Danish football journalist and scout Henning Andersen spoke exclusively to threeandin’s Thomas Giles about Birmingham’s Danish striker Nicolai Brock-Madsen.
Henning, thank you for speaking to threeandin, first of all can you tell us a bit about Brock-Madsen’s background and some general information about him?
– With his transfer to City, it is the first time in his life that Brock-Madsen is associated with any other club than Randers. He was born and raised there, and came through the ranks of the club. But a combination of club interests, strong competition for playing time and Brock-Madsen’s relative success with the Danish U21 national side made him available for transfer.
How was Brock-Madsen utilised at Randers? What formation and style of play suit him best as statistically he is not a regular goalscorer? Birmingham play him in a 4-2-3-1 formation, is this ideal?
– With Colin Todd at the helm, Brock-Madsen played his role in a traditional British style 4-4-2 as the number 9 in a typical little and large strikeforce. However, lack of affectivity in front of goal meant diminished playing time, and this was part of the reason why Randers FC decided to accept the offer from Blues. I don’t think that his style of play benefits from playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but he is still young, and has had experience with the 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation from the national U21-side.
You mentioned Colin Todd who of course played for Birmingham, can you tell us about Todd’s relationship with Brock-Madsen and the influence he’s had on his career?
– He’s been a massive influence on “Brockie” (thats a nickname invented by Todd actually). As you probably know, Todd is a no nonsense kind of manager, and that sat well with Brock-Madsen, as well as helping him getting professionalism in his performances so to speak.
The Championship is a notoriously physically demanding league, does he have the stamina and physical capabilities to last a testing 46 game season with no winter break on a regular basis?
– During “Brockie’s” last time in Randers, he was subjected to an English-like playing programe with the first team as well as playing for the reserves, so I think that he will be able to adapt to that with time.
Birmingham signed Brock-Madsen for around £500,00 with clauses possibly taking the transfer fee up to £1m. Do you think we got a bargain and were Randers satisfied with the deal?
– I am sure that they were quite pleased with the transfer fee at Randers but he is in some ways still a “project” who will need nurturing to get the most out of him. I don’t think that BCFC were ripped off on the deal but it will need some work for him to be a regular goal scorer in the Championship as well as preparing him for an eventual Premier League career.
Brock-Madsen is still a very young player, how far do you think his career can go both at club and national team level?
– Still a little bit early to tell. I don’t see him as a Premier League striker in two years, but he does have the desire to improve his skill as well as some natural skills which are hard to learn. However, he is still some way away from being a full international striker.
Currently he is only playing due to an injury to Birmingham’s star striker Clayton Donaldson. Once Donaldson is back Brock-Madsen will probably be on the bench again. Did he perhaps leave Denmark to early and sitting on the bench could stall his career?
– I am sure that economy is part of his reasoning for accepting a deal with Blues but the games he is getting at BCFC at the moment will help his development. He has been used to having to cope with strong competition for places, so I don’t think he necessarily needs the comfort of guaranteed first team football to develop as a footballer and as a striker.
You can follow Henning Andersen on Twitter @HenningA_DK and Thomas Giles @thomas_giles_uk