The swedish season is now over and as much as we would like the season to continue, the winter and cold climate
makes a stop to it. In the meantime we'll just have to rely on the premier league and italian Serie A -football.
This season turned out to be a very tight one, both in top and relegation. There were 3 outstanding teams and a hole
bunch of teams (8!) who all were involved in the bottom table for the relegations.
But, the best team won.....as usual.
You're free to give me comments about this column (email@example.com), although I will not answer
to any rudiness from fanatic fans. It is just a game, not war, but if you think football = war, don't read this column and
move on and watch a cricket-game then. I'm not a professional columnist, so my language isn't of the best kind of journalism, just my own opinions and reflections.
sincerely Your "columnist" Sami.
Djurgården were totally outstanding after they found a form peek with the arrivals of new signings Johan Elmander (PSV)
and Samuel Wowoah (Halmstad). They deserved to win the swedish title. Djurgården possess over a young, skilfull, technical
and very talented squad. Especially Kim Källström will get offers from bigger clubs in Europe. He's ranked as one of the top 10
young players in Europe and he hasn't made anyone disappointed this season. I think Djurgården will defend their title
next season, but only IF they can keep the current squad. Exciting future lieas ahead for this classic swedish club. Look out europe!
Key players: GK Andreas Isaksson, Mf Andreas Johansson, Mf Babis Stefanidis, Mf Kim Källström.
2. Malmö FF:
Malmö surprised me a lot. I predicted them a 11th place, but they proved me wrong and I apologize Malmö-fans for that. The
main reason why Malmö took the 2nd position was their creative striker Peter Ijeh who was their efffective striker (24 goals).
Another important player is strong center-back, Daniel Majstorovic. He's a player for the future. But i'm wondering why hasn't
any Premier League-club scouted Mr. Daniel Majstorovic yet? To next season Malmö will need to strenghten the squad, mainly on
the midfield. They have the money to bring 2-3 quality players into their squad.
Key players: Def Daniel Majstorovic, F Niklas Skoog & Striker Peter Ijeh (reportedly scouted by Barcelona).
Örgryte were championship candidates until the very end. Unfortunately they're form got very erratic in the mid-season, and
possibly that was the main reason why Örgryte wasn't the no 1 -team in the end. Two brazilians - Afonso Alves & Paulinho Guara
were loaned in from Atletico Mineiro (Bra) and shone up the league with their positive brazilian samba-football. Örgryte did
challenge for the title, as I predicted, and they will not disappoint any Örgryte-fan next year. Top 3, for sure!
Key players: Gk Dick Last, Striker Afonso Alves (a player any european-team should have in their squad).
A stable season by Helsingborg. Not any good or bad surprises. Gustaf Andersson - a striker they snapped on a free transfer from
rivals IFK Gothenburg was the highlight of their season. A very young squad will be playing next season for Helsingborg, so it
makes it very hard to predict any glory for them. Could end up relegated or at top flight?
Keyplayers: Strikers Alvaro Santos & Gustaf Andersson.
5 . AIK:
Lots of turbulence at the club in the beginning of the season made AIK a team for the bottom of the table. With fighting spirit
and experienced players they managed to climb up to the 5th place. A very mediocre season for them. I'll bet they will challenge
for the title next season, they have the players of the right quality. Also, expect quality signings before next kick-off!
Keyplayers: Mf Krister Nordin & F Andreas Andersson.
6. Halmstad BK:
Jonas Thern, a successful player in the swedish national team in the late 80's & early 90's,coached Halmstad from a certain
relegation to a honorable 6th place. After Halmstad brought in the swedish intls - Magnus Svensson (Bröndby) & Pascal Simpson on
loan from FC Copenhagen, the results started to go their way. Halmstad lost important players just before the season kicked-off
and that made a negative impact on the team-mates. Considering the small economic and player resources Halmstad & Jonas Thern
possess over, they had a fantastic finish of the season. Hard to say how they will manage next year.
Keyplayers: Mf Magnus Svensson, Mf Sharbel Touma.
7. Örebro SK:
Örebros's long-term goalkeeper Anders Karlsson has now announced to retire from professional football and that leaves them without
a reliable goalie next season. Guess a goalie would be their primary objective in the transfer market. Örebro had a expected year
considering their economic problems. A hole new generation of players (youngsters) will have to take lots of responsibility for
their survival the following seasons in Allsvenskan.
Keyplayers: Gk Anders Karlsson, Striker Paul Oyuga (Kenya).
8. GIF Sundsvall:
A surprise team who showed that teams from up north can survive at the highest level in Sweden. With a norwegian coach and two
norwegian players, Sundsvall battled down all the best teams. They played particularly well against all the top flight teams.
I am, amongst many other football fans in Sweden, very happy to see this club establish themselves in allsvenskan.
Keyplayers: Gk Fredrik Sundfors, Mf Tommy Bergersen, Mf/F Fredric Lundqvist
9. Hammarby IF:
My favourite swedish team didn't meet the expectations from last seasons 1st place. Well, honestly, none of Hammarby -fans expected
them to achieve same results this year. Many of the keyplayers didn't match the last years quality and form. Will the technical Kennedy
Bakircioglu stay one more year at Hammarby & Sweden? He's not short of bids from european clubs. Even Man Utd has and still are showing
a bit of interest in him.
Keyplayers: Mf/F Kennedy Bakircioglu, Mf Fredrik Winsnes, F Peter Markstedt
10. Elfsborg IF:
It was a year of struggle & learning for Elfsborg. High-hopes of the talented youngsters in swedish media may have influenced them
negatively. A team full of youngsters can't take setbacks mentally as more experienced players can. Was this the main reason why they
lost important matches? We are just waiting for the players to mature and then the results will come along also. Elfsborg needs - if they
are gonna succeed - a few more experienced players in the squad.
Keyplayers: "The Collective"
11. Landskrona BoIS:
Fanatic enthusiasm in the players and outstanding wins made the club go thinking of winning the swedish league...and it lasted to fixture
nr 17. Then something happened! They started losing game after game, they only managed to "win" 2 more points in the last 9 games. The
fairytale of Landskronas magnificient start was just a fairytale in the end. Only 2 points separated them from falling into the relegations.
Despite the awful end, they deserve a little bit of respect for the coming season. But do they really possess the players next year who
can establish Landskrona at highest level? The swedish "young player of the year" Alexander Farnerud (19 yrs) has made it quite clear to
Landskrona that if he receives a offer from "certain" european clubs, he will accept the it.
Keyplayers: Without no doubt, Alexander Farnerud!
12. IFK Göteborg:
A very disappointing season for the swedish giants and former European champions in the 80's (1982 & -87). They lost all of their football
knowledge after the-so-important striker Gustaf Andersson turned down a outrageously (according to him) "weak" contract offer and
moved to Helsingborgs IF where he shoved what he's capacity truly is. Many problems with other staff and player contracts (refused to lower
wages) took away the last ounce of harmony from the squad. In the end Göteborg did survive in the highest league but with really small
marginal. They faced local rivals Västra Frölunda in two decisive promotion/relegation games. After this crisis was over, many Göteborg
players and supporters demanded (and still are demanding) a hole new approach for the next season. In the shopping list should be 2 high-
class strikers and 2 midfielders if they are gonna survive at all in the future.
Keyplayers: Mf Tomas Rosenkvist and Gustaf Andersson (until he left for Helsingborg)
13. IFK Norrköping:
Everyone should've known that Norrköping would be relegated. The signs were there. There was hope just before the league started, good
signings (Issa Mohammed) who scored lots of goals in pre-season, but Issa went early to the bench - injured - and the other squad members
hadn't evolved as players since last year. The relegation was therefore unavoidable. Norrköping is a classic team in sweden and it's quite
strange to see them playing in division 1 (or Superalls-venskan as we call the 2nd league). The Norrköping board has declared that they will
strive to make a comeback at highest level as soon as possible. But already their keyplayers are lining up for a exit to other clubs in sweden
or europe. So, next season there will be lots of hardwork, pain, tears, sweat and patience in all positions at the club if they want to
play in "allsvenskan" again.
Keyplayers: Gk Balasz Rabocki, F Antti Sumiala (Fin) & F Nick Bosevski
14. Kalmar FF:
Not much to say about Kalmar. They never had the quality to stay clear of relegation. The last years has proven that a survival in
allsvenskan needs good financial backing (sponsors), 4-5 good & experienced signings and this was never the case with small town Kalmar FF.
The club has been a regular in the top flight in the 2nd division and bottom team as soon as they get the opportunity to play in top level.
Can't really tell what they should do to survive next time they make a visit in sweden's finest league. Better youth program? I'll wish
them good luck in Superallsvenskan next year and "see you soon" as I believe they'll pop by again for a "visit" in Allsvenskan in about
3 years time.