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Posts posted by kennypavey

  1.  image.png.eca2bfc37b5bb53ce1dbcfd9a2c8f9c2.png

    Season Roundup

    Season 1 - 2020 - Autumn



    • Winners: image.png.eca2bfc37b5bb53ce1dbcfd9a2c8f9c2.png AIK
    • Qualified for Europe: 1806.png.5a744987883425d71d4722184e0ccb8f.png IFK Norrköping  1816.png.e1795a5d33b5a3d2660994dad8d60554.png  Malmö FF
    • Relegated: 1802.png.9d22df5e7b9622dd036e7140b81c803b.png IF Elfsborg  image.png.7d9831c5e669a4f5b17967ab76fa994b.png Varbergs BoIS


    • Winners: 6410547.png.dbf466329ef958216282a87bebcd8eae.png Jönköpings Södra
    • Promoted: 1831.png.10b7583d3e62853faf844df260dffd83.png Trelleborgs FF
    • Relegated: 68002700.png.f43aa4f6889876941e5907d9226fcc1d.png Dalkurd FF 93052555.png.96c6beab127e87480df9733908de0d76.pngAFC Eskilstuna

     8114888.png.a3e7543dc7563c2c6d9a1da7cdd30ac8.pngDivision 1 

    • Winners: 2157.png.543ebfeb92fe2a6521001c5d0a378dd0.pngIF Brommapojkarna 2588.png.e135c5b954146742a9b5515d43a3fa6c.png IFK Värnamo
    • Relegated: 93030439.png.53344f3527dda93118ae0e99c5c431c0.png IFK Haninge 2158.png.b8572d0038a7ee3cbc1a4dd75dc0d6ee.png  IF Sylvia 93058662.png.6f42c584cb68e4a0efe332b0cf2e108a.png Tä by FK 2176.png.fdc5ceb320a8214de8af50c96387782f.png Qviding FIF 6410294.png.9773ae388bb3355b4472b394f1560e70.png  Torns IF 4300744.png.b7e89fca9462a3ff9975379aa7232174.png Oskarshamns AIK 1818.png.97a0b7c6b936676346c06a576e81e448.png Motala AIF

    93.png.de2b5e248e32a0c7acfd95d91f738af3.pngSwedish clubs in Europe

    • 1787.png.79dacad9b7191f47bc88f8d9cda4b884.png Djurgårdens IF 
      • Champions League: Eliminated in 2nd qualifying round (0-3 vs Celtic FC)
      • Europa League: Eliminated in 4th qualifying round (2-2a vs Molde FK)
    • 1816.png.e1795a5d33b5a3d2660994dad8d60554.png Malmö FF
      • Europa League: Eliminated in 4th qualifying round (2-4 vs FC Viktoria Plzeň)
    • 1797.png.8c4f2fbfe46db06bc6908928e2dd729b.png Hammarby IF
      • Europa League: Eliminated in 1st qualifying round (2-4 vs Budapest Hónved FC)
    • 1817.png.bf111f18bb0e40d9f397b1bd935b8f5e.png Mjällby AIF
      • Europa League: Eliminated in 2nd qualifying round (1-3 vs FC Inter Turku)



  2. Please fix the Swedish cup so that the group draw makes sense. In the game teams are seemingly random placed into seeding groups between 1and 10 with different number of teams in it, which leads to groups where the first and second in Allsvenskan might end up in the same group. In reality it is very structured.

    E.g. for the cup group stage 2020 the top 16 teams according to league finish in 2019 are placed according to below screenshot. The rest teams are randomly drawn into groups. If this is not possible, please at least make the seeding realistic, so that team 1-8 is in first seeding group, 9-16 in second and so on. 


  3.  image.png.eca2bfc37b5bb53ce1dbcfd9a2c8f9c2.png


    Season 1 - 2020 - Autumn


     image.png.823c3612f52fb65fcde99702c5dd551c.png Allsvenskan
    3GP - 1W 2D 0L - 4GS 2GA - 5P

    Fixtures - Table - Stats Overview 

    The Title Race

    Matchday 28 was the first match ball. We met rivals IFK Göteborg, while competition faced off Halland strugglers Falkenbergs FF and Varbergs BoIS at home. IFK Norrköping delivered, and beat Varberg 4-0 without much trouble. Malmö FF however only managed a draw, meaning they were out of the title race no matter what happened in our game. We started great against IFK Göteborg, and in the 14th minute Sebastian Larsson found Sigþórsson with a magnificent through ball, who made no mistake. This was not our day however, and Göteborg managed to equalize on a penalty, and when Larsson was sent off, the win was gone. 1-1, and the title race lived!

    If securing the title at home against a rival is the best option, securing it at another rivals arena is a close second. We prepared for a win, but needed one point to secure the title. But to everyone’s surprise, Falkenberg gets a point against Norrköping the day before. In two games Falkenberg of all teams eliminates our rivals from the title race, and we are champions with two games to go! We still wanted to win against Hammarby at all costs, a derby is a derby. The match played out similarly as the 5-0 thumping, but today the ball just wouldn’t go into the net. They had nothing, and I mean nothing, while we had 7 clear cut chances to score. Still the game somehow ended 0-0. But hey, doesn’t really matter now does it?

    The race for Europe

    Malmö’s draw against Falkenberg meant that Kalmar FF passed them on goal difference with two rounds to go, with IFK Norrköping only two points ahead. Matchday 29 was weird with Malmö and Kalmar both losing and IFK Norrköping being kicked out of the title race by Falkenberg. They still kept a 3 point margin and +4 goal difference on Kalmar and Malmö going into the final matchday. Norrköping would meet Helsingborg at home, Kalmar would face Djurgården and Malmö had already relegated Varberg left.


    The relegation fight

    After their loss in matchday 28 against IFK Norrköping, Varberg was confirmed to be relegated. This meant that the direct relegation spot and the playoff spot was to be decided between five teams. IK Sirius, IF Elfsborg and BK Häcken were all in danger, being 4 points apart with 2 games to go. Helsingborg and Falkenberg were technically in the mix, but with 5 points safety they were relatively secure.

    While the top teams lost points, the relegation teams fought for their lives and won, proving once again that motivation beats class. Sirius beat Malmö 4-3 after being up 4-0, Häcken beat Varberg, and Falkenberg stole a point from Norrköping. Going into the final matchday it was clear that IK Sirius and IF Elfsborg fought for the play-off spot, with Sirius having a one point advantage. Theoretically Helsingborg could still end up in the relegation playoff, but their +19 in goal difference from IF Elfsborg means it’s a microscopical chance.

    The final matchday

    The final matchday. A deciding moment for lots of teams, a stroll for us. We field a few young talents against IK Sirius who must win to feel safe. Key match-ups are:

    Helsingborgs IF - IFK Norrköping

    Kalmar FF - Djurgårdens IF

    Varbergs BoIS - Malmö FF

    Hammarby IF - IF Elfsborg

    IK Sirius - AIK

    The relegation battle had an intense start. Within 15 minutes three goals had been scored in the two games. We had taken the lead through Sigþórsson, while Hammarby and Elfsborg had a goal each. Sirius equalized on a penalty, before young talent Tom Strannegård scored his first senior goal to give us a 2-1 lead. That meant a situation at half-time where Elfsborg were safe on goal difference, with Sirius going down to Superettan. In the fight for European spots, not much happened during the first half, except Djurgården taking the lead against Kalmar.

    The deciding moments in both the relegation battle and the fight for Europe would be decided in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Tom Strannegård scored his second from close range to give us the victory, but none of it matters since Hammarby scored a quick double against Elfsborg to put them up 3-1. Elfsborg got one back in the end, but it was to late. The classic club who won the title in 2012 is relegated for the first time since 1997, while Sirius must survive a playoff against IK Brage. In the other end of the table, Kalmar seemed to have played themselves out of European contention when Djurgården scored their second, but they were saved by a miracle. Varbergs BoIS, the jumbo relegated since long, scored against Malmö in the 51st minute and held on. Norrköping and Kalmar qualify for Europe under the most unlikely circumstances, and all main title candidates miss European competitions! 


    Other notes ...

    • Despite not scoring the last four games, Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul takes home the top scorer award. An impressive feat for the 21 year old, even though 13 goals is the lowest scored by a top scorer since 1991 when World Cup 1994 hero Kennet Andersson won it with the same amount. Fun fact, this is also the first time ever a player of my FM teams become the top scorer.

  4.  image.png.eca2bfc37b5bb53ce1dbcfd9a2c8f9c2.png


    Season 1 - 2020 - Autumn


     image.png.823c3612f52fb65fcde99702c5dd551c.png Allsvenskan
    5GP - 4W 1D 0L - 9GS 3GA - 13P

    Fixtures - Table - Stats Overview 

    We started with two difficult fixtures against second and third placed teams IFK Norrköping and Malmö FF. Against IFK Norrköping we needed at least a draw to keep them behind us, and Malmö were chasing only five points behind. I had done some tactical adjustments, pushing up the defensive line a bit more to make us more compact in the opponents half, and it seemed to work. Without our two starting strikers we came out of the title matches as winners, with four points and two clean sheets. We followed this up with beating IF Elfsborg 2-1, and suddenly we were loose. IFK Norrköping and Malmö FF only managed to get two points each in this match stretch, and we found ourselves six points free with five games to go. More importantly, we had 10 points down to Malmö FF who dropped to fourth, meaning each win now could secure us the European spots we so desperately wanted.

    And, we do it. By demolishing Östersund 5-1 and drawing Örebro on the last day of the month we secure our spot in the Europe Conference League 2021/2022. Kalmar FF is 10 points back in fourth with three games to go and can’t come back. Also, IFK Norrköping has a horrible month,  managing only four points in five games. That means that with three games to go we are 8 points clear, and has a chance to secure the title in matchday 28 with a win against rivals IFK Göteborg.

    More to come…

    Other notes ...

    • Nabil Bahoui is injured again! Accident struck again against IF Elfsborg where the 29 year old fell and broke his wrist, and is now out for the season after only four games.
    • Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul is having a real breakout season. He was supposed to watch and learn, but is currently the top scorer of the league with 13 goals in 20 starts. 
    • While our tactic adjustment proved to be successful, I am unhappy with letting in 3 goals in only 5 games. If this trend continues I need to do some further adjustment to tighten up.
    • I have mixed feelings about being so close to securing the title. I am usually horrible at this game, and kind of looked forward to a long save with an overhaul of the squad etc. Oh well…
    • While the title race seems to be coming to an end, there's a thrilling fight for the other European spots, where IFK Norrköping, Malmö FF and surprisingly Kalmar FF are within 2 points, fighting for two spots in Euro Conference League

  5.  image.png.eca2bfc37b5bb53ce1dbcfd9a2c8f9c2.png

    Summer months

    Season 1 - 2020 - Summer


     image.png.823c3612f52fb65fcde99702c5dd551c.png Allsvenskan
    9GP - 7W 0D 2L - 15GS 5GA - 21P

    Fixtures - Table - Stats Overview 

    The summer means that games are spread out thin, and we played our only game in June in the middle of the European Championships against Hammarby IF. Due to Sweden’s early elimination we had Sebastian Larsson back in the line-up, while Hammarby could field Muamer Tankovic. I decided to sit tight, but to press their main playmaker hard. Bojanic has brilliant vision but is slow so I hoped it would open up some counters, and it worked better than I ever would have hoped. We only had 37% possession, but won a whopping 5-0, and the pattern was the same all game. Ball goes to Bojanic, Larsson/Ofori/Goitom press him and gets the ball, ball over Hammarby’s ridiculously high line, clear chance, repeat. What a way to start the summer!

    The game against Hammarby was the start of a five game winning streak, as we moved in to an easier part of a fixture list. With varying quality in play we managed to win against bottom teams Sirius, Falkenberg, Helsingborg and Varberg before suffering the first defeat of the season in the 19th matchday against Mjällby AIF who are starting to become somewhat of a bogey team for us. Our defensive stability was blown away, and suddenly star players Ofori and Larsson couldn’t hit a barn from the inside with their passes. A truly abysmal performance was capped of when Erik Pärsson headed in a free-kick in the 91st minute.

    The loss against Mjällby was followed by another bad performance and another loss, this time against Djurgårdens IF who beat us 1-0. To be honest they deserved more than that. We managed to salvage the month of August by beating Kalmar FF and BK Häcken and finish the summer months in first place, but these games have highlighted some weaknesses in our play, and I will try to do some adjustments during the national team break. Still, we’re overperforming with 9 points security in the race towards European spots. 

    Other notes ...

    • Nabil Bahoui is back! Still not 100%, but adding him to the left midfield is a huge plus so far. 
    • BK Häcken have somehow ended up in the relegation battle. After their loss against us they are 14th, with four straight losses and 1-9 in goal difference.
    • Not much transfer activity from our side. Young talents Robin Tihi and Noah Tesfai Negash leave on loan to Superettan sides, while our head of youth development acquired 18 year old winger André Boman from Varbergs BoIS for a small fee.
    • Hammarby IF continue with a very weird transfer strategy. Just six months after acquiring Aron Dønnum, they sell him to Malmö FF for half the price. They also lost Alexander Kacaniklic to France and Muamer Tankovic on a free to Djurgården (!!!!).
    • Veterans Sebastian Larsson, Henok Goitom and Per Karlsson are all signed for another year at the same or less salary as before, while backup player Budomir Janosevic and Stefan Silva have signed deals with other teams for next season.



    image.png.2388d2b428c528791eb0499d95bdfac9.png Svenska Cupen

    We played one qualifying round in the Swedish cup, against third tier side IF Karlstad. The game was in the middle of tougher fixtures, so we put out a side filled with talents and reserves. The game was way more exciting than it should have been and for a while it looked like Karlstad would force us to extra-time, or even worse beat us. The game was decided in the 79th minute, when Bilal Hussein stepped up and curled in the deciding goal from outside the box. This means that we will play in the group stage next season!


    1833203607_Skarmavbild2020-05-02kl_15_46_57.png.e6fbe9cdfc0fca5dbee161940f2efa6f.png Around The World

    image.thumb.png.23abd5cae825a111f037c19e684fa369.pngEuropean Championships (Final - Playoffs - Stats - Best XI)

    Spain are the European champions! After a thrilling final they beat reigning world champions France on penalties. Matuidi became the unhappy scapegoat after smashing France’s final penalty over the bar. France who before the final had been an unbeaten dominant force in the tournament, with 6 straight wins and 18-1 in goals (the one goal incidentally let in against Spain in the group stage). 

    The tournament was a bleak affair for our contributions. Both Kolbeinn Sigþórsson’s Iceland and Sebastian Larsson’s Sweden finished last in their groups, and none of them hade any starting XI appearances.

  6.  image.png.eca2bfc37b5bb53ce1dbcfd9a2c8f9c2.png


    Season 1 - 2020 - Spring


     image.png.823c3612f52fb65fcde99702c5dd551c.png Allsvenskan
    7GP - 4W 3D 0L - 10GS 5GA - 12P

    Fixtures - Table - Stats Overview 

    The month of May started with the toughest possible fixtures. In the span of seven days we met top candidates BK Häcken, Malmö FF and IFK Norrköping. To my surprise, we would exit these fixtures with 7 out of 9 points to our name, managing three separate match situations. Against BK Häcken we found ourselves behind after one half, and needed to go out of our comfort zone to take risks. Two beautiful actions by Wiedesheim-Paul led to use turning it around in the last 20 minutes. Away against Malmö FF we were in the opposite seat, and tried to defend an early lead for 75 minutes. We almost managed to grab our first win down there since early 2000s, but in the last minutes of the game Kiese-Thelin equalized after a corner. Finally we met Norrköping, a team AIK have periodically struggled against. We set up in a counter-attacking fashion against their 3-4-3 and did so perfectly. Within 4 minutes in the first half we killed the game, with the wingers Rashidi and Hopcutt scoring one each.

    At the same time IFK Göteborg struggled, and we were sitting in first going into an easier streak against Östersund, Örebro and Elfsborg. Like in April, we struggled heavily to break down teams sitting back, leading to a draw against then last-placed IF Elfsborg. But with 7 points from those games we were at the top when facing rivals IFK Göteborg, second in the table. The first half was ridiculously one-sided where we created chances enough to have a 3-0 lead, but somehow we were down 2-0 after two hilarious defensive mistakes (well FM didn’t acknowledge them as mistakes so I guess it was my tactics somehow…). Since we were so dominant I kept things as they were for second half, and it paid off. A quick double 15 minutes in to the second half got us a much deserved draw, and we leave May behind us as the seres leader.

    A good month all-in-all, and standing out are two players. Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul has earned himself a starting spot after scoring 4 goals in 7 games as a left winger or striker, and Bilal Hussein replaced injured Sebastian Larsson with great results, being absolute key in many of our victories this month. 

    Other notes ...

    • A block of five has emerged at the top of the table, with us, IFK Göteborg, Kalmar FF, Hammarby IF and Malmö FF all being within 3 points, with 5 points down to sixth-placed IFK Norrköping
    • Heradi Rashidi has signed a 3-year extension. The winger went in to the season to prove himself, and has earned his right to stay.
    • A small summer break upcoming, with AIK players Sebastian Larsson and Kolbeinn Sigþorsson being selected for their respective nations squad  


    1833203607_Skarmavbild2020-05-02kl_15_46_57.png.e6fbe9cdfc0fca5dbee161940f2efa6f.png Around The World

    image.png.2388d2b428c528791eb0499d95bdfac9.png Svenska Cupen (Final - Playoffs - Stats)

    Mjällby AIF will play in the Europa League next season! One of the biggest upsets the cup has seen gives the Scania team their first title ever. A great story, but it might be a curse in disguise for the newcomer, as they sit right on top of the relegation spots after 13 matches.

    image.thumb.png.4ae6542a29ce1633c811d84973ab5547.pngChampions League (Final - Playoffs - Stats)

    Barcelona wins their sixth Champions League title after defeating Liverpool FC in the final. Liverpool were the most dangerous team, but were punished in the 83rd when Joe Gomez scored an own goal on a cross from Sergi Roberto. The game went to extra-time, where Antoine Griezmann won it in the 105th minute. Again the blame was on poor Joe Gomez, who missed his header from a Messi corner, allowing the Frenchman to slot it in.

    image.thumb.png.4ace55b2773bc510ed31c08a5fed86c8.png Europa League (Final - Playoffs - Stats)

    AS Roma win their first European title as they defeat Manchester United. A tight and tactically brilliant game without many great chances either way had a logical conclusion from the penalty spot. Roma goalkeeper Pau López became the big hero of the night after saving two penalties from Paul Pogba and Andreas Pereira


  7. image.png.7aa5bde02bcac6a1ee8489432d212496.png 


    Season 1 - 2020 - Spring


    image.thumb.png.2e6a298f62471d2d532ba6e04fb29cee.png  Allsvenskan
    6GP - 3W 3D 0L - 6GS 2GA - 12P

    Fixtures - Table - Stats Overview


    In summary, my first month of Allsvenskan has been okay. After six games we find ourselves second in the table with 12 points, four points short of early season success IFK Göteborg who only lost points in one game in April. But while our position in the table is flattering we have struggled offensively, scoring only six goals while meeting three of the expected relegation candidates. Games against Falkebergs FF and Mjällby AIF were disasters, with them being the stronger sides and pushing us back. Falkenberg even managed to push us back while playing with 10 men for 80 minutes. On a positive note we have only conceded two, but due to our weak offense this has meant a guaranteed drop of points so far. I might have to let loose a bit more offensively to keep up next month when the opposition gets tougher. 

    The derby against Djurgårdens IF was a highlight. The second derby of my career was once again played at home against Djurgården, and once again we managed a single goal win. This game was an example of how I want us to play. Djurgården were allowed to keep possession and pass around, but they couldn't get a single shot on goal all game. When we had the ball it was all about intent. If the counter was available we went for it, but otherwise we tried to keep the ball best we could. The goal came in the 82nd meeting from a example of the latter. The counter wasn't on, so we built up play slowly from the back, with Mets and Ofori searching for openings. The ball found Bilal Hussein, who covered for injured Sebastian Larsson, on the right-centre of the midfield. With a quick sidestep he went past their pressuring midfielder and then found Sigthorsson with a lovely through ball, who made no mistake. We had a couple of these chances and could've easily have scored 2-3 goals with normal pay-off.

    Player of the month is Ebenezer Ofori. He is not the player that will appear in the scoring sheet, but he has been a dominant force in both directions. Together with Sebastian Larsson he has built a wall in front of our penalty box, while at the same time being our main creative force going forward. Ofori is the complete package, and will be key this season! 

    Other notes ...

    • All expected title favourites have struggled in the beginning of the season. Hammarby IF found themselves with only 1 point after the three initial games. Three straight wins have catapulted them back to a decent 5th place, but their attacking power has been lacking so far. Malmö FF and Djurgårdens IF continue to struggle, and sits in 9th and 7th place respectively
    • Falkenbergs FF is the best of the worst so far. With 9 points in six games they find themselves in a very respectable 6th place.
    • IF Elfsborg began the season with 4 straight losses, and even though they managed a win and a draw they find themselves last
    • In the league below, classic clubs GAIS and IK Brage are at the top with 12 points in four games, with Halmstads BK in the play-off spot.  




  8. SH-8-Dlu_400x400.jpg

    Allsvenskan - Season Preview

    Season 1 - 2020

    Board Expectation: Finish in top 3


    Title favourites


    Malmö FF - Always the favourites to win. The Champions League adventures of the 10s means MFF have the biggest budget and the best squad. New manager Jon Dahl Tomasson has a lot of pressure to deliver, as Malmö has failed to meet expectations two seasons straight.



    Hammarby IF - Risen from obscurity to title contenders in the last few seasons. Last year Hammarby combined the greatest attack with a bad defence, and they have continued to spend big on offensive strength. Spending more than double than anyone else, Hammarby has brought in Simon Olsson from IF Elfsborg and Aron Dønnum from Vålerenga. Question is, how long can their economy handle the lack of success?



    Djurgårdens IF - The defending champions of Allsvenskan has been spared from the dreaded selling spree that usually follows a title win in Sweden. One big loss in top scorer Buya Turay who left for China, but his absence should be covered by ex-national team player Emir Kujovic who arrived last summer. Djurgården is the only team other than Malmö who have defended a title since 2000. Can they do it again?





    AIK - It hurts to put us outside of the favourites, especially with the other Stockholm teams up there. The board expects a top 3 finish, and the goal at AIK must always be to win the title, no matter what. We possess the best central line in the league but lack in squad width, and until Nabil Bahoui returns we lack a start player on the wing. It will be a challenge to reach the goal, but the lack of European competition might be a blessing in disguise, since we can rotate less and focus on the league where the favourites can't.


    IFK Norrköping - The Östergötland side emerged from nowhere in 2015 and won the title, lead by now Sweden manager Janne Andersson. Since then they have been a regular top side in Sweden, and possess a squad that can compete for the title. Key player will be Christoffer Nyman, who returned from his adventure abroad last season.


    BK Häcken - One of the least supported and richest clubs in the league. BK Häcken is the main profiter of Gothia Cup, the world's biggest youth tournament.  A consistent top 6 side the last few years, but Häcken has struggled greatly to beat their competitors for the title. If they can break that trend, they will be dangerous. 



    Relegation candidates


    Östersunds FK - The team that went from the greatest underdog story to the nation's most hated team in a matter of months. Their entire promotion story was built on a corrupt chairman, and now the finances are in ruin. With negative cash flow and a weak squad the biggest question is if it is their results on the pitch or in the books that will get them relegated.


    IK Sirius - The only team from Uppsala, Sweden 4th biggest city. Sirius counter attacking 4-4-2 has been proven efficient, and should be enough to survive another year. Manager and Kalmar FF legend Henrik Rydström combine a tight defense with individual flair in Elias Andersson and Sam Lundholm.


    Falkenbergs FF - Pulled of a miraculous escape last year to stay in Allsvenskan, and will need a similar feat this year. The lack of new signings means that a lot of pressure is on midfielder John Björkengren to follow up his breakout season with an even better one this year.


    Varbergs BoIS - Newcomer, and the other Halland team apart from Falkenberg. With a squad lacking profiles, Varberg must be greater than their parts to survive the season. Predicted by the press to finish dead last, and I struggle to disagree.


    Mjällby AIF - Currently in the final of the Swedish cup, and the newly promoted side who eliminated us might play European football this autumn. Some great signings in David Batanero and Eric Björkander from GIF Sundsvall might be enough to stay in the league.


  9. image.png.7aa5bde02bcac6a1ee8489432d212496.png 

    Friendlies and the Swedish Cup

    Season 1 - 2020 - Pre season




    As a first-year manager, pre-season was mainly about getting a feel about the players capacity and trying out the tactics for the season. We started out with a win and a loss on tour in Portugal against lower league sides SC Olhanense and Portimonense SC. The first game was comfortably won by our senior squad after a bad start, while the youths struggled to get their game going in the second game. That second game was the last game we lost during pre-season and deciding goal the last we let in. After Portugal, we played four more friendlies in Scandinavia, winning them all with a 13-0 goal difference.

    Overall it was a successful pre-season, where new signings Jamie Hopcutt and Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul being especially impressive. 



    Swedish Cup

    Fixtures - Table - Playoffs


    While Allsvenskan is played during calendar years, the Swedish cup starts in July and ends in May. It is divided in three phases. The qualifying round is played late summer, where Allsvenskan sides play one one-legged qualifier to the group stage, which is played during pre-season. 8 groups of 4 compete in a group stage, where the winner after 3 rounds advance to the quarter finals. Since AIK only finished 4th in 2019, we or one of the top 3 sides need to win the cup for us to qualify for the Europa League.

    We were drawn into a very tough group, with champions Djurgårdens IF, Allsvenskan side IK Sirius and Superettan team Ljungsskile SK. The probable winner of the group was to be decided in the first round against our main rivals, Djurgårdens IF. Quite a way to debut as a manager. We got a dream start with Heradi Rashidi opening the scoring in the 3rd minute, after he picked up a great through ball from Sigthorsson and slotted in his own rebound from a narrow angle. The game was even and tight, with few chances going either way. Djurgården kept the ball, but struggled to get past the pivot of Larsson and Ofori, and as soon as they lost the ball we had Ylätupa and Rashidi storming forward on the counter. The early goal would turn out to be the only one in the game, and 43 000 people saw AIK win the first derby of the year after a robust defensive performance.

    After the derby win we won the rest of the group stage game without much problems. First we travelled to the west coast and beat Ljungskile 3-0 after an early red card. Then we went home and won 3-0 against Sirius, with full backRobert Lundström settling the score with a banger from distance.

    In the quarter final were drawn at home against Mjällby AIF, a newly promoted side from small town Sölvesborg in the south of Sweden. It is a game we should win 9 out of 10 times, and it started great with star forward Henok Goitom heading in a cross in the 14th minute to give us the lead. The joy didn't last long however, with Mjällby scoring a penalty shortly after. We dominated the play, but struggled to create great chances. Sebastian Larsson hit the bar from distance, and Goitom was close to double his tally after missing a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The second half continued in the same fashion. We regained the lead after a free-kick where Kolbeinn Sigthorsson was first on the rebound, but again joy would be shortlived. During one of his rare attacking runs Mjällby left back Jeahze hit the net with a thunderous strike, giving Mjällby their second goal on their second shot. 

    The game died a bit after the equalizer, and would be decided on penalties. Mjällby scored all five while Sigthorsson missing our second, meaning we we surprisingly eliminated. With AIK and Hammarby going out in the quarter final, and Malmö and Djurgården being eliminated in the group stage, this meant that AIK would miss European tournaments for the first time since 2012. A big blow for the club's economy and ambitions

    Board Expectation: Reach the final
    Result: Eliminated in the quarter final

  10. image.png.7aa5bde02bcac6a1ee8489432d212496.png 

    Transfers and Squad

    Season 1 - 2020 - Pre season




    >> Outgoing transfers *

    I joined AIK with roughly a week left of the international January window, so any player I was looking to sell internationally needed to go quickly. Enoch Kofi Adu and Panos Dimitriadis did not survive the cut. Dimitriadis was unfortunately not good enough and carried a large salary, and I was pleased to sell him at any price. I wanted to keep Adu, but with one year left on the contract I felt I needed to sell him directly when we could not agree on an extension. I also felt that we would manage with the players that we have available in that position.

    Daniel Mushitu and Adam Ben Lamin are both players for the future, and are loaned out to Superettan (2nd tier) to gain some match experience and prove themselves for next season. Especially Mushitu needs to prove that he is worthy of a new contract.

    >> Incoming transfers *

    When looking for new signings I mainly had two criterias, sell-on potential and AIK connection. The biggest signing was Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul, who was signed to strengthen the strikeforce, and in the future replace the ageing captain Henok Goitom. He joins us from Halmstads BK in Superettan, where he last season scored 19 goals in 29 games. Wiedesheim-Paul is also the son of former AIK goalkeeper Håkan Svensson.

    Alexander Milosevic is joining for his third term with AIK. He was part of the title-winning team of 2018 before leaving for England, and will greatly strengthen the defense. I originally didn't want to sign him, but he signed a cheap contract, and will provide great competition for Per Karlsson and Karol Mets in central defense.

    Jamie Hopcutt is a bit of a gamble. He had a few really good seasons with Östersunds FK before being released on a free. He is signed as winger depth, but if he reaches his full potential he will be a great starter for any team in Allsvenskan

    * 1 kSEK ~ €100 


    Squad 2020

    >> Goalkeepers

    Jakob Haugaard is new for the season, replacing Oscar Linnér who left for 2. Bundesliga during the winter. He is the intended starter but sits on too big a wage for his ability, and I doubt he will be good enough long-term. We have talent Samuel Brolin out on loan to Superettan, who hopefully will be ready to replace him soon.

    >> Defenders

    I am very happy with the current defense setup. Per Karlsson, Alexander Milosevic and Karol Mets is central defenders with great quality, with young talent Adam Ben Lamin coming up the ranks. Fullbacks are not as strong, but both Rasmus Lindqvist and Robert Lundström are good Allsvenskan players. Daniel Granli and Erick Otieno will get their opportunity to steal a starting spot on each side.

    >> Midfielders

    The central duo with Sebastian Larsson and Ebenezer Ofori is probably the best in the entire league. Larsson still plays for Sweden, and Ofori has experience from both Bundesliga and MLS, and is still young enough to earn us some money when he's sold. In the academy there's tons of central midfielders with potential, with Bilal Hussein and Tom Strannegård being closest to a starting spot. On the wings Nabil Bahoui will be key once he's back from his injury in the summer. Until then two of Saku YlätupaHeradi Rashidi and Jamie Hopcutt will make due. Attacker Stefan Silva can also play on the wing if needed.

    >> Strikers

    Henok Goitom and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson both have the experience and ability to lead an attack on Allsvenskan level, but they are also quite similar. They are both strong and have great aerial ability, with Sigthorsson being a bit more aggressive while Goitom being a better playmaker. I have some doubts on their ability to play together, and will be sure to use Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul to get some more speed and and movement. Stefan Silva's allround ability makes him a great option of the bench.

    >> Tactics

    The main inspiration for my preferred playing style is the Swedish national team and the belief that great defense wins titles. I rather win each game 1-0 than 5-3, and all players will be expected to work for the team both in offense and defense. Formation is a standard 4-4-2, where one of the wingers will be given the freedom to drift inside. Much pressure will be on the central midfielders to perform. They need to be able to contribute in all ends of the pitch, and outperform any 3-man midfield we might meet during the season.

    Expected Starting XI
    Haugaard - Lundström, Karlsson, Mets, Lindqvist - Hopcutt, Larsson, Ofori, Ylätupa - Sigthorsson, Goitom


  11. Introduction

    [FM20] The Sun Is Rising Over Råsunda

    With a little extra time on my hands, I have decided to share my FM20 save with you. Currently I have loaded all Scandinavian leagues, as well as all current national team players around the world. This might change during the save, depending on what direction I want to go. But let's start!


    Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK)

    >> History

    Allmänna Idrottsklubben, more commonly known as AIK is one of the biggest clubs in the country. Founded in 1891 by Isidor Behrens as a multi-sport association for the public AIK enjoys the status as the oldest club in the Swedish top tier "Allsvenskan", as well as one of the most decorated. It took three years from the creation of the football branch in 1896 for AIK to reach their first championship final, and the following year (1900) AIK could call them self national champions in football for the first time after beating Örgryte IS in the final. The next year AIK successfully defended their title, again against Örgryte IS, and proceeded to become champions 4 more times (1911, 1914, 1916, 1923) in its former format. In 1924 Allsvenskan was created with AIK as one of the founding members, replacing the former cup format to decide the champions. In 1932, AIK won Allsvenskan for the first time, and has since won it  5 more times, most recent in 2018. AIK currently sits 3rd in the marathon table of Allsvenskan, with the most seasons in the top tier of any team in the country. Besides the league titles, AIK has also won 8 cup titles (most recent in 2009) and 1 super cup title (2010). Last season AIK finished 4th after a somewhat disappointing title defending season where they for the first time since 2005 was the worst of the three biggest Stockholm teams, with Djurgårdens IF winning the title and Hammarby IF finishing third.

    AIK have three main rivals in the league. The fiercest rival is Djurgårdens IF, who was founded just one month later than AIK and sits with the same amount of league titles (12) as AIK. Since they're founded the same year, the derby is called "Tvillingderbyt" (The Twin Derby), and is historically the biggest derby in Sweden. The rivalry against IFK Göteborg is commonly considered the greatest intercity rivalry in Sweden, with the biggest clubs from the two biggest cities, and is driven by the Stockholm - Gothenburg rivalry. The third biggest rival, Hammarby IF, is mainly geography based, since they have had very limited success and spent almost half of their history in the lower leagues.

    AIK has during the years fostered some great players, such as Kurt Hamrin (AC Milan), Johan Mjällby (Celtic), Olof Mellberg (Aston Villa/Juventus) and Gary Sundgren (Zaragoza). Active national team players such as Pierre Bengtsson, Alexander Isak and Robin Quaison have also gone through the youth academy at AIK.

    >> Goals with AIK

    1. AIK should always, no matter what, be a top team in the league. The mentality in AIK is always to win. Rather win scruffy than lose playing beautiful football. A perfect example of that is the 1998 season, where AIK won the title scoring only 25 goals in 26 games, the fewest in the entire league (editors note: ****ing beautiful season to follow as a supporter). This mentality is something I want in the save. I am not happy until AIK has caught up with Malmö FF in league titles.
    2. There should always be a big local connection in the squad. In recent years AIK has brought up a lot of players from the academy, having lots of players with local connection in the squad. This was somewhat lost in the push for the 2018 title, and I want to bring that back.
    3. Push for Europe. The Swedish giants in recent years, Malmö FF, built there success on European money by qualifying for the Champions League group stage. AIK needs to do the same to stay competitive in the league. However, I am not willing to comprimise on point 2 to achieve this.

    >> Up next

    Pre-season 2020...

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