Season 10b, Lillestrøm Sportsklubb, Eliteserien
Lillestrom are from a suburb of Oslo and are one of the traditional powers of Norwegian football, only they’ve gone over 30 years without winning anything. Mired near the bottom of the table when I arrived, I only had three games before the end of the season, so I did what I could to try and rein in a out-of-control clubhouse (hmm, this sounds familiar) and find out how best to deploy the players at my disposal.
I wasted no time in putting our trouble-maker Argentine Striker up for sale and wound up going 2-1-0 with the away draw to the second-place team.
I’ve acquired a well-deserved reputation for being unreliable and disloyal, so hopefully things will work out for a multiple-season stay here at LSK.
Former Club Watch
RoPS: Champions of Finland! Only two of the players remain from when I was there and I can’t take credit for those as they were with the club when I took over as well.
Hacken: 15th and relegated. I would have gone in for some old favorites; they’d pretty much had to sell everybody off already though.
Malmo: 4th, 15 points behind AIK, who win again, etc. etc.
Season 11, Lillestrøm Sportsklubb, Eliteserien
Board Expectations: European places
Media Prediction: 6th
Transfers in: 17 for a total of £3.2M
Transfers out: 17 for a total of £3.3M (ooh, symmetry)
There was a bunch of roster turnover in the close season and by the time the new season started, the team looked very different than it did from last year.
After an indifferent start, the team fell apart, especially on the road, where it was not uncommon to ship 4+ goals. At first I put it down to chasing the game after going behind; it soon became clear that there was something else going on and I was completely unable to fix it.
By midseason my job was in jeopardy and although I asked the board for more time to rebuild so that I could get some new defenders in during the midseason transfer window, it didn’t seem to make enough of a difference and after some rough results, I was given the sack with two games left in the season.
I took the first job that became available and moved back to Finland to take over at…………
Season 11b, Tempere United, Finnish Ykkönen
Tampere United were extremely successful back in the 00s, however, in this season they have already been relegated with three games remaining, so it was pretty much a matter of checking out the squad and figuring out what I have to work with.
There’s a fair amount of young talent, although the squad is very thin and will get thinner with an outstanding loan putting the team under some financial pressure.
The final game of the season wound up being a title-decider, as my old team and league-leader RoPS up in Rovaniemi. We took an early lead from a poorly-cleared corner, then frittered it away with two defensive bungles that led to easy goals.
Despite having our lone healthy forward and our best creative mid leave with injuries, we dominated the rest of the game and only poor finishing prevented us from spoiling the party for RoPS, who retain their title on goal difference. Our fight gives me hope for next year though.
Former Club Watch
RoPS: As noted above, repeat champions
Hacken: Champions of the Superettan with a 13-point gap
Malmo: 4th again, although thank goodness, Hammarby break AIK’s domination of the league
Lillestrøm: 12th, just above the relegation places