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Where have all the Brolins Gone?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

World football may not have quaked, or even trembled, at the news that Sweden are not going to South Africa next year. Sweden have struggled to reach the highs achieved in USA those 15 years ago and whimpered out of the last World Cup against a superior Germany.

Failure to qualify has seen the resignation of long serving coach Lars Lagerback who has managed to qualify for every major tournament since 2000, which considering Sweden's population, and paltry league, is an impressive feat. Sweden's ageing squad has been found out and despite having strength and depth in attack, their major failing has been to score goals. Sweden's problem is ingrained in its very culture. Stability and consistency are prized traits, as are players who have tactical awareness and a willingness to perform their duties to the letter. It has been Sweden's strength too. On their day they are the bane of creative teams, one of the most difficult teams to break down with a midfield that is hard working and able to cover for positional errors and a defence that dominates both aerially and that can mark a potent strikeforce out of the game. However, times change, and a strong defence is not enough when you can't score goals.

The Swedish Football Federation needs to ditch the Nordic values that may have made IKEA the flagship of modest, minimalist efficiency and hire someone who is willing to display some minerals when it comes to team selection. As much respect as I have for Niclas Alexandersson, Daniel Andersson and Anders Svensson, these are players I was watching when Jurassic Park came out and young Swedish players are not given a chance. Where is Toivonen, Elm or Berg? Players that were so unfairly knocked out of the U21 European Championship semi finals?

Sven has already said no, Hodgson is still on the cards, but as much respect as I have for them both I think its time to think young and fresh. Give some of the young Swedes a chance and build a team round Zlatan while he still has some playing life left in him. Otherwise where the hell are we going to find our new Tomas Brolins?

posted by Niles


Blogger Ian Shine said...

Hi. Read your comment on 90minutesonline.com and have checked out your blog.
Was wondering if you'd be interested in writing some pieces for 90minutesonline.com.
Let me know.

28 October 2009 at 15:40  

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