I have to say that we’ve had a pretty good start to life in Sweden. The first three matches in charge saw us double the win total for the season. Losing by a single goal to the league leaders didn’t hurt all that badly, although we let it trip us up right when we really could have made a climb up the table. The intimidatingly named Angered United were third in the table when we faced them, and handed us another narrow loss that we honestly didn’t deserve. Coming off the back of two wins in a row, we’ve hit the magical number of points needed for safety, at least according to the small time Swedish media.
A single home match against relegation threatened Tenhult kicks off our run in, followed by three successive road trips to close out the season. While we’re certainly not worried about our fear of heights kicking in, a realistic target of seven points could see us climb a spot or two.
The mid-season transfer window here in Sweden isn’t very long, and we entered it with no transfer budget and no spare wage room. The bad news is that I was not able to shift any of the (many, many) dead weight players. It turns out that not a lot of clubs want to spend money on a terrible player with only four months left on their contract. Who knew?
The good news is that I didn’t let our financial situation stop me from making some moves. The total lack of talent on the wings forced me into using a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation, and our only central attacking mid has a real knack for picking up yellow cards. Sensing the need for depth at this critical position (due, no doubt, to our impressive 5 ability in tactics), I turned to the sideburned experience of Chief Scout Schreiber.
The fabulous hair continues to flood into the Ruddalens. This handsome young chap is actually a bit of an improvement on our current CAM, but after getting injured in his first appearance as a sub he’s just now getting back to fitness.
There’s not very much of a loan market to speak of in the lower tiers of Sweden. After spending the entire transfer window scouting, I finally managed to find this pair of goalkeepers to bring in. Despite our ragtag squad we had still been performing fairly well, except in one area. The choice in goalkeepers that I had inherited could most easily be likened to having a choice between a keeper with only a left arm or only a right. Hellgren has been given the starting spot, while Hermansson will be sitting on the bench as a backup seeing as he at least has two arms.
Linus here was actually signed as another free transfer, although after the proper window closed. Despite having a whopping six strikers to back up our two first choice lads, I don’t think two of them playing together would be able to fill in for either of them. His two best roles are the two I’m currently using, so I think the word “destiny” would be accurate. He’s already grabbed a game winning first goal in only his second appearance off the bench.
There’s one more player that I’d like to highlight, but one that’s not a new transfer. I guess he can be our first…
Player of the Moment
As you may have noticed on the fixture list above, there was one name appearing on the scoresheet a lot more than the rest. Young Joakim has knocked in an incredible eight goals since I took charge, to add to four from the first half of the season. He’s a big part of my early success here, grabbing a hat trick and a brace among several other single goal matches. The most talented striker at the club, he starts as a defensive forward but is excelling in our current system where he swaps with the paired advanced forward.
The end of the season draws near. What does the future hold for our fledgling German coach?