Whatever happened to Arsenal’s John Jensen?

JensenJohn Jensen became a cult hero at Highbury during his time at Arsenal in the 1990s and the Danish international known as ‘Faxe’ is largely fondly remembered by Arsenal fans. Jensen was a defensive midfielder who provided some steel for the Gunners in the middle of the park and allowed more creative players like Paul Merson to break forward whilst the Dane anchored the midfield. He helped Arsenal to the League Cup and FA Cup double in 1993, as well as the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994 despite missing out on the final in Copenhagen in his home country. Jensen made over one hundred appearances in his four years at Arsenal and the Dane has continued to make his mark in world football.

Jensen started his career in Denmark at Brondby and was part of the Championship winning team of the late 1980s. He won a place in Denmark’s national side and was a key member of the squad by the time Euro 1992 came around. Unexpectedly Denmark went all the way in the competition, and claimed the trophy by beating Germany 2-0 in the final, with Jensen netting the first goal from the edge of the area. As a result, then Arsenal manager George Graham snapped him up for £1 million, a move that has since been implicated in bung allegations and Graham’s involvement with agent Rune Hauge eventually saw him get the sack. John Jensen is most famously remembered for his lack of goals at Arsenal, with fans often screaming ‘shoot’ when he had the ball. He scored his solitary goal for the Gunners against QPR in 1994, resulting in t-shirts being made that had ‘I saw John Jensen score’ printed on them:

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He returned to Denmark for a third spell with Brondby in 1996, before entering the world of football management after winning 69 caps for Denmark. In 1999 he took up the role of player-manager at Herfolge, sensationally winning the Danish Superliga in his first season. Relegation followed the next season though, and Jensen retired from football in 2002, moving on to become assistant manager at his former club Brondby under fellow Denmark legend Michael Laudrup. Four years at Brondby was capped by the double winning season in 2005, before Jensen followed Laudrup to La Liga, where he became assistant manager at Getafe for just one season as Laudrup resigned. His most recent foray into football management has proved to be unsuccessful, as he took charge of Danish side Randers in 2009, but was soon sacked in October after a run of nine defeats and two draws in eleven matches. Given his poor results in Denmark a return to the Premier League looks unlikely, but many Arsenal fans will still remember John Jensen’s solitary strike at Highbury.