25 Games In: Leo Ostigard

There has been a lot of attention this season on the aggressive, almost psychopathic. play of Gustavo Hamer that it has obscured the focus from the true enforcer that is Leo Ostigard. The Norwegian leads the team for bookings and can be a truly uncompromising figure in defence. That is both his greatest attribute and flaw, which can allow him to dominate opposition forwards but has led to situations where he’s created space in behind him or conceded set-pieces in dangerous areas by being too aggressive in the challenge. However, when you package that brutal side of his game up with a fantastic aerial ability, a significant threat from set-pieces and excellent distribution, Leo Ostigard is clearly a centre-back with a big future in the game.

Brought in this season to help provide cover for an injury to Michael Rose – and with perhaps an eye on Kyle McFadzean maybe struggling with Championship football – Leo Ostigard is the most talented central defender at the club, and is increasingly becoming the most important. He possesses a combination of aggression, mobility, and technical ability that McFadzean, Rose, and Hyam don’t quite have and means that he can deal with an array of different kinds of opposition forwards. It is only a tendency towards recklessness that has seen him occasionally taken out of the team in favour of a calmer approach.

Ostigard has gradually learned over the course of the season when and where to take risks. Although he clearly relishes the aggressive side of defending, he is starting to harness it more consistently in a productive manner. A key reason why we will stay up this season – if we do – will be keeping things tight at the back by both reducing errors and dominating opponents, Leo Ostigard will be an important figure in establishing that defensive security. Just what the next step for him will be after this season will depend on how he harnesses the lessons he has learned thus far in his Coventry City career.

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