Forward Lasse Vibe scored his first goal for Brentford during their 3-1 defeat to Reading. Here he talks to Bees Review about joining fellow Dane Andreas Bjelland at the West London club.
“My family always had a great interest in sport,” said Vibe. “My mum and dad played football and at one point all five of us were playing handball, which is very popular in Denmark.”
While the 28-year-old and his two sporty siblings played football and handball to a good standard, for Lasse, football came out on top.
“When you see handball on TV the smallest guy is almost two metres,” said Lasse.
“You have to be big to make it to the highest level, but really I’ve always liked football more and that’s just how it was.”
Fortunately for Lasse, football has always liked him back. The forward attracted a number of suitors after netting 29 goals for Swedish club Goteborg last season. However, it was Brentford who got their guy.
“It’s not often that you get to choose,” said Lasse. “You have to go with your guts but with this club, in this league, and in this country, it was an easy decision. Definitely the easiest one I have made over the last few years. There wasn’t much to think about.”
The Dane considers England the home of football.
“When I grew up there was one game on TV each week and that was a Premier League match,” said Lasse.
“For me, football comes from here. I grew up watching Peter Schmeichel at Manchester United and that triggered an interest in English football. Watching the partnership between Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole was a big thing for me, and the relationship they had with Giggs and Beckham.”
Leaving Goteborg part way through Europa League qualification was tough, says Vibe, but it was time for him to go.
“To arrive at Brentford personally feels great,” said Lasse. “This is the next step – a new country, new league. My priority is to settle down here and relax so that I can show the best part of myself on the pitch and adapt to a new style.”
Sporting a medium build, Vibe is confident he will succeed in the Sky Bet Championship and that his other skills compensate for any lack of strength.
“The last couple of years have seen more technical players arrive in England, like Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas,” said Lasse.
“People said it wouldn’t work, he’s too small, thin. But it has worked, and that has made a big impression on me. I understand the physical aspect of this league but I want to play my own style of fast, technical football. Players like Jota came through last year and did very well. The Championship is changing and I’m quite fast so that’s an advantage I can use.”
With a host of new signings arriving at Jersey Road, Vibe has fitted in well despite being one of the later arrivals.
“I am enjoying it,” said Lasse. “There’s a good mix, couple of Germans, an Austrian, some French players, Andreas Bjelland and I from Denmark. Obviously it helps having somebody you know from the national team – and we played each other in the Danish league.
"Andreas is a great guy and it’s good to have someone to talk to about your country and things that are going on back there. That’s been helping me a lot to settle in.”
Vibe is also impressed at how the British players have reacted to numerous changes over the summer.
“The British players are really open-minded,” said Lasse. “It is not like we have a separation between the Brits and the foreigners. That’s not how I feel – it’s been easy.”
Another European arrival has been Head Coach Marinus Dijkhuizen. How has Vibe found life so far under the Dutchman?
“Marinus is open to new ideas and likes to involve us as a group,” said Lasse. “I believe this is not that common in England where you usually have a manager to tell you to do that and you do it. I like him and think he’s a good coach. Hopefully we will have a lot of success.”
A lot of success is just what Bees fans are after, and the Dane is looking forward to experiencing the Brentford faithful.
“Goteburg had a great fan base,” said Lasse. “The Swedish culture is good but it is different to the one in Britain. In Sweden they sing through the whole game, whereas the English fans pay attention to what actually happens on the pitch.
“If we get a throw in at Griffin Park the Brentford fans will cheer whereas in Goteburg they won’t see it as they were too busy trying to get people in different corners to sing. Both are good in their own ways but English fans can turn a game around at any second. We can get a corner and the fans will go crazy, this builds our confidence and helps turn it into a goal.”
Currently studying a Master thesis in Finance and Accounting at Copenhagen Business School, and with perfect English, Lasse has a brain to match his boot skills.
“My studies have taken me eight years because I have been playing football,” said Lasse. “It is good to be able to do something on the side.”
Whether playing as an attacking winger or out-and-out striker, Vibe’s current focus is becoming a key member of an evolving Brentford side, and obviously, to score goals!
“The number of goals I score will depend on my position,” said Lasse.
“But it is important to contribute plenty of goals and assists. I have very high expectations and put a lot of pressure on myself. Brentford is a club on an upwards curve and I wanted to jump on that curve – and follow it. I am very happy to be here.”