Season 8, BK Häcken/Malmö FF, Swedish Allsvenskan
After going out to Feyenoord in the first knockout round of the Europa League, BK Häckenwent into the new season poised to do well, the only real issues were a lack of depth at centre defence and a roster that practically demanded a change in the tactics that had done so well over the last couple years.
As to be expected with a major change of style in the off-season, the new season began inconsistently and while Häckenstayed in the second group of teams in the Allsvenskan, AIK was soon a dot in the distance and the only thing to play for was a European place (which Häckenjust missed out on this year as they finished in the 4th spot and the Svenskan Cupen winner was not one of the three teams in front of them).
Just past the halfway mark, with Häckenagain battling for the final European place, Malm£ FF fired their coach and made an offer. Malm£ are historically one of the most successful clubs in Sweden, known as everybody’s second team and the fact that they had over 10x the number of season ticket holders as Häckenmeant that they were too attractive to turn down, especially as I was in the last year of my contract.
Lying 12th in the table, Malm£ were your typical underachieving club: huge squad with a huge payroll and not a lot of talent to show for it. The locker room atmosphere was toxic and roughly half the team wanted out. I shipped out what I could in the four days of the transfer window that were available to me and brought in Icelandic Ginger Elf mainly because of his fantastic hair, although his talent at set-pieces was a nice bonus.
As expected, Malm£ started indifferently under a new boss and then came together nicely, finishing the season on a 4-1-0 run that wound up getting the team a spot 3 points out of the European spots. A bit of a disappointment, still, if we had made it, it would have probably been a Pyrrhic victory as the amount of players leaving after the season meant an extremely thin squad going into next year.
Swedish Cup: Malm£ were out by the time I took them over (Häckenmade it to the semis before bowing out to AIK).
Player of the Year: Young Dutch Striker On Loan from AZ, 19 league goals to lead the scoring charts, #2 and #3 tied at 16 and were the first-choice strikers for H£cken, Norwegian Target Man of course and a Swedish Youth International that I’d been nurturing for a couple years.
Former Club Watch
RoPS: Ninth, with the squad almost completely turned over from the time I was there.
H£cken: Second, which sounds good until you notice that they finished 15 points behind AIK, who is truly dominating the league, now having five titles in a row.
SPD 6TH P30 W13 D9 L8 GF47 GA32 Pts48