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Man of the Month: Johan Elmander

JohanElmanderOk, I know this is Man of the Month, and Johan's month was February, but really it's not fair because February only has 28 days! So this is sort of like February 30th. Oh shut up, it's my blog I'll break the rules if I want!
Oh Johan, you're like my cocaine addicted friend that keeps saying she'll get better, she'll do better, and then goes right back to the cocaine. Only in this case cocaine is not being able to perform your job as a striker, and your inability to fix your problem doesn't result in homelessness. Hopefully.

Born in 1981 in some town I can't pronounce in Sweden, and started playing professionally for his hometown club at 15. He continued bopping around the Swedish lower leagues until he moved to the Danish Dutch club Feyenoord when he was 18. While he wasn't really ever a starter, he was put on in the final of the WEFA Cup in 2002, which Feyenoord won 3-2 against Borussia Dortmund. He then went out on several loans (first back to Sweden, then in Denmark). His real start was at Brøndby IF (BIF for short, which I love) in the Danish Superliga.

At BIF (I giggle every time I type it) Elmander hit his stride. His goal tally (22 in 58 appearances) wasn't great, but he was a play maker, sending balls through, making runs, pulling defense. The 2004-5 season BIF won the Danish Double, and Elmander won the BIF Player of the Year. In 2006 he caught the eye of French club Toulouse.

This is a moving montage was made by a Toulousian (if you're thinking I put the video in mostly because of the music, you're right), it was posted right around the time Bolton bought him for a record 8.2 mil. And ever since then he's been less than impressive. I'm a patient woman, I understand transferring from the French Ligue to the Premiership is a big transition, but if you have the word "striker" by job position, a 9 month goalless streak isn't good enough.

At the ripe old age of 28 Elmander can't expect to develop much more, and he certainly isn't going to get the sudden gift of speed. What he should focus on is consistency, putting in balls, setting up options, distracting defense. Bolton is probably going to be his last big club, he needs to start finishing his legacy out. He used to be hailed as a creative spark, maybe he can get it back.