When ex Newcastle man Jon Dahl Tomasson , now manager of Malmo in Sweden, did his media duties on the eve of playing Rangers in the Champions League qualifiers in the summer, he opened up with the right hook to the jaw, the jab to the chest.

He suggested Rangers needed to win the tie because they needed the money. This was true and still is, but no one dare say that.

In one fell swoop, Tomasson heaped the pressure on the Glasgow side before the second leg and visibly from kick off, Rangers and Gerrard physically wilted with the oppression of the situation and Malmo completed a 4-2 aggregate victory repeating the first leg 2-1 score, despite having a man sent off in first half injury time. They were lethal against a side unbeaten at home in 18 months.

Tomasson had spread the “fear and panic” which Gerrard admitted gulfed his all-conquering side.

It got me thinking that if Tomasson has used that sort of nous on the pitch at United things could have been so different.

Too many times the Denmark international collapsed like Rangers did that night. Scared of failing.

Wearing the number 16 shirt against Sheffield Wednesday, he streaked clear minutes into the first home game of the season after an outrageous Asprilla flick, he simply gave us a foreword to his United career by meekly passing it at Kevin Pressman and missing the chance to ignite his career.

His trophy cabinet of titles in Italy and Holland, Champions League, UEFA Cup and Super cup was his subsequent two finger salute to us a we writ him off as not strong enough to succeed.

If only that day against the Owls he had hit the shot with the conviction that he decimated Rangers’ confidence it could have been so different.

His later moves and career showed he could have been a perfect foil for Shearer who’s career threatening injury weeks before thrust United into chaos and Tomasson to a unfamiliar position.

Tomasson’s 4 goals in 35 games a minor blip on a stellar career of 236 goals in 578 games. A goal just over every 2 games a feat he bettered at international level.

Our scouting and chase of him completely justified it just didn’t happen for us at a time when perfection was demanded, maybe a Joelinton renaissance might have happened over time, maybe not.

Now his career has finished he’s moved into management and Tomasson is already raising eyebrows as a future star again , this time in the dugout.

It didn’t start well as his spell at Roda in the Dutch league ended up pretty much like his spell did here. Disastrously.

The small team from Southern Holland were relegated and Tomasson lasted 5 months into a three year contract.

Maybe us and Roda JC could bond on the fact that JDT was shit at least one other team. Actually scratch that, Feyenoord would turn up with fireworks and Mackems in tow.

It was too early for Tomasson, just two years after he retired in 2011 and he slipped back from the limelight taking an assistant job again in Holland at Vitesse Arnhem in 2015.

Vitesse were weirdly intertwined with Chelsea at that point after the two clubs Russian owners ‘bonded’. Dominic Solanke one of a host of Blues youngsters under Tomasson in Arnhem.

Then in March 2016 his country came calling again. He ended up joint all time top scorer with the Danes and it was the natural progression for Tomasson to assist Age Hareide.

Tomasson was influential in the development in the likes of Andreas Christensen and helped Denmark qualify for World cups and Euros, a lot of his work seeing fruit now as the Danes look dark horses to follow up the emotion charged run at Euro 2020 at the World cup in Qatar.

Tomasson though fancied a go at management again .

This brings us to where he currently is, Malmo FF . This is probably the biggest job in Scandinavia after the national teams and the only one which Tomasson admitted himself, that he would have left the Denmark set up for.

Malmo have won a record 22 Swedish titles and 14 national cups. This is a big deal. The days are gone of Swedish clubs reaching European Cup Finals are over due to finance, but Malmo did just that in 1979 losing to Clough’s Nottingham Forest . Now the brief for any Malmo coach is to win the league and navigate the time bomb Champions League Qualifiers.

If that’s Tomasson’s brief, he’s delivering so far.

In 2020 , his first season he ended the clubs three year (must be tough) title wait .

The ‘Allvenskan’ delivering not only Tomasson the manager of the year award in his debut season, but a chance of returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2015.

Tomasson had not only won the Swedes over (they don’t care for the Danes much) and the Malmo fans who were initially not over the moon.

Tomasson played for us in the Champions League and desperately wanted his side back in it.

To do this , they had to start before the semi finals had started in the Euros . They edged out Riga then held on to beat Fins HJK Helsinki, who actually came very close to an upset.

This brought the Rangers game and a massive high of Tomasson’s career so far. After that they beat Bulgarians Ludogorets 3-2 on aggregate. They were there.

The Champions League saw Malmo drawn in a daunting group with Juventus , Zenit and Chelsea . A late equaliser against ten men Zenit robbing them of a debut win and £2.3m bonus and despite brave performances , they were outclassed by all three but for teams like Malmo, it really is all about being there.

Tomasson is quietly gaining a reputation in Sweden and says he feels as good about getting Malmo into the champions league than winning it with Milan. Asked about his mentors recently, Ancelotti and (gulp) Dalglish were mentioned, saying Kenny was “a man of his word”. Hopefully he was a man of his word as he swapped Ginola and Ferdinand for Hamilton and Rush. Sorry had to say it.

There is no doubt Tomasson will take the next level up soon, don’t rule out a return to Feyenoord or rumours have persisted about movers to Italy and Germany, as well as Denmark if as possible Kasper Hjulmand takes a big offer after the World Cup.

If he reaches the next level after that in the next five years, is it inconceivable that Tomasson might end up righting the wrongs of his playing days here at United?

He’s certainly a coach on the up and though I’ve had enough of managerial rumours to last me a lifetime and I’m not expecting Howe to go anywhere soon, keep an eye on the lad who fluffed that chance.

To be fair Pressman was the ultimate keeper to make himself big, he was huge.

Could Tomasson be back one day, ably assisted by Guivarc’h and Cabella. The dream team.

SCOTT ROBSON