Last week, I won my first game in charge of IFK Hassleholm. I'm convinced that I'm a managerial god. You don't just rock up at 7th place Asarums and gain an easy win if not. Employing me was the best decision IFK Hassleholm have ever made.
IFK Malmo vs IFK Hassleholm
It's Saturday morning and as I tuck into my bacon sandwich in my office (I'm hiding - I've banned my squad of rotund 'footballers' from eating such savoury delights), I have one more look over the team sheet. Suddenly that 'morning after' feeling kicks in, I must have been drinking again last night because apparently I thought it would be a good idea to have Hakan 'Sandy' Sandberg up front on his own again. He's a donkey and I'm going to pay. Still, he deserves another chance, doesn't he? The rest of the team is also the same. I may be a managerial god but creative, I am not.
Anyway, we're playing 8th placed IFK Malmo at their ground.
It's Saturday afternoon. We lost. I don't want to talk about it. All I will say is that we were the better team and I'm pinning all of this on Tobias 'goddamn' Gustafsson. Five minutes in and he decided to scissor kick some guy named Svensson who, by the way, was going nowhere. They score the penalty and we toil away for the rest of the match. Carlsson played like the boy he is, Sandy played like the pretend footballer that he is, I even brought on Dlamini in the hope he'd perform the same miracle as last week but with no luck. And to top if off, my best defender, Navid Arvidsson picked up an injury.
All Scout War
Today we announced two new arrivals to the club. Joseph Wahlgreen and Marcus Salmosson. Both scouts, both neccessary additions to the backroom. I didn't tell Rasmus this, but I know nothing about Swedish football and we desperately need some new players. More scouts means more coverage so I'm hopeful that this will lead us to uncover some players who can improve us.
IFK Hassleholm vs Torns IF
I'm not going to lie, last week I made a right tit of myself. I might have told some people that I was 'a bit like Sir Alex Ferguson combined with Pep Guardiola, Bill Paisley, Jose Mourinho, and Sam Allardyce'. After sharing a few drinks with Tobi, I might have also added in Guus Hiddink for good measure. After Gustafsson stitched me up, I'm changing things. I'm opting for a 4-5-1 with Dlamini coming in for Sandy up front. I also found this guy, Manual Simao, kicking a ball against the wall outside on his own. I even caught him pretending to celebrate a goal. I laughed. Apparently he'd been put on the transfer list before I took over and now was forced to train away from the first teamers. I'm having none of that, he scored a boat load of imaginary goals so in he comes. I took him off the transfer list, basically, I'm his knight in shining armour and he's going to repay the favour by scoring, assisting, and generally just being bloody brilliant. He's on the left wing. Otherwise the team is the same but for Eric Holm coming in for the injured Arvidsson.
I also spent some time with the kids, there's this one lad who really caught my eye. His name is Joakim Eklund and at just 16 years of age looks like a real prospect. I go by the mantra of 'if you're good enough, you're old enough' so I've put him on the bench.
Anyway, the game starts and Torns are at if from the off, creating plenty of chances but nothing really clear cut. We're defending well but lacking any real creativity. Somehow, three of my players manage to get themselves booked within the first ten minutes. Three yellow cards in less than ten minutes! I've talked about this team's lack of technical ability before but clearly, they also have the lack of intelligence to match. In the 44th minute, Lindus Blom is in the right place at the right time for Torns and smashes home a deflected cross. This might be a long relegation battle, through not fault of my own.
Dlamini spent the entire match doing his best Sandberg impression, sloppy in possession, giving the ball away at every opportunity and it couldn't go on. I gave him a few minutes after half time to get his shit together (altogether, in a backpack, all his shit so it's together) but it was never going to happen. At this point, do I go with the experience of Sandberg or take a risk and throw 16 year old Eklund on? I'm not Sandy's biggest fan and I'm not averse to gambling so I tell Eklund to warm up. Within five minutes, we've scored and little Ekky has his first assist. He's terrific, dropping deep to get the ball, passing neatly and generally looking like a menace. His delicately weighted through ball to Bergman was perfect and Bergman couldn't miss. He however went from hero to zero ten minutes later when he picked up his second yellow. It looked a pretty innocuous challenge to me but one that didn't need to be made.
That red card happened just as we were starting to dominate the game, it couldn't have come at a worse time. Our anchorman now gone, I switch to a slightly more conservative approach, eager to just hold on to the draw. But my team just don't care. Just four minutes later we're ahead through a Strombergsson goal. It's wonderful and I run around just like that time when Mourinho did a win at Old Trafford with his cheaty Porto team. But, I'm better because we don't cheat. As the end of the game draws near, we keep it solid and without too much trouble, hold on for the three points. I'm back.
IFK Hassleholm Announce Two New Players
My genius idea to expand the scout team is paying dividends. In all honesty, we need players all over the field, we have enough to survive I think but reinforcements certainly won't hurt. My scouts came to me with a few suggestions on players for use to sign. Most weren't great but two players shone above the rest and were available on free transfers. I jumped immediately to snap them up. The first is Simon Larsson, he's a bit on the small side for a central defender but he's a leader of men and we need some of that. The other is Kevin Englund, more of a all-rounder, no stand out attributes but should be a solid addition to the team.
IFK Berga vs IFK Hassleholm
Last week, I was so impressed by Eklund that I'm starting him. He's young but he's already shown enough in his first appearance that makes me want to give him a full match. He starts up front and Sahiti gets his first appearance since I took over due to Lindstrom being suspended. I also drop both new signings straight into the team, Englund and Larsson form my central defensive partnership. Neither have been playing regular football so it's a bit of a gamble, they're clearly not match fit but as players, they're much better than my other options, especially with Arvidsson still being out injured.
Once the match drew to a close, I honestly breathed a sigh of relief. We couldn't score but we managed to keep a clean sheet. The relief coming from the fact that they created some really good chances. Eklund smashed a long range effort against the woodwork and generally looked good. It was a pretty turgid affair truth be told.
The end of one match marks the start of another. Next week we face Nybro IF who are one place below us in the table. We're at home and we really need to make that count, if we don't, we slip to the relegation play-off place and some really tough matches follow. We have to win.