved back to his former club Brøndby in 1996 before taking the player-manager position at Herfølge BK, where he took the small club up to the Superliga on his first attempt. But the team were relegated in 2001, so Jensen moved back to Brøndby again as assistant manager alongside Michael Laudrup.  

 

Have Laudrup and Jensen worked together since?

 

Yeah, you could say Jensen is Laudrup’s puppy dog. They stayed at Brøndby until 2006, and then Jensen followed Laudrup to Spanish side Getafe. Laudrup then quit after a year and took his man bag with him. When the two parted ways, Jensen didn’t perform as well without his master – he was sacked as coach of Randers in 2009 after zero wins from eleven matches.

 

What’s next for ‘Faxe’?

 

The rumours are swilling because Laudrup has just been appointed manager of Swansea City. Will his sidekick follow? We’ll have to wait and see.

 





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