IT WAS one of the strangest stories of the summer.
Tucked away in the pile of newsprint chronicling Chelsea’s pursuit of Luca Modric, overshadowed by Cesc Fabregas’ Catalan love affair, was the revelation that Harry Forrester, a promising young midfielder released by Aston Villa, had rejected Ajax’s overtures and completed a transfer to Brentford instead.
A decision likely to have sent Johann Cruyff reaching for the Marlboros and leave Frank De Boer, the Dutch giant’s coach, shaking his head in disgust and despair.
But for Uwe Rosler, who has also turned his back on a life of luxury to sample life at football’s sharp end, the 20-year-old’s seemingly bizarre actions made perfect sense.
“Harry wanted to explore the possibility of being at Ajax and so went there,” he said. “But in the end he wanted to come to us and we are very happy to have him. He will fulfil a role that we are lacking.
“When Harry is fully fit and learns how we want to go about our business then he can very important for us both now and in the future.”
Forrester, who made seven appearances for Kilmarnock during a loan spell north of the border 12 months ago, could be named on the bench for the visit to Sheffield United.
But defender Leon Legge hopes to return after missing the midweek Carling Cup defeat by Hereford with a calf problem.
“I need to start getting first team football and prove myself in a men’s environment,” Forrester admitted.
“I’m a clever player who likes to work just off the striker and hope that I’ll be entertaining to watch.”
Hailing from the old East German town of Altenburg, once famous for producing beautifully designed playing cards, Rosler should be used to keeping a poker face.
But the former Manchester City and Kaiserlautern striker has shown no interest in double-speak or deception, since taking charge at Griffin Park.
Instead, speaking ahead of his team’s visit to United, Rosler made no attempt to disguise his tactics.
“We want to dominate and control games but you can’t do that if you don’t have the ball,” he said.
With United manager Danny Wilson also encouraging his players to express themselves, tomorrow’s encounter promises to be entertaining.
But a commitment to going about their business ‘the right way’ is not the only thing these two rivals have in common.
Like Wilson, who subjected United’s performance during last weekend’s win at Oldham Athletic to almost forensic degrees of examination following their return from Boundary Park, Rosler makes no apology for his pursuit of footballing perfection.
Indeed, having seen Brentford demolish Tonbridge Angels 10-0 four weeks ago, he lambasted the Londoners for starting the pre-season fixture in sloppy fashion rather than lauding their prowess in front of goal.
Wilson, who watched United reach the second round of the Carling Cup at Hartlepool, is pleased with the momentum his team are gathering but said: “The most important thing is winning but we can still do more.
“I’ve seen us play some good football in pockets and it’s a start. All of the lads are keen to take on board what we’re trying to do and put it into action.”