Optima Football Blog

A personal space sharing thoughts, opinions & news from the founder.

Latest updates on Optima Football

2022

Reached the top in China Permalink

A story in a large Danish newspaper about winning the championship with Shanghai SIPG and now aiming to help other clubs develop the same way.

Coming home to Denmark

Coming home: Sometimes in life there are moments and situations where things are much bigger than yourself. Moments where a choice is not really a choice, bu...

Time to reflect

While enjoying my holiday from (mostly) sunny Denmark, it’s an interesting period in our life leaving Al Jazira Club and the UAE.

Official: Leaving Al Jazira Club

A few weeks ago, I handed in my resignation to the board of Al Jazira Club. It has been two very interesting and challenging years where we described and des...

Winner of the UAE Super Cup 2021/2022

It is always a privilege to be part of a journey where you can help a club forward and add to its history. On January 7th 2022, we won the UAE Super Cup, and...

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2021

The future looks bright Permalink

We had a good season with our new club strategy at Al Jazira Club and for us the future looks even better having a big potential in our club and 1.team squad...

Interview with Arab News Permalink

We are building and implementing a very interesting project in the Gulf at Al Jazira Club trying to use a sustainable model that will lift the club into the ...

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2020

A new year - with new possibilities

2020 has in many ways been a sad and strange year for all of us. Covid-19 has changed our way of living and more seriously damaged people in many ways. We we...

Inspiring the next gen

Whenever possible, I enjoy ‘giving something back’ trying to inspire others helping young people to find their path or increase their internal motivation.

Launch of new book

Today, we (ex FC Copenhagen-CEO, Dan Hammer and I) are excited and proud to announce the official launch of our new book “Hvor svært kan det være?” (“How har...

Football Strategy Webinar

This past week, I had the pleasure to join and speak at a webinar arranged by the Icelandic Coaching Association.

“Don’t waste a good crisis”

Different types of crisis will occur from time to time. The current one makes football not important at all, but as an industry we still have to prepare for ...

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2019

Firing frequencies in football

Football is a low-scoring game where the winner takes it all. Therefore, we become outcome biased and tend to only look and judge a head coach on the results.

Interview & podcast with Playmaker

These recent weeks, I have done a column and lately a podcast with the media Playmaker. The column regarding the understanding of talent - born or developed?

Optima Football launches new academy

As part of the vision to explore, challenge and develop the world of football, five ambitious people will be given an internal education and foundation to he...

Interview on Skysports

‘Gareth Bale to China’ has become one of the big summer transfer window 2019-stories, and I have been giving insights from my 7 years in Chinese football to ...

A dangerous development for football

I did an interview this past week in relation to a report from Cies showing how the unpredictability in top football has decreased massively in the past 10 y...

Transfer Window Analysis

The January 2019 transfer window has now closed through out most of Europe and there are a few interesting elements to analyse:

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2018

Help lifting the Chinese society

As one of the private investor, I’m very proud and excited to announce not only our new business-project, but at the same time a meaningful and social-projec...

Time to reflect

I have now after nearly 7 years in China - operating in Chinese football - returned for a holiday period in Denmark.

The Future Game

How can we predict the future? How do we analyze what football will look like by 2025? To create long term succession planning this is the main task for club...

Interview regarding my future

As I’m leaving Shanghai SIPG F.C. at the end of this year, I had a talk with Danish media BT (sporten.dk) regarding my future.

Iranian podcast interview Permalink

A while ago, I did an interview with the Iranian football podcast ‘Gol Bezan’ about my nearly 7 years in Asia & Asian football to discuss the development...

New Advisory-roles

I have in the recent period had several talks and offers from interesting projects around the World, and I’m pleased to announce two new advisory-roles. Both...

Interview: Use of data in football

I have in the last 10 years or so worked with data trying to study and explore how to implement data efficiently in the World of football.

World Cup 2018 columns

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, I’m hired as a ‘football expert writer’ for Danish media ‘Politiken’.

An education for life

It’s my ‘China-anniversary’ these weeks. Exactly 6 years ago, I arrived in China with two suitcases, a lot of hope, dreams - and a bit of fear.

“We rise by lifting others”

As a major part of my passion for developing people, teams and concepts, I have done several key note speeches the last 5 years.

How to manage to unmanageable?

Over the recent years, I have been hired by business groups, companies and for different events to do a speech on my 6 years operating in China. Not specific...

The biased game

The DNA of football is to win. Especially in the professional side of the game. The world of football is ‘black or white’; there are winners and losers - not...

Interview with The Financial Times

The 2018-football season in China are ahead of us and this past week, I did an interview with The Financial Times to discuss the current status and future pr...

Set goals, targets or not?

What’s your motivation? What’s your drive? And which experiences in your career do you remember in particular as meaningful? These questions can guide you to...

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2017

3 years anniversary - a time to reflect

By coincidence through a LinkedIn-update, I realized it’s my ‘3 years anniversary’ these days at Shanghai SIPG F.C. In football - that’s like a lifetime peri...

To achieve or to avoid?

A common saying is; there are no right or wrong in football. Another saying is: the winner is always right.

Meeting the Crown Prince of Denmark

This past week, I was invited to the south of China by the Danish embassy in China as of the official ‘Denmark Day’ took place on September 26th.

Short video from Shanghai & SIPG F.C.

A few month ago, I had a visit from Rabona Magazine and the journalist Michael Da Silva, who was producing a short documentary on Chinese football ahead of o...

Daily Mail on Chinese football

I had a visit from the English newspaper, The Daily Mail, this past week in Shanghai for them to understand the project and phase of Chinese football.

Succession planning requires a strategy

After visiting more than 20 top clubs in the past four years and in general developing my own strategy, philosophy & methodology in the past 10 years; I’...

Article - Bloomberg Business

In the recent months during my traveling, I had some interesting meetings - among them in Beijing with the journalist Tariq Panja from Bloomberg Media (Ameri...

The value of talent

A chapter from my book (in cooperation with Helle Hedegaard Hein) “Når talent forpligter” (Great talent requires great leadership):

Official publishing of our book

Tomorrow, on May 30, our Danish book “Når talent forpligter” will be officially published and ready to buy for the public.

Book to be published on May 30

My Danish book, “Når talent forpligter”, I’m writing in cooperation with leadership and motivational researcher & Ph.D., Helle Hedegaard Hein, is soon on...

Book ready soon

I’ve for the past 3 years been working in a field study turning into a book-project together with the Danish reasearcher and presenter, Helle Hedegaard Hein,...

Interview with The New York Times

The Chinese Super League 2017-season is starting this weekend and the entire World of football is now following the development in China.

Goal.com-article: The future for SIPG

Working abroad in a fast moving country like China has been and still is a fantastic experience. A few weeks back goal.com visited me for an interview also a...

Cultural intelligence strategy

In general, I believe you need a strategy for most things in life to control, evaluate, and succeed whatever you are doing or handling.

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2016

Modern football tendencies

This past week, I was invited to the Danish media, Mediano, to discuss modern football tendencies along side the Technical Director of FCN, Flemming Pedersen...

Inspiration-trip 2016

As we speak; I’m in London attending the LEADERS Sport Performance Summit. It’s a 2-day course for CEO’s, leaders and coaches and as always very inspiring + ...

Joining BBC World of Football

Yesterday, I was interviewed for the ‘BBC World of Football’ podcast regarding the development of the Chinese national team, their current bad run of results...

The SIPG Coaching Seminar 2.0

This past week, I hosted the Shanghai SIPG Coaching Seminar 2.0. We had all our youth coaches in Shanghai for 2-days moving into ‘phase 2’ of THE SIPG WAY - ...

Podcast with Danish media - Mediano

I was in Denmark last week due to the FIFA-dates & our short game-break to catch some Danish Super League games and also found time to join the Danish me...

Insights on Chinese football

I had a chat with the journalist James Montague, who was doing a longer piece on the development and current status in Chinese football. The article is very ...

Interview with Manchester United-TV

Several European top teams are in China these weeks on Pre-Season Tour, & I did an interview with Manchester United-TV as they play in Shanghai tomorrow ...

Official: Hulk signs for our club

It’s a big step and a massive day for our young club, Shanghai SIPG F.C. when our General Manager, Mr. Sui, today announced the signing of the Brazilian top ...

BBC-story on Chinese football

A few weeks back, I had a visit from the English BBC World News making a story about the development in Chinese football. They visited me and my Shanghai SIP...

Blog: The Chinese Powerhouse

I’ve worked together with the ‘Player Development Project’ for a while and recently they asked me to do a piece on my 4 years working in Chinese football loo...

Chinese football is a long term project

There is no doubt the ‘Chinese Dream’ about creating a football powerhouse is a long term project. I have seen and heard a lot of Western media not being sur...

Joining BBC, ESPN & Goal.com

The January 2016 transfer window in China has reached the headlines all over the World of football and the international media have started to make an intere...

New contract with Shanghai SIPG FC

I’m very proud and happy to announce that I’ve extended my contract with my current club, Shanghai SIPG FC, for the next 3 years. The SIPG-project is very in...

Pre-Season in Spain & South Korea

The Pre-Season for the Chinese Super League 2016 has begun, and I’ve just been 10 days with the 1. team in Spain - at Gran Canary Island. This period is most...

Executive Board member at Memphis F.C.

A new football club has been started in Tennessee, USA by some very inspiring and proactive people, and therefore I was keen on joining the board of the club...

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2015

CSL 2015 season finished: Silver and CL

Our season in China is now finished, and we can be satisfied reaching our goal with silver (number 2) and qualification to the Asian Champions League in 2016...

Interview with 4-4-2

The past week, I did an interview with the football magazine & online site, “4-4-2” about our season in China and an insight on how we work in terms of r...

Dontt: What about motivation?

I have this past week again done my “Dontt” - this time about motivation and how I think & hope we will see more focus on this aspect in the future in ou...

UEFA PRO-license completed

I’m very proud to announce that I have completed and passed the UEFA PRO coaching license course at the Danish FA this past week. 18 very interesting and ins...

The Chinese transfer perspective

A transfer window is among the most interesting periods in football, where the clubs can buy, sell or loan players, and it’s all about getting a stronger squ...

New blog at Danish media

For several years in the past, I have been a ‘blogger’ at the famous Danish football magazine TIPSBLADET - and now I’m back! My first blog is already online ...

Joined Danish radio football podcast

During my very short trip to Denmark last week to follow my UEFA Pro license coaching course, I had to wait half a day for the next flight to Shanghai, so I ...

AFC 2015: China - Australia analysis

Unfortunately, China is now out of the Asian Cup 2015 after a 0-2 defeat against Australia. The host nation scored after a set piece and had the individual q...

AFC 2015: China - Uzbekistan analysis

First of all; what a night for Chinese football! China is for the first time in 10 years ready for the quarter finals in the Asian Cup. And this is after jus...

AFC 2015: China - Saudi Arabia analysis

We have now seen all the teams in action at the Asian Cup 2015 and so far the favorites has done well and secured an important win in the first game of the g...

Asian Cup 2015 preview

The AFC Asian Cup this January is obviously of massive interest in all of Asia. And after a disappointing World Cup 2014 for all of the Asian teams, we will ...

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2014

Holiday and the future

The Chinese football season ended on November 3rd with a 3-1 win at Jiangsu, and we are generally extremely satisfied with our results and performances reach...

Column about the future of the striker

In Danish football magazine, Tipsbladet, I recently did a column showing my analysis and view on the future of the striker and this crucial position. What ar...

Interview in Chinese magazine

A magazine in China did an interview with me regarding my work as coach, analyst and scout in Guangzhou R&F F.C. + my view on Chinese football after almo...

Column in Danish newspaper Politiken

On Sunday, I did a column together with lector at Aarhus University, Kristian Thomsen, regarding the lack of pressure in Danish talent development. We think ...

Radio show: Football FM

This past week, I got an invitation to join the Danish football radio show, “Fodbold FM”, where we discuss football for 2 hours live in the radio at channel ...

Interview in Danish radio show

Last week, the Danish fotball radio show, ‘Fodbold FM’, did an interview with me regarding the matchfixing-case in Denmark.

To be a Prima Donna

I am a prima donna with a slightly touch of being introverted. I found out some years ago when I met the Danish researcher and Ph.D. lecturer, Helle Hedegaar...

World Cup 2014 tendencies

The biggest and most interesting football event is now over and it’s time to analyze and look back at the tournament and the tactical related tendencies we m...

WC Round 2-3: Don’t keep the ball

We are now in the final 16 of the World Cup and my analysis and stats had a huge step up this past week as I went for my UEFA Pro license course in Copenhage...

Radio interview: My challenge in China

For two years, I have been living in Mainland China, and it has been and still is a fantastic journey. I’ve learned so much about culture, people, myself and...

WC Round 1: The key of the penalty box

The World Cup has finished the first round of the group stage, and I’m excited about the offensive minded concepts and the fact we are talking about the offe...

Interview - regarding Laudrup and Ilso

This past week our club released the Danish player Ken Ilso. Therefore the Danish media wanted my comment on why we had to let Ken go. You can read the artic...

Why and how to use statistics?

The World Cup 2014 is almost starting, and I will during the WC write some columns and make some analysis, and this is the first one - a pre-analysis.

Radio interview with Danish P1

Today, I had the pleasure to do an interview with the Danish radio station P1. We talked about the development of football in Asia and China. I’m very please...

Signing Danish player Ken Ilsø

Just before the transfer window closed, my Chinese club Guangzhou R&F signed the Danish player Ken Ilsø. This was of an interesting media story in Denmar...

Training camp - Chinese season coming up

As we speak, I’m in Turkey at our training camp 2014 preseason tour before the start of the Chinese Super League (CSL) 2014. We are here for two weeks to foc...

Interview with Danish FA (DBU)

In January, I started attending the UEFA PRO-license coaching course in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Danish FA (DBU). This is the last step in the internationa...

Interview in Danish magazine Euroman

The Danish magazine Euroman did a short interview with me this week regarding me position and job in Guangzhou, China working with famous head coach Sven Gör...

Radio show: Beyond The Pitch

I was very lucky in late December to be invited to the great and famous American radio show - ‘Beyond The Pitch’ to discuss football and the development of f...

Radio show: Football FM

Just before my departure to China in January 2014, I was invited to the Danish radio show “Football FM” on the Danish broadcast Radio 24/7, where we discuss ...

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2013

What is good leadership?

In this article (in Danish), I discuss how to be a good leader/coach and how to understand, respect, and develop your employees together with yourself:

Radio show: Football FM

This past week, I was invited to join the football radio program on Danish radio station 24-7, “Fodbold FM”. It was a very interesting debate regarding inter...

Interviews: In Danish media about Wu Lei

This week star Chinese player Wu Lei from Shanghai East Asia is linked with a potential move to Danish side FC Copenhagen, so in relation to this move, I’ve ...

To manage other aspects than 4-2-3-1

I have the past 1½ year lived in Shanghai, China as Technical Director of the Ebbe Sand Academy – the first international elite academy in the big Chinese ci...

Head Coach of the Legend’s Team

On Thursday, November 14th, I will attend the Tour of the Football Legends in China as the official head coach of the team. I’m flattered to be involved in t...

Chinese column – season close down

The Chinese Super League (CSL) 2013 has now ended after an interesting season where Guangzhou Evergrande as expected became the champions while Shanghai East...

Chinese column - Vital Changchun-win

This week, I saw three of the teams involved in the relegation battle live, and we can conclude that Qingdao is looking to join Wuhan as the team going down ...

Chinese TV-program - Match of the week

I’m now working as a football expert analyst at the most popular online-TV program HUPU in China. We make the program “Match of the week”, where I analyze a ...

Video: Match of the week at HUPU

I’m now working as a football expert analyst at the most popular online-TV program HUPU in China. We make the program “Match of the week”, where I analyze a ...

Den dygtige angriber - uden mål

De danske angribere scorer generelt ikke mange mål (der er altid undtagelser). Det kan skyldes skolingen fra ungdomselitesystemet, hvor der i moderne fodbold...

Chinese column: The new Chinese style

The EAFF East Asian Cup is now over, and we can be very excited regarding the Chinese performance and a second place. The results were good, but even more im...

Chinese column – EAFF East Asian Cup

The CSL is taking a short summer break and instead it’s time for the national teams to perform. This and next week, I will do analysis on the EAFF games incl...

What motivates elite athletes?

In the Danish newspaper Information, we can read an interesting study about elite athletes and their motivation to work hard 365 days in many years. The stud...

Video: Interview in China

In this video interview, I tell about the promising Chinese player, Tycho Collins. A young player, I brought to Denmark for a trial in January and have train...

Interview: Davidsen close to new job

In these three interviews, I tell famous Danish football magazine, Tipsbladet, website onside.dk, and a local Danish paper about my current job situation.

Chinese column: The Chinese Derby

Beijing played well in the first half – Shenhua is still not playing very well, but the team just keeps on getting their points and Sunday evening they won t...

Chinese column: The kings of Shanghai

This weekend had two big Derby’s in China, but my main focus is on the Shanghai-Derby as Guangzhou Evergrande was at least on level above Guangzhou R&F a...

Website relaunch - now English language

My webiste has now been through a relaunch and from now on everything will be in English. Some of my old analysis and columns will remain in Danish, but all ...

Chinese column: Dalian and Liaoning

It is yet another interesting week of the CSL. A good top match between Evergrande and Beijing, but I will leave this one for now, because most of you reader...

Column writter in Chinese media

I am very proud to announce that I from now on will write one column a week for the famous Chinese media; hupu.com. I was contacted by Hupu and after some go...

Wu Lei - a hot prospect

In this CSL season I have watched 4 LIVE games + seen almost every game at my tv or at my computer. I am building up a shortlist of interesting players and t...

Lær at lave en kampanalyse

Hvis du ønsker at arbejde med fodbold (og visse andre sportsgrene) på elite niveau, så skal du lære at lave en kampanalyse, hvor du skematisk og systematisk ...

The girl who could not lose

Everyone with interest in Elite sport and talent development should watch this fantastic documentary about the Swedish athlete Carolina Klüft.

30-20-10 løbetræningsmodellen

I 2009-2010 var jeg med i et forskningsforsøg på August Krogh Institutet i København omkring intervaltræning frem mod udholdenhedskonkurrencer. Meget, meget ...

Besøg på Shanghai Sports School

I dag fik jeg helt unikt adgang til Shanghai Sports School, hvor kineserne træner børn fra 7-8 års alderen med henblik på en professional karriere. Det er på...

Danish TV: Chinese player in Denmark

Our Chinese players trial in Denmark has been a success. The player Tycho has performed very well and showed that he has a great potential if he keeps on dev...

Kinesisk talent i Danmark

Som nævnt kort før jul, så havde Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy en spændende event i Danmark, og nu er den aktuel, da vores 11-årige kinesiske talent Tycho Collins...

Chinese player on trial in Denmark

In January 2013 I will bring one of my most talented players for trial in Denmark. This is a big step and a part of the academy philosphy to higher the stand...

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2012

Links to inspiration

I love inspiration in my daily life and motivation is my patch to work hard every day. I love my life when I wake up in the morning and again at the end of d...

Den umulige kinesiske kampanalyse

Igennem min tid som træner, under træneruddannelserne og som kampanalytiker for Brøndby IF, har jeg set og analyseret masser af hold fra hele Europa. Det er ...

Article from onside.dk

Danish website onside.dk brings the story about our good and solid start in Shanghai working with talent development in China Mainland.

Velkommen til Kina!

Inden min afrejse til Shanghai i Kina nedskrev jeg to dokumenter, der skulle forberede mig grundigt på den udfordring, jeg stod over for. Jeg opdelte udfordr...

EM’s taktiske tendenser 2.0

En slutrunde danner altid grobund for massive fodbolddiskussioner og har igennem historien vist, at fremtidens fodbold viser sit ansigt netop her. Tendensern...

EM’s taktiske tendenser 1.0

En slutrunde danner altid grobund for massive fodbolddiskussioner og har igennem historien vist, at fremtidens fodbold viser sit ansigt netop her. Tendensern...

Farvel til Brøndby IF

Det var i dag min sidste kamp i Brøndby IF for denne gang, så mange, mange tak til alle spillere, ledere, trænere og personer omkring klubben og primært Tale...

Dyrk glæden i den daglige træning

Fodboldtræning skal ikke nødvendigvis være sjovt, men stimulerende og lærerigt for børnene. På den måde fremelskes glæden ved spillet - og det bedste udvikli...

Article about a Danish talent

In this article I am asked about one of my talented U19 players - Frederik Holst (Brondby IF). And I can only say a fantastis play, human being and big pleas...

VM ved den persiske bugt

FIFA’s opgave er først og fremmest at videreføre fodboldens fortælling, globalisere sporten, og derfor er det helt rigtigt at give den arabiske halvø et verd...

Different media stories

Here are some different stories from the Danish media, where I talk about different football subjects.

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2011

Aftale med Frontrunner Permalink

Jeg er rigtigt glad for at kunne præsentere min nye samarbejdsaftale med Frontrunner. Vi er blevet enige om en aftale, der forbedrer mine vilkår som træner, ...

JEG er Ironman!

Jeg er nu officielt en jernmand, da jeg i går søndag den 14. august gennemførte Copenhagen Challenge i tiden 11timer 56minutter og 23 sekunder.

God sommer

God sommer til alle derude! Jeg håber, at I har fået slappet af, hygget med familien, været på ferie og hvad der ellers måtte glæde den enkelte i en ferieper...

Kommenterer bold på Eurosport

Fra i aften kl. 20.30 og en uge frem kommenterer jeg hver aften på Eurosport eller Eurosport2, når U17 VM i Mexico er i gang. En fantastisk spændende turneri...

Dansk Mester 2010/2011

Modtog i dag min første DM-guldmedalje, da vi spillede sidste U19 turneringskamp hjemme mod Lyngby. Desværre tabte vi 1-2, men alligevel var glæden stor efte...

Velkommen til madsdavidsen.com

I dag er min hjemmeside officielt åben, og det er jeg selvfølgelig glad for. Det er ingen hemmelighed, at fodbold er min passion, men jeg elsker også at form...

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2010

Den vitale 6’er

Balancespilleren og ankermanden på midten er blevet en af moderne fodbolds mest betydningsfulde spillere.

Zlatan-snak er tom for substans

Der er for meget populisme og alt for lidt viden, når medierne udnævner talenter til at være ‘Danmarks Zlatan Ibrahimovic’.

Talentudviklingens dilemma

Jeg vil i det følgende advokere for, at man bør træne kort og eksplosivt. For der er evidens i videnskaben for, at det i langt højere grad forbedrer din fysi...

Talenterne er fremtiden

Fodboldverdens finansielle situation gør, at klubberne ikke længere vil hente dyre spillere, men i stedet satse på at udvikle dem selv.

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2009

Glæden er fodboldens DNA

Jeg har skrevet en artikel om, hvorfor glæde er essentielt i talentarbejde, som er udgivet på legestue.net.

Den indre dialog

Jeg har skrevet en artikel om mental træning og den indre dialog på legestue.net.

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