Molde FK – Match Report vs Vålerenga IF (02/04/2022)

On their first match of the season Molde FK beat Valerenga IF with 1-0 at home. Erling Moe’s Molde lined up in a 3-4-3 formation with Magnus Wolff Eikrem playing as a false nine to allow the two wingers to sit more narrow and give space on the flanks for the upcoming wingbacks. Valerenga played a 4-3-3 with Aron Dönnum, who recently came back on loan from Standard, on the right side. For Dönnum it was a night to forget quickly. The flamboyant Norwegian winger had a tough match and got sent off in injury time after picking up a second yellow card. The homeside dominated the match but had to wait long for their goal. After nearly an hour Magnus Wolff Eikrem found Martin Linnes completely unmarked in the box. The right wingback stayed cool and slotted home the only goal of the match.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Sivert Mannsverk

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 08/05/2002
  • Current club: Molde FK
  • Career: Sogndal IL, Molde FK
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Sivert Mannsverk joined Molde FK halfway through the last season from Sogndal IL, who play on the second level of Norwegian football. The 19-year old already played over 50 matches for Sogndal, where he was captain at the age of 18. Despite big interest in the youngster from the likes of Arsenal, Ajax and Lazio Mannsverk opted to stay in Norway and join Molde. It didn’t take him long to adapt to the Eliteserien and after around two months Mannsverk kept his spot in the starting lineup.

In the season opener against Valerenga Mannsverk played as the right-sided defensive midfielder next to Etzaz Hussain. The 19-year old was the most defensive of the pair as Hussain often had the freedom to move or press forward. Mannsverk however stayed back a bit more, playing more as a playmaker in front of the defensive line. Mannsverk often led the build-up for his side receiving a lot of passes from the three centre backs. When Valerenga was in possession Mannsverk positioned himself well, moving with the ball and always keeping the pitch compact cutting off passing lanes in the middle.

On the ball Mannsverk looked really strong throughout the match. He was always very composed and looked like he has been playing in this Molde side for years. With Valerenga dropping back quite for, he wasn’t really tested under pressure a lot though, but the few times he came forward and had the ball in smaller spaces he looked fine technically. His distribution was also really strong. He played a lot of simple passes just playing the ball from one centre back to the other but showed some real quality as well. He played a lot of good forward passes and also showed that he has a great passing range with some nice switches towards the left side of the pitch.

Standing at around 6’1” tall Mannsverk has quite the physical presence as well. He has quite an athletic build for his age but still moves and turns easily. The 19-year-old wasn’t in too many defensive duels but he could have shown a bit more aggression in the duels that he had. He showed great awareness though picking up a lot of loose balls and also intercepting a few passes.

Rating – A2

A very strong first game of the season by Sivery Mannsverk, who definitely has the potential to make a nice step from Molde FK in the future. I’m still curious about his defensive abilities and how he acts under more pressure though.

Datro Fofana

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ivorian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 22/12/2002
  • Current club: Molde FK
  • Career: Abidjan City FC, AFAD Djékanou (Loan), Molde FK
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: Right Wing, Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Datro Fofana started out as the right-winger for Molde FK and moved to the left side for a while in the second half. The 19-year-old had a pretty quiet game and didn’t really have impact in the final third for his side. With Eikrem as a false nine he played quite narrow on the wing to give Martin Linnes space to overlap on the right side. Fofana stands at around 6’0” and looked quite strong against Valerenga. He used his body well multiple times whilst shielding the ball from his opponents or in defensive duels. One of Fofana’s main weapons is probably his pace, but there weren’t really a lot of moments where he could showcase this. Valerenga mostly dropped quite far back when Molde had possession, which didn’t give him a lot of space to run. There were a few moments though where you could see his electrifying pace in action.

Fofana didn’t have a lot of success with the ball at his feet. He really struggled to find any space and was neutralized by Valerenga’s defenders for most of the match. The Ivorian winger tried to take on his direct opponent multiple times but either was dispossessed or had to play a safe ball back. When he moved to the left he often tried to cut inside to his right but didn’t really find any space here either. Fofana still should’ve scored this game. In the 7th minute a cross from the left that was headed away by a defender from Valerenga fell right in front of Fofana’s feet who was in the six-yard box. Fofana didn’t find the net though as Valerenga’s goalkeeper Kjetil Haug was very alert. His other two shots this game were easily saved by the goalkeeper and blocked by a defender.

Rating – C

It was quite a poor game from Datro Fofana who struggled to find any impact. He showed some glimpses of potential but simply didn’t feature enough in this game.

Ola Brynhildsen

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 27/04/1999
  • Current club: Molde FK
  • Career: Stabaek, Molde FK
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ola Brynhildsen was the counterpart of Datro Fofana, starting on the left wing and later on switching to the right for a while. He basically played the exact same as Fofana, sitting a little more narrow, to give space to his left wing back. The 22-year-old had a few more good moments than Fofana but also didn’t play a very good match. Brynhildsen stands at 5’9” and had it quite tough physically against his opponents being muscled off the ball quite easily a couple of times. The Norwegian winger was very active throughout the match making a lot of runs and often dropping back to pick up the ball. When he had the ball further up the pitch however he would often opt to cut back instead of looking forward which lead to a lower tempo in Molde’s attacks. He had a few dangerous moments with some shots but most of them really missed some power.

In the final third Brynhildsen often needed a little too much time, which resulted in a loss of possession. The few times he tried to take on his direct opponent in a 1v1 duel he was most often dispossessed. The time that he got past his opponent he went for a shot which just went wide.

Rating – C

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