The term supersub may well have been coined with one Ole Gunner Solskjaer in mind. Manchester’s United’s ‘baby-faced assassin’ was lethal when coming off the bench for the English giants between 1996 and 2007. In many ways the Norwegian came to embody that singular talent more effective coming on late than starting a match, one working best in short bursts when everything is on the line.
But there are others to consider as well...
Liverpool’s David Fairclough (for whom the moniker ‘supersub’ was reputedly coined) and Cameroon’s Roger Milla for the Indomitable Lions toward the end of his sprawling career. Gunter Netzer, Teddy Sheringham, Henrik Larsson and countless others, must all be too be considered when trying to determine who might be the greatest supersub in football’s history.
Since the introduction of substitutions near the middle of the 20th century, a well-timed replacement off the bench in the fading moments of a match has become one of the manager’s most potent weapons.
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