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FM16: The Frozen Throne

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - August 2020 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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Horribly shaky at the back, but the points are there.

We started August with a home game against Fylkir, on paper certainly a winnable one. The first half was the usual frustration as we controlled the game, but failed to convert that into goals. Credit to the visitors though for shutting us out and restricting us to long shots and half chances. At half time I tried to take pressure off the lads, but it backfired as we conceded a silly goal in the 48th minute - a cross flew in from a free kick, Rakicevic missed the ball and Birkir Valur Jónsson put Fylkir in front with an easy shot. Our creative inability in this game was quite shocking at times, and when we finally got the chance, Geirsson fell victim to a phenomenal double save from their goalkeeper. He should have done better himself though, the curse carries on.

I wonder what the fans think about the Akureyri derby which turned into a complete joke on the pitch. We started the game rather well, controlling things and creating some half chance from time to time. In the 35th minute Stanimirovic put in a cross from the right wing, aiming at Geirsson's head, but the ball didn't reach him. Instead it bounced off a running Þór defender and rolled past their keeper into the net. Four minutes later I witnessed something I was beginning to believe wasn't going to happen ever again - Arnar Sveinn Geirsson scored a goal! Kasperkiewicz headed the ball down for him after a corner and the Icelander smashed it home from ten yards out with a furious left-footer. But of course we had to make things more interesting. Hafsteinsson let in a goal in the 66th minute and it was another own goal in this game - after a drilled cross Daan Foulon deflected the ball in some inexplicable way which caught our goalkeeper completely off guard. Our defence recovered in time though as they stopped a couple of very dangerous Þór attacks which could have been very costly for us.

Next up, a six-pointer away at ÍBV. If we aim for the European places this year, we should be taking points from games like that. And in the first half we didn't look anything like it. They didn't particularly dominate us or lock us inside our penalty box, but while they created the odd chance, we created nothing at all. But just after the break we got the lead thanks to something that can't really be described as anything else but a brainfart. Sindri Scheving put in a very high, slowly floating cross from the left wing towards the far post. Their defender tried to clear it away, but instead he set Viktor Örn Guðmundsson on the other side of the six yard box up for an easy tap-in. If I conceded a goal like that, I'd be fuming. The goal didn't really change the outlook of the game though, it was still ÍBV who looked like the better team. Our defence broke down in the 61st minute, a strange lack of marking led to a simple square pass and a thunderbolt shot Hafsteinsson had no chance to deflect. Strangely, the hosts slowed down visibly after equalising, actually it was us who started to take control. It wasn't enough to grab another goal, sadly, but we did have the chances to do so.

And to round the month up, ÍA at their place. Relatively easy on paper, but I had never beaten them in the three league games we had played. Sindri Björnsson looked to change that very quickly though as he gave us the lead less than three minutes in, somehow finding the ball at his feet after a corner and calmly slotting it home. It was 2:0 after 15 minutes, Matthíasson on the scoresheet, squeezing the ball just inside the near post from a tight angle. Even our superstriker Geirsson added his goal in the 28th minute, making use of a perfectly timed and perfectly aimed through ball from Gunnlaugarson. And in the second half we just made it much harder for ourselves for no apparent reason. Complacency is the only thing that springs to mind. In the 59th minute Kristinn Þór Björnsson gave them hope with a sensational 30 yard strike Hafsteinsson could only look at. But the next half hour was just the one-man show from our goalkeeper. Two or three double saves, stopping shots that no one would even think of blaming him for letting them in, you name it, he's done it. He finally gave up just as stoppage time begun as he had no chance to stop a header from point blank range, but ÍA had no time to pursue the equaliser. Phenomenal performance from Fannar Hafsteinsson, but we shouldn't have needed it as much as we did really.

Youth Intake

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An average intake with one obvious standout.

Eyþór Garðarson

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Am I seeing that correctly that FH have already qualified for Europe? Meaning 4th place might get you in, if they stay in the top 3?

Or is Iceland just 2 in the Europa League?

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Am I seeing that correctly that FH have already qualified for Europe? Meaning 4th place might get you in, if they stay in the top 3?

Or is Iceland just 2 in the Europa League?

Iceland has (atm, which is 2015, not 2020 as this save) 1 place in the UCL, and 3 in the UEL. Of the UEL places, one's reserved for the cup winner, so most likely, 2nd and 3rd in the league gets a UEL spot (thus, if a top-3 team is in, then 4th place might just do it.)

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Am I seeing that correctly that FH have already qualified for Europe? Meaning 4th place might get you in, if they stay in the top 3?

Or is Iceland just 2 in the Europa League?

Iceland has (atm, which is 2015, not 2020 as this save) 1 place in the UCL, and 3 in the UEL. Of the UEL places, one's reserved for the cup winner, so most likely, 2nd and 3rd in the league gets a UEL spot (thus, if a top-3 team is in, then 4th place might just do it.)

FH have won the cup, if they finish in a European spot in the league then the 4th team will also qualify. Iceland still has three Europa League spots.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - September 2020 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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A bit shaky towards the end, but we got what we wanted.

The 0:0 in the FH game was the kind of 0:0 that keeps you right on the edge of your chair, biting your nails, feeling that a goal is inevitable. Well, no one actually scored in the end, but boy, what a game it was. First, imagine a game where both teams go "screw this" and just attack each other for the whole 90 minutes, leading to a wild scoreline like 6:4 or something like that. Got it? Now imagine such a game, but without the goals. That's exactly what happened at Akureyrarvöllur. It's difficult to judge which team was better - FH had more shots, but our situations looked much more dangerous. Sindri Björnsson played in the attacking CM position and had two sitters, but wasted both of them. I was reasonably happy to draw against one of the top teams in the league.

Next up, Breiðablik at home. I always feel nervous before playing the bottom team at home, but I've probably already mentioned that somewhere. After a goalless first half which marked our slight advantage we got off to the best possible opening after the break, grabbing the lead through Arnar Sveinn Geirsson who simply couldn't miss, having received a square ball from the left winger Matthíasson. Ten minutes passed, Breiðablik got a free kick on the wing, Kasperkiewicz headed the cross away, but Dominko Radalj picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, led it a bit closer to goal and launched a powerful strike which found the far bottom corner. A perfect shot really, Hafsteinsson could barely see the ball through all the legs in front of him as well. We responded almost immediately with a goal from Matthíasson, who squeezed it in from a tight angle after a cross by Stanimirovic. And then we stopped. Breiðablik were almost ripping us to shreds, luckily they couldn't find the net. The most notable attempt was the one from their left back Zoran Slavuljica. Again we headed the ball away after a cross, it fell to the feet of the Serbian who launched an incredibly powerful half-volley from 35 yards out. The crossbar worked in our favour though. And finally we managed to construct an effective counter attack in the 86th minute, Rakicevic with the goal, Stanimirovic with his second assist of the game. We made it hard for ourselves, but three points are three points.

A game just can't end well for you if you fall behind in the very first minute of it, can it? After a nice passing move Atli Hrafn Andrason received the ball inside the box with his back to goal, despite Follerås' pressure he managed to turn and score. The scoreline is both justified and misleading - on one hand, if you look at the big picture, it was a fairly even game with both teams taking the same number of shots and us having slightly more possession, we also did create a few decent chances. But when KR switched on the fifth gear, they passed the ball around us like we were cones on a school playground. Some Barcelona-esque football allowed them to extend their lead by three goals in the second half and trust me, we looked absolutely helpless in all these moves. Credit to the opposition for creating some moments of magic, sometimes you just can't cope.

Exactly like last season and two seasons ago, on the final day we travelled to an already relegated side, this time it was Fjölnir. Can we already speak of some kind of curse? Well, it doesn't really matter for me. What mattered was getting a win there as it was the only result that guaranteed us the Europa League qualifiiers spot regardless of other games. And we made it into a tale of two halves. In the first 45 minutes Fannar Hafsteinsson proved his worth to any non-believers that may still think he's not good enough for us. Some of his saves were great, some of them were lucky, but all of them were effective. A position switch and a hairdryer at half time worked wonders in the second half though. We established full control over the game, barely allowing Fjölnir to move into our half with the ball. In the 72nd minute, just two minutes after being brought onto the pitch, Magnús Þórir Matthíasson scored the only goal of the game after a nice through ball by Sindri Björnsson. Job done, fourth place secured.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Review - 2020 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsi-deildin

Results

Competition Performance: 4th

Constantly progressing, that's how we roll. We started the season fantastically and over the course of the whole campaign we never fell lower than 5th. At times we actually looked like a classy team and despite a couple of batterings we received I'm convinced next season will be even better than that.

Deildabikar

Competition Performance: Quarter Finals

After a slip in 2019 we're back to our usual performance here. This time we could have done better than that, but we simply didn't turn up for the Breiðablik game.

Borgunarbikar

Competition Performance: Fourth Round

We've finally broken the curse, but that's still not good enough.

Squad

A couple of youngsters were promoted from the youth team into a good looking squad. I took this screenshot in November, so this kind of spoils three transfers for you. A couple of areas still need strenghtening though.

Transfers - Finances

It's been a good transfer window for us. Every player pretty much served their purpose, there was also a standout in the form of Björn Blöndel's performance in the first games. The only significant departure was Steingrimsson - a youngster I didn't actually have high hopes for, so when Mariehamn came with the money and a 20% sell-on fee, I was happy to sell.

There seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of finances. When the Europa League money comes in, we might actually be able to turn a profit next year.

Player of the Season

1st - Bozidar Stanimirovic - easily our best player, both in terms of ability and - especially - consistency. He ended the season with seven assists, but it should easily be much more than that as he was always dangerous overlapping the inside forward on the right wing. Key player, I'm very happy to have him in the team.

2nd - Fannar Hafsteinsson - second best player in the team for two years running now. We'd be screwed in some games if it wasn't for his input. Fantastic goalkeeper with the ability to perform a miraculous save.

3rd - Piotr Kasperkiewicz - the one who keeps the midfield together. His experience is absolutely vital for the functionality of our midfield triangle and that was especially visible when he was injured or suspended and unable to play.

Next Season

With the prospect of European football on the horizon we should look into adding some quality and depth to the squad. In the league I won't accept anything less than top 3.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Preview - 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Board Expectations:

Pepsideildin: Fight bravely against relegation

Borgunarbikar: Quarter Finals

Deildabikar: Not important

My Expectations:

Pepsideildin: The board don't seem to recognize our success, oh well. European qualification is the bare minimum I expect.

Borgunarbikar: Since we've broken the curse, we could aim for the Quarter Finals this year.

Deildabikar: Not important.

Budgets:

Transfer: £42,036

Wage: £7,834 (currently spending £5,370)

Balance: -£109,954

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The usual December stuff...

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...with a pleasant bonus.

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Aha - the female name bug strikes again!

Obviously your new chairperson's first name Kristinn is female.

Also, if SI were able to follow correct Icelandic naming customs, her last name should be Valgeirsdóttir... ;)

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Aha - the female name bug strikes again!

Obviously your new chairperson's first name Kristinn is female.

Also, if SI were able to follow correct Icelandic naming customs, her last name should be Valgeirsdóttir... ;)

I'm going to trust you on this one. :p

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Aha - the female name bug strikes again!

Obviously your new chairperson's first name Kristinn is female.

Also, if SI were able to follow correct Icelandic naming customs, her last name should be Valgeirsdóttir... ;)

I'm going to trust you on this one. :p

Sorry guys, but Kristinn is actually a male name in Iceland.

https://is.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listi_yfir_%C3%ADslensk_eiginn%C3%B6fn_karlmanna ("Listi yfir íslensk eiginnöfn karlmanna" means "list of icelandic male given names"), scroll down to "K" and right between "Kristian" and "Kristjan" you'll find what you're looking for ;)

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristinn_Sigmundsson - this guy, i.e.)

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Pre-Season - 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Friendlies

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Three wins from three against lower level opposition, nothing particularly spectacular.

Transfers

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I'm beyond excited with the business we've done over the winter. You might recognize a familiar face there.

Kevin Thomson - Danilo Pilica refused to enter contract renewal talks, so we needed to find a replacement. This guy looks like one hell of a defender, certainly one that's not going to lose too many headers. Very likely to be an improvement compared to what we had before.

Snæbjörn Valur Gestsson - what a player. He was released by Fram last season, probably he simply didn't want to sign a new deal with them. Given he has a Professional personality, we could be looking at a future star of Icelandic football here.

Guðmundur Emil Jóhansson - our backup goalkeeper decided to leave the club, so we needed a replacement.

Przemyslaw Porebski - the second Polish player joins the team and I'll be surprised if he isn't the best midfielder in the whole league. Just look at these attributes, the guy can do anything on the pitch. I have extremely high hopes for this guy.

Davið Hall - another central defender, probably one for the future as my scout rates him very highly, but he'll probably get his minutes in our rotation system this season already. Certainly not bat for a 19-year-old.

Gunnar Þóraninsson - I've been following his progress at Rosenborg and when I saw he didn't really make any and eventually got listed for loan, I couldn't resist. The rock is back and could be crucial for improving the quality of our midfield.

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Sorry guys, but Kristinn is actually a male name in Iceland.

https://is.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listi_yfir_%C3%ADslensk_eiginn%C3%B6fn_karlmanna ("Listi yfir íslensk eiginnöfn karlmanna" means "list of icelandic male given names"), scroll down to "K" and right between "Kristian" and "Kristjan" you'll find what you're looking for ;)

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristinn_Sigmundsson - this guy, i.e.)

So I'm gonna just stick to this, thanks for the clarification.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - February 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Deildabikar

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I can't logically explain any of this.

The opening twenty minutes of the ÍBV game were almost terrifying as we found ourselves 4:0 up, having scored from all four chances we created. We broke the Deildabikar record for the fastest goal scored as Björn Blöndel gave us the lead fifteen seconds in after Matthíasson's cross from the left wing. They pretty much repeated that six minutes later to double our lead. In the 12th minute Matthíasson grabbed a goal himself with a perfectly aimed shot from the edge of the box. Finally in the 20th minute our left winger completed his hat-trick of assists, delivering the ball to Snæbjörn Valur Gestsson who headed it home beautifully. Quite frankly it could have been six at half time, but Blöndel and Gestsson went on to miss one great chance each. ÍBV got one back shortly after the break through Igor Prijic, but that was all they could manage. We added another goal before the final whistle and this time it was Sindri Scheving with the assist which set up Blöndel to become a hat-trick hero. Thrilling performance really, not only from him, but from the whole team.

A few kids were given a chance to shine against BÍ/Bolungarvík. And they did - in the 7th minute the ball was cleared away from their box to our right back Kjartan Páli Sæmundsson who drilled a fantastic cross to the far post for Guðmundur Jónsson to tap it in. Our domination in the first half didn't cast a shadow of doubt, but the scoreline remained 1:0 at half time. And after some time... we conceded one of the dumbest kind of goals you could imagine. A clearance attempt by one of our central defenders hit their striker Patrik Atlason right in his arse and rolled past a surprised Hafsteinsson and into the net. They even sniffed their chance and proceeded to attack us with fury. At that point I got quite nervous, but luckily we have Gestsson now. In the 81th minute the newly acquired striker gave us the lead with a very confident left-footed, having received a pass from Matthíasson who got his fourth assist in the Deildabikar already.

It should have been 3:0, but the other way around and not after the final whistle, but at half time. Vikingur Reykjavik were running around us, chasing the ball like headless chickens, barely crossing the halfway line. And we kept creating chance after chance. Porebski linked with Gestsson beautifully, but neither of them managed to convert any of the numerous opportunities they worked out. The turning point? Possibly an unlucky groin strain which forced Magnús Þórir Matthíasson off in the 34th minute. We maintained control, but it wasn't domination anymore. We visibly took a dive in quality by bringing Guðmundur Jónsson on. Still, it wasn't until the 63rd minute when Vikingur scored their first lucky goal when David Veselinovic headed the ball in from point blank range after some chaos following a corner. The Serbian striker doubled their lead in the 77th minute after a through ball, which would have been fine if he wasn't like three yards offside. And finally a soft penalty was called in the dying minutes of the game and Veselinovic took his chance to complete a hat-trick. Awful result which doesn't reflect the flow of the game at all.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - March 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Deildabikar

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Slowly progressing towards consistency.

Two shots, one on target. That's how much we allowed Grindavík to take. As you would probably expect, it was a walk in the park and a very comfortable win against a lower division side. Yet again we struggled to convert our opportunities though. The deadlock was broken just before half time thanks to Przemyslaw Porebski. The Pole received a cross from the right wing and headed it home to grab his first ever goal for the club. And not the last one, not even the last one of the game - he also doubled our lead seconds before the final whistle. A cross came in, Kevin Thomson headed it down, Porebski stopped with the ball and took a calm, placed shot to the top far corner. Sublime finish from our midfield spearhead. Grindavík made it even easier for us from the 48th minute onwards as one of their players got sent off for a two-footer on Þóraninsson.

Next up, Þór. And it was just as easy, our domination was never really questioned from the first to the last minute. We got in front in the 9th minute. Jónsson tried to cut inside the box, got dispossessed, but the ball rolled to the feet of Gestsson who knew exactly what to do. Just before half time we made it 2:0. Porebski surprised their defenders with a quickly taken free kick. A floated cross reached Kevin Thomson on the far post. The American got his first KA goal with a calm shot. In the 52nd minute Gestsson bagged a brace for himself, pouncing on the rebound after Jónsson's initial shot was miraculously saved by their goalkeeper. The only real setback was a completely unnecessary red card for Sindri Scheving in the final period of the game. For some reason the left back completely lost it for a moment and brutally scythed down a Þór player.

Like against BÍ/Bolungarvík, I decided to field a second choice team against Selfoss. And it backfired - the first half was fairly even, but you could clearly see our young ones were nervous and constantly gave the ball away in simple situations. I thought we would survive until half time and then make changes, but it wasn't to be. In the 45th minute a nice 25-yarder from Einar Sigurbjörnsson found its way past Hafsteinsson. After making three subsitutions (out of five allowed, mind) during the break we started to play much better and finally grabbed control. However, we needed a fluke goal from Porebski to actually equalise, which happened in the 57th minute. We could - or should? - grab another goal, but Björn Blöndel disappointed us twice in great chances, wasting fantastic crosses from Matthíasson who finally returned from his injury. A bit frustrated to drop points there as we slipped down to 2nd as a result.

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Sorry guys, but Kristinn is actually a male name in Iceland.

https://is.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listi_yfir_%C3%ADslensk_eiginn%C3%B6fn_karlmanna ("Listi yfir íslensk eiginnöfn karlmanna" means "list of icelandic male given names"), scroll down to "K" and right between "Kristian" and "Kristjan" you'll find what you're looking for ;)

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristinn_Sigmundsson - this guy, i.e.)

Fair enough. I honestly thought it was a misspelling (wouldn't be surprised as there are plenty of those in the db!) of Kristin with one N... ;)

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Aha - the female name bug strikes again!

Obviously your new chairperson's first name Kristinn is female.

Also, if SI were able to follow correct Icelandic naming customs, her last name should be Valgeirsdóttir... ;)

What about him? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristinn_Steind%C3%B3rsson

Also Valgeirsson may just be very rare case of not patronymic Icelandic surname like Eiður Guðjohnsen. ;)

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Congrats on getting into Europe. :thup:

Thank you very much. :thup:

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - April 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Deildabikar

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Not as comfortably as I'd have liked to, but we've done the job.

We got off to a decent start and in the 13th minute Gestsson gave us the lead with an easy tap-in, rebounding a long shot from Porebski. After that I thought we were going to give them a proper beating, but surprisingly they fought back and created a couple of shooting positions. We responded assertively enough in the 33rd minute. Porebski played a long ball to the right wing, Stanimirovic received it and crossed it towards Matthíasson who took his chance to make it 2:0. We did control the game from then on, but struggled to create actual opportunities. It was rather passing the ball around in the middle of the park. And then we got unlucky twice in stoppage time. First we lost Gestsson to an ankle injury and then lack of concentration and poor reaction to a through ball cost us a consolation goal. Thanks to a Vikingur Reykjavik slip, the result meant we moved above them to win the group.

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And another quarter final exit, who would have thought?

After so many times I feel like it's becoming our trademark. First highlight of the game, 11th minute and KR get in front through Kim Ove Riksvold. It seems sometimes our players need a slap on the cheek to wake up and get into the game properly. This time it did work for the majority of them. Unluckily, Björn Blöndel wasn't a part of this group. Presented with three fantastic chances, he failed to give us the equaliser. As a result we were a goal down at half time. And then after the break we stopped creating anything, but didn't exactly give away the control. It took KR another brainfart on our behalf to double their lead. A corner came in, landed on the head of Przemyslaw Porebski who failed miserably with his clearance and ended up putting the ball into the net. We couldn't recover from that and couldn't break the Deildabikar quarter finals curse yet again.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - May 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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It couldn't have gone much worse really.

We received disastrous news just 24 hours before the ÍBV game - Przemyslaw Porebski picked up a foot injury in training and is going to be out for 3-4 weeks. And the match itself wasn't such a breeze as the Deildabikar clash was. In fact, it was one of the closest games I've played on this save. Extraordinary goalkeeper performances on both sides helped carry the 0:0 until half time. Finally after some missed chances we got in front in the 65th minute. The Matthíasson-Blöndel duo came back to haunt ÍBV once again - the former with the assist, the latter with the goal. Ten minutes later they equalised through Nikola Rakic, again our undoing was a cross from the left and poor marking by Daan Foulon. But their celebrations didn't last long. In the 79th minute Blöndel cut inside with the ball, played a through ball into the box and Arnar Sveinn Geirsson found the bottom corner with a powerful shot. We had relatively little trouble carrying the lead until the final whistle.

I know it's becoming quite repetitive now - 4th minute, first highlight of the game, Keflavík lead 1:0. Again - a cross from the left wing, bad marking on the far post, this time Yu Dong-Gu on the scoresheet. Then we woke up and started to dominate the game, but no matter how good the delivery was, Blöndel wouldn't hit the barn door on that day. Some fantastic balls from Matthíasson were horribly wasted by poor finishing. After the break the hosts calmed things down and in the end got the result they wanted rather comfortably. How many times is this going to happen?

Four days later Valur came to our place and, as you can see, they beat the crap out of us. The newly promoted team did what I love the most and got in front in the 7th minute with a rather scruffy shot I think Hafsteinsson should have saved. Then in the 36th minute our promising attack broke down and we were immediately caught on counter, Filip Mihajlevic with the goal. And finally after exactly an hour of football our fortress fell for the third time, this time to a corner. Defending, attacking, creating, winning tackles - you name it, we screwed it up. An inexplicably abysmal performance was probably ever so frustrating for the fans, but for me it was quite worrying. Something was horribly wrong there. To make things worse, we lost our captain Bozidar Stanimirovic for two weeks to a wrist injury shortly after the game.

After such a disastrous month I was simply hoping not to lose away at Vikingur Reykjavik. And... well, we got the result. Interestingly, even though neither team played a particularly high line, we caught them offside six times and they did the same to us five times. And to be fair the linesman's flag was the only thing that saved us from another miserable defeat. Luckily for us, their striker Viktor Jónsson played a terrible game, either getting constantly caught offside or missing absolute sitters. Credit to Hafsteinsson for saving a few dangeous attempts, the rest were poor once again. I'm moderately happy with the point there.

Borgunarbikar

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Is anyone surprised anymore?

As soon as I saw they had lined up with a narrow 4-2-3-1, I knew there would be trouble. When Gunnar Þóraninsson got himself sent off for a dumb two-footed challenge in the 24th minute, I knew we were out. Even getting in front shortly after that through Magnús Þórir Matthíasson didn't really cheer me up. And then it started. 34th minute, Wentzel Steinarr Kamban, 1:1. 77th minute, Ingólfur Gústafsson, 2:1. 81th minute, Kamban again, 3:1. Our biggest letdowns were probably Gestsson and Gunnlaugarson, both of them missed a crazy number of seemingly easy chances. Oh well, maybe next year.

Transfers

Luiz Camargo - he was offered to me by his agent and I simply couldn't say no to these attributes. I just hope he can settle in before it's too late.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - June 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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There's light at the end of the tunnel, but it may as well be an incoming train for all we know.

Mad fixture congestion meant that we approached the KR game absolutely knackered. And you could say that was visible in the flow of the game as in the first half we faced them with dignity and were by no means a worse team. It was their playmaker Marko Keca who broke the deadlock in the 33th minute, but Christian Follerås equalised from the penalty spot just five minutes earlier to give a good summary to the very even 45 minutes. At the break I had to make two substitutions in the middle of the park, one of the new faces was Luiz Camargo. And it was the Brazilian who lost the ball stupidly in the 52nd minute which led KA to their second goal. Ten minutes later we were 3:1 down and just before stoppage time Andri Rafn Yeoman made it four after a nice passing move. The complete and utter disaster was Sindri Scheving's performance for which he has been given a 4,5 rating. Yes, 4,5.

Next up, something we all love - the Akureyri derby. We could have gone 2:0 up inside the opening five minutes, but Arnar Sveinn Geirsson wasn't exactly at his best in front of goal. Still, it took us only seven minutes of football to get in front thanks to Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson's goal from Daan Foulon's assist. And then we continued to push and the invisible wall on their goal line seemed impenetrable. It was always the goalkeeper, the defenders or the inability to hit the target that saved them. I won't lie to you if I say we could have easily put five past Þór before the half hour mark. But of course they only needed one break, one actual highlight to equalise. A series of ridiculous defensive mistakes resulted in Ægir Jarl Jónasson squeezing the ball in from a tight angle after his initial shot was saved by Hafsteinsson. The tiredness got the better of us in the second half and we weren't as dangerous as before the break, but still we should have converted at least one of the chances we created. Two stupid points dropped there.

A week passed and FH came to our place to show us exactly how it should be done. 4th minute, Axel Andrésson. 5th minute, Baris Sarikaya. At this point I was dreading a repeat of our last season's clash when we lost 4:0 and all their goals came very early in the game, but this time they decided two was enough. Yes, that's exactly what it looked like - they got the goals, then sat back and calmly controlled the game, even though they gave away 52% possession to us. If we combined the quality of our squad with their experience, we would probably not even be too troubled on our way to the title.

And then Stjarnan. A team I had feared before, but after beating them twice last season they didn't appear as big anymore. And look at the table - maybe they have simply fallen from grace a little bit? Anyway, after a rather dull first half it was 0:0 on the board and not very much for the fans to get excited about. But after the break things really kicked off. In the 55th minute a cross from Porebski landed on Blöndal's head and the winger gave us the lead. The lead we could only celebrate for less than a minute - a ridiculous defensive mix-up resulted in a ball rolling loose a couple of yards in front of our goal line and three of our players staring at it indecisively. Finally after what appeared to be ages Martin Jørgensen simply knocked it into the net. But Porebski had much more to say. In the 83rd minute he played another cross, this time from the other wing and aiming for the feet of Gestsson who scored with a first-time left-footed shot. And finally after a gorgeous passing move our Polish spearhead got a goal for his own, Gestsson with the assist. It took us some time, but trust me, we did deserve to win that.

We rounded off June with a trip to bottom of the league ÍA. You know how much I dread playing these games, don't you? Of course you do, and of course we fell behind after their first offensive move. This time it was the 18th minute and Amath Diedhiou on the scoresheet. Then our usual festival of wasted opportunities began and lasted until the half time whistle, with the odd counter attack from the hosts. Straight after the break the wildest five minutes of football I've seen on this game so far erupted. First we equalised through Przemyslaw Porebski who kept a cool head in a goalmouth scramble where I could barely see the ball. Then they got the lead back straight from the kick-off - a long shot deflected off one of our defenders, but Hafsteinsson also made a very poor save attempt there. And then another kick-off and another goal, this time for us. I'm starting to believe Björn Blöndal might be the second coming of Juraj Grizelj - he can't score with his feet no matter what, but when the ball lands on his head, he's deadly. This time it was a far post cross from Daan Foulon and an extraordinary, Hernan Crespo-esque shot which landed just under the bar and just inside the post. And finally another period of our domination resulted in the winning goal from Gestsson in the 82nd minute. Wow, what a ride that was.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - July 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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A surprisingly good month sees us rise in the table, we're still within shout of European football next season.

First up, Fylkir away which is always a very tough trip for us. This time it started surprisingly good though. After holding off a couple of not very dangerous attack we launched our own wave and in the 18th minute Gestsson gave us the lead, making perfect use of a nice cross from Stanimirovic. We grasped control of the game and didn't look like giving it away, barely allowing the hosts on our own half. Yet again we struggled to convert our opportunities though. I didn't feel like it was particularly dangerous in that specific case as we looked really strong, but oh, how naive it was. In the 57th minute we gave away a free kick 20 yards away from goal. Ingólfur Sigurðsson stepped up and gave Hafsteinsson no chance with a powerful strike. Despite our domination we failed to bring three points home.

I found it difficult to approach the Keflavík game with optimism. Yes, we did have our strongest team available, but some of the players were tired and the finishing issues were eye-stinging. Our cautious approach matched the visitors' one which resulted in a horribly boring first half with pretty much no highlights at all. The image of the game didn't change too much after the break, but we finally managed to create something. It wasn't enough to grab the lead, but it showed our slight advantage. So the 80th minute was the perfect moment to give away a silly penalty. Their Czech striker Milan Adamek stepped up to the spot, but Hafsteinsson guessed his intentions and managed to deflect the ball away. And just a couple of minutes later Kasperkiewicz played a cross towards Björn Blöndal who found the net with a gorgeous, placed half-volley. Keflavík tried to attack in the dying minutes, but we defended well and didn't really allow anything too dangerous.

Only three days later we hosted another strong team, Vikingur Ólafsvik. And of course what would a game be without falling behind early on? 3rd minute, Höskuldur Gunnlaugsson, 0:1. Do I need to stress it was their first shot of the game? They also had a great chance to extend their lead just a few minutes later, but Hrvoje Tokic missed an absolute sitter after a failed offside trap. And then we woke up. In the 29th minute we got a corner, the cross was headed away, Matthíasson got to the loose ball, carried it for a few yards and blasted it straight into the bottom corner from 20 yards out. Brilliant strike from our left winger gave us the equaliser and at half time it was 1:1. That wasn't all we had to offer though. In the 68th minute a free kick from just outside the area was given to us and Przemyslaw Porebski struck a perfect upper 90 to give us the lead. It was a fairly even game and Vikingur had their chances to equalise again, but we held them off brilliantly and got away with the win.

The crazy fixture congestion ended with a game at another decent side, ÍBV. And guess what, five minutes in we were already trailing. A cross from the left troubled Hafsteinsson so much that he deflected it to the side, exactly where Nikola Rakic was hoping for a rebound. We punched back in the 18th minute, Stanimirovic with the assist from the right wing, Getsson with a perfectly aimed header which gave their goalkeeper no chance to react. You'd think we'd grab control after that, but no. Ten minutes passed and we were behind again, Ulises Salinas on the scoresheet, again we failed to deal with a cross. Luckily we had Matthíasson. In the 33rd minute things were level again - Gestsson's run created space on the left side, Matthíasson ran into the channel and Porebski served him with a perfectly aimed pass. That was a chance he couldn't miss. And the winger also gave us the winning goal shortly after half time - after a drilled cross by Blöndal he managed to score from quite a tight angle. It was another very close game and for the third time in a row we managed to be decisive. Is this the moment?

UEFA Europa League

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It's beyond me how we could mess this one up so badly.

To be honest, I expected Aktobe to smash us, given how strong the Kazakh league is in real life compared to the Icelandic league. But after five minutes of the first leg we should have been 3:0 up. Björn Blöndal wasted two fantastic opportunities from the right wing and Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson also missed one absolute sitter from point blank range. But then we made a complete mess in defence and in the 20th minute fell behind to a Nemanja Milic goal. Even that didn't stop our attacks, but the composure and the ability to hit the target were things that my frontline players seemingly never heard of. And in the 64th minute Aktobe created their second goalscoring opportunity which obviously was enough to put them 2:0 up, again Milic was the scorer. Until now I have no idea how we could not score even once in that game.

And a week later we faced a very long and potentially exhausting trip to the hostile land of Kazakhstan. 12,000 home fans turned up to watch the game and the 12,000 home fans should have witnessed an absolute battering of their favourite team. But they didn't. Instead they saw a bunch of visitors from Iceland who may play beautiful football and create loads of chances through some great passing moves, but can't finish for ****. Gestsson gave us a glimmer of hope in the 25th minute and we had more than enough time to turn everything around, but it simply wasn't to be. An incredibly frustrating way to drop out of the competition.

Youth Intake

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A painfully average intake with no one to get excited about.

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This came up on August 11th with KR sitting 3rd in the Pepsideildin table. I have mixed feelings about this. I will attend the interview, but it would probably take a very good offer to make me consider leaving.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - August 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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I wish I had an idea why that happened.

After a great July we approached the Valur game in high spirits, knowing that a win would increase our chances for at least Europa League qualification very much. I like to bring up match stats when they look funny in correlation with the result, so here you go. 51-49 possession for Valur, 15-13 shots for us. Two clear cut chances for them and one for us, three half chances for us and two for them. And the goals? 6th minute, their first action of the game, a deep free kick aimed at the near post, no reaction from the defence at all, Filip Mihajlevic, 1:0. 17th minute, a long ball launched upfield, Hafsteinsson standing on the line staring at Mihajlevic attacking from deep, the defenders just standing still waiting for the goalkeeper to react, Mihajlevic from a tight angle, Hafsteinsson punches it into his own goal, 2:0. 39th minute, Follerås decides it might be a good idea to attempt a headed backpass from just inside our half. It's not. Þorsteinn Ingason, 3:0. 66th minute, a cross from the left, Kevin Thomson misses a header, the ball reaches Ingason. 4:0. 80th minute, Hafsteinsson saves a shot from a tight angle - his first successful save of the match - but the ball lands straight at the feet of Kevin Davis who's completely unmarked and unobstructed on the edge of the six yard box. 5:0. Lights out.

Three days later the Vikingur Reykjavik match came up and it reminded me why I love this game so much. I thought playing the bottom team at home would ignite some spark in the players and force them to show at least some initiative. It didn't. After forty minutes of absolutely rubbish football we fell behind to a Krzysztof Mączyński free kick from just outside the box. My hope was brought back straight after half time when Gestsson gave us an equaliser from Björn Blöndal's cross. Oh, at this point I should mention that the referee was running around and dishing out yellow cards like there was no tomorrow. In the 82nd minute we fell behind again. Our defence was completely torn to pieces by a rather simple pass inside the area and Fannar Olli Sævarsson beat Hafsteinsson with a shot at the near post which went in off the crossbar. And then madness erupted. Four of our players ran to the linesman, appealing for offside. And two yellow cards were shown. To make it funny, both Bozidar Stanimirovic AND Daan Foulon had already been booked before, which meant early bath for both of them. I simply moved the wingers to full back positions, sat back and prayed. And the prayers were answered. With 92 minutes on the clock Jan Sedlak found Blöndal in the area. The improvised full back managed to turn with an opponent on his back and unleashed a perfectly aimed left-footer just inside the far post. I never thought I'd celebrate miraculously nicking a draw against the bottom team at home so much.

The suspensions weakened us severely and our fierce rivals Þór came to our place and simply exploited the gaps. That game showed we have pretty much no options in the full back spots other than the first choice players. It took the visitors some time to gain visible advantage, but when they did, they fired out with a quickfire double. Kolbeinn Kárason and Ægir Jarl Jónasson put them 2:0 in front with goals in the 33rd and 35th minute respectively. I tried fiddling with tactics, but as the game progressed we were lucky to keep the scoreline the way it was. And then some slight hope appeared in the 74th minute when we hit them on the break and Björn Blöndal put his name on the scoresheet. But Kárason punished us for that twelve minutes later, again exploiting the weakness of our back line. Gestsson made it 2:3 just before the stoppage time, but that was it. Another poor showing in front of our fans.

Six days later there was the KR trip, or, as I decided to call it, the ******** goal festival. Ten minutes into the game their striker Ástbjörn Þórðarson attempted a weak shot from a tight angle, but Hafsteinsson just flapped his hand in the air, effectively gifting him a goal. Then shortly after the hour mark a drilled cross into our box fell straight to the feet of Kevin Thomson, but he made a complete mess out of a clearance attempt and ended up putting it in the net. And fifteen minutes later Edivaldo ended that by another shot aimed pretty much straight at Hafsteinsson, but this time our goalkeeper simply moved out of the way. Oh, and we didn't even have a single shot on target in the whole match. Abysmal.

Another week, another beating. It really amazes me how difficult it is for my players to score from seemingly clear cut chances and at the same time the opposition will somehow find a way past our defence even where there seems to be no chance at all. In the first half maybe we didn't dominate, but we seemed to have a slight advantage. Certainly there was some progress when you look at our last game against FH when we conceded twice in the first five minutes. But it was all blown to pieces when just before the break Marko Obradovic scored with a header from the penalty box line. Yes, we're that bad. In the final fifteen minutes we tried to push on and seek the equaliser, but it turned out not to be the best of ideas. Marko Stancetic and Amer Gojak expressed this in the 79th and 83rd minute respectively, extending our winless streak to five and making it sixteen goals conceded in these games.

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Keep the faith.

I am wondering if the guy David? Hall is mixed nationality? With a name like Hall, and a face like a grunt in any FPS game he must have right?

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Keep the faith.

I am wondering if the guy David? Hall is mixed nationality? With a name like Hall, and a face like a grunt in any FPS game he must have right?

Faith is the only thing we have left now really.

Hall has no second nationality, he's 100% Icelandic.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - September 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsideildin

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So it was my tactics after all.

After two weeks of rest and some tactical tweaks we faced ÍA at home. And suddenly the match looked completely different. Before the changes we would create millions of chances, waste all of them, then concede, etcetera. This time there were barely any situations, you could say the game was quite dull altogether, but somehow we've become deadly up front and very tight at the back. We grabbed the lead in the 43rd minute thanks to Luiz Camargo's penalty. Then in the 72nd minute a nice passing move set Przemyslaw Porebski free on goal. The Polish midfielder had some trouble finding the net, but after a deflection of the goalkeeper's hand the ball eventually found the way home. And finally another nice offensive move in stoppage time led to Matthíasson extending our lead with a calm finish after a beautiful pass by Camargo. A slightly surprising and very pleasant win.

But then Fylkir came and it looked like it would be the usual story of us wasting even the easiest of chances. After 90 minutes we had 14 shots to their mere 2 and 58% possession, but again we needed a penalty to eventually grab the lead. This time it was Porebski who stepped up to the spot and managed to beat the goalkeeper. We weren't really troubled at the back, as the shot stat would suggest. A very tidy performance, but the result should have been a bit more comfortable. There was also a downside - Kevin Thomson and Gunnar Þóraninsson picked up suspensions for exceeding the yellow card limit.

Just three days later we faced a difficult trip to Stjarnan. I decided to try and hold them off, hoping for a quick counter attack, but it wasn't to be. In the 18th minute Bozidar Stanimirovic gave away a silly penalty, Dusan Verencevic stepped up and gave the hosts the first goal of the game. We tried to fight back, but all we could manage was stopping them from coming too close to our goal. That didn't last long either - somehow the ball was squeezed from the left side right through the middle and finally landed at the feet of Stefan Johanesson in the six yard box. The Swede had no trouble smashing it past our helpless goalkeeper. And ten minutes later our defence went into complete meltdown - Lars Christian Kjentus picked up a pass in the corner of the penalty box, simply jogged inside with it completely unobstructed and found the top far corner with a placed shot. We managed to limit the damages after the break - one of the elements of this tactic was bringing off Davið Hall and replacing him with Ísak Atli Kristjánsson. The young defender couldn't handle the pressure though and in the 67th minute got himself sent off for a professional foul. Stjarnan had the advantage for the whole 90 minutes really and deserved to grab the win there.

The final game of the season against Vikingur Ólafsvik marked the return of Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson who had missed a month because of a groin injury. And the striker put us in front just six minutes into the game. Perfectly timed one-touch passing in the middle set him up for a one on one with their goalkeeper and he came out on top with a nicely placed shot from just inside the box. I thought we would control the game after that, but instead we got hit by a massive wave of attacks. We kept helding off well until the 35th minute when Christian Follerås handled the ball inside the box. Hrvoje Tokic versus Fannar Hafsteinsson. The Croatian picked the left hand side - exactly where our goalkeeper was already waiting for the ball. That seemed to discourage Vikingur as from then on they didn't really threaten us anymore. And we still had much more to say. In the 57th minute Porebski got his second assist of the game and again it was Gestsson who slotted the ball home. And eleven minutes later the Pole got dispossessed just as he was about to send the striker through on goal, but the ball reached the returning star anyway and so he got his hat-trick and reached the magical barrier of ten goals in the league. A nice optimism boost before the 2022 campaign, both for Gestsson and for me.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Review - 2021 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Pepsi-deildin

Results

Competition Performance: 8th

Disaster. Anyone thinking we'll still maintain the curve of progress we've established in the past seasons must be very disappointed. Some losses were result of absences of key players in specific games, but some of them are just inexplicable. We can do much better than that.

Deildabikar

Competition Performance: Quarter Finals

My fifth attempt and the fourth quarter final loss. It's becoming quite predictable now.

Borgunarbikar

Competition Performance: Third Round

The usual story here as well. Next year is our year etc.

UEFA Europa League

Competition Performance: First Qualifying Round

It was my first shot at European football and we made a complete mess out of this. Horrific finishing and a couple of defensive errors turned out very costly - quite literally as well.

Squad

A look at the picture is really enough to see we've underachieved massively this season. The team looks strong, but we might be facing a couple of departures in key areas over the winter.

Transfers - Finances

No particular disappointments among the incoming players and we also managed to snatch two players who turned out absolutely cracking, namely Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson and Przemyslaw Porebski. The others pretty much met my expectations which made up for quite a decent transfer period.

In terms of finances I don't think we've ever looked that good. The European appearance boosted our bank balance significantly and we might even avoid taking another loan in December.

Player of the Season

1st - Przemyslaw Porebski - hands down the best player in the league. When he played well, everyone did. When everyone played horribly, he was the one that tried to carry the team on his back. The star that shines the brightest.

2nd - Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson - we needed a classy striker and we got one. Ten goals in fifteen appearances is a good result, but in a better functioning team he could be getting much, much more. Also one of the top players in the league, I believe.

3rd - Gunnar Þóraninsson - the best academy product we've got so far came back home for a season and didn't disappoint. We looked much worse when he was missing, he was often the one that kept the midfield together.

Next Season

To put it in simple words, we have to do better. Two transfers are already in place and I'll be looking into strenghtening the team further - we need a defensive midfielder badly.

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We did rather poor as a team, but that didn't hinder a couple of individual performances.

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Wow, I didn't expect you to do that poorly.

Neither did I. At least there's some room for improvement next season.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Preview - 2022 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Board Expectations:

Pepsideildin: Mid-table finish

Borgunarbikar: Quarter Finals

Deildabikar: Not important

My Expectations:

Pepsideildin: We have to do much better than last season. Europe is the aim.

Borgunarbikar: I'll take anything.

Deildabikar: Not important.

Budgets:

Transfer: £0

Wage: £8,022 (currently spending £6,503)

Balance: -£11,646

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After winning the league for two seasons straight, the Keflavík manager decided to retire. Would I go? At this point I'm not sure.

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Steady progress.

Nice to see Sölvi Ottesen, an icon of my beloved SønderjyskE, as a manager!

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Steady progress.

Nice to see Sölvi Ottesen, an icon of my beloved SønderjyskE, as a manager!

Not exactly progress last season, we'll see how the next one pans out.

Nice to see there's something nice to see for you. :thup:

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Pre-Season - 2022 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Friendlies

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I bet these weren't the most entertaining games.

Transfers

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A decent transfer window with a few good players, one old friend and one guy that could set the league on fire.

Filip Lakicevic - we needed to improve the left flank both offensively and defensively and this guy is the solution to the former. Definitely better than anything we've had there before, should be deadly once he settles in.

Dino Dolmagic - despite my best efforts we couldn't hold onto Blöndel, so we needed a player to boost the numbers on the right wing. Dolmagic is nothing spectacular, but he's a decent all-around player and I hope he's good enough to be an important player for us.

Mark Browne - I asked my assistant to find me a defensive midfielder and he came back with this. What. A. Player. I genuinely fear we might be fighting against big clubs to keep him after the season if he does well for us. This league might have not seen such a talented lad before.

Peder Kristiansen - another one to strenghten the left flank. Arguably the left back position was our main weakness last year and this guy should solve the problem. With this wage he's obviously meant to be an important player for us.

Kjartan Kristjánsson - as you can see, we sold Rakicevic to Östersunds and thus we needed to reinforce the striker position. We had loaned Kristjánsson from Stjarnan back in 1. Deild karla, but he was extremely unlucky with injuries and only played four league games for us, scoring one goal. He'll get his chance.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - February 2022 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Deildabikar

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The madness doesn't stop!

We started the season with a match against ÍA. And it started in the best way possible - ten minutes in Peder Kristiansen put in a drilled cross and Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson scored his first goal of the campaign with a rather easy tap-in. In general we controlled the game and did well to keep the opposition away from our goal, but what would our game be without a slip? In the 43rd minute a long ball flew over our defenders' heads, Kevin Thomson was overtaken by their striker Bergur Róbertsson, who got his initial shot saved, but Hafsteinsson was helpless with the rebound. He should have done better to hold onto the ball though. We got the lead back in the 59th minute. Youth product Eyþór Gardarsson passed the ball to Gestsson. The striker had his back turned to goal about 25 yards out, but managed to turn around and unleashed a powerful strike which hit the upper 90. This beautiful strike turned out to be the winning goal for us.

Days before the Stjarnan game we received disastrous news - Fannar Hafsteinsson pulled his abdominal muscles which eliminates him for over a month. This combined with our backup keeper's broken ankle meant we had to play a 16-year-old, Alexander Ívan Bjarnason, the only remaining goalkeeper at the club, between the sticks. As for the match itself, I was surprised how straightforward it was for us. The 6th minute was a pure class act from Gestsson - he received a cross from Geirsson, had two defenders pressing him, knocked the ball past one of them and shot without hesitation. The ball flew just under the crossbar and into the net. Nine minutes later it was 2:0. Filip Lakicevic received a pass on the edge of the six yard box, his shot was saved, but the ball landed at his feet again and the Serbian grabbed his first goal for the club. The left winger extended our lead again in the 61st minute. An amazing deep cross from Arnar Sveinn Geirsson set him up for an easy tap-in. Our fantastically performing defence gave up three minutes later, letting Auðunn Gunnarsson score from point blank range. Stjarnan didn't push for more too hard and we strolled to the win rather comfortably.

The Selfoss game was supposed to be the easiest one, but it turned out to be the ultimate culmination of bad luck. But it started off quite well - in the 14th minute Bozidar Stanimirovic crossed the ball, aiming for Gestsson on the far post. Their defender managed to stick his foot out before our striker did, but he did it so unfortunately that he pretty much slid past the line with the ball. We had a couple of chances to extend the lead, but Gestsson couldn't seem to find his shooting boots on that day and no one really helped him. And then the 55th minute came. The only healthy goalkeeper at KA wasn't healthy anymore - Alexander Ívan Bjarnason was stretchered off with a shoulder injury. Davið Hall was who I picked to replace him. Our defence kept playing well and restricting Selfoss from taking any shots, but it only lasted for 85 minutes. Halldór Hallgrímsson unleashed a hopeful strike from 30 yards out and Hall didn't even make a proper save attempt. Well, I guess I can't really blame him for that. We need another goalkeeper and we need him quite desperately.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - March 2022 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Deildabikar

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Nothing spectacular this month and we've all but qualified for the Quarter Finals.

First up, arguably the toughest rival in the whole group, FH. We could have grabbed the lead early on, but Porebski's shot bounced off the crossbar and Gestsson's rebound was saved. In the 25th minute we fell behind. A through ball sliced through our defence and our new goalkeeper, Guðjón Orri Sigurjónsson, was helpless with Marko Obradovic's calm finish. Just before half time their lead was doubled. A nice passing move set up Amer Gojak one on one with the keeper and he scored with a nice shot at the near post. The second half didn't start well for us either - Kevin Thomson didn't react in time for a deep cross and Goodness Ajayi was left pretty much alone at the far post for a tap-in. In the 57th minute we finally bounced back - Stanimirovic's cross found Gestsson in the box and the striker scored his fourth goal of the campaign. Seconds later a fantastic passing move could have seen us make it 3:2, but Geirsson's pass was just a little bit misplaced and Gestsson couldn't hit the target from a difficult position. In the 74th minute Bozidar Stanimirovic gave away a penaty and Ante Kuseta made it 4:1. We grabbed the final goal of the game just before stoppage time through Dino Dolmagic who made a nice solo run, but that was it. With some more luck on our side we could have made the result better, but FH did play better than us.

After two winless games in a row we had to bounce back against Fjarðabyggð and the result serves as a perfect description of the game. It was full control from the first until the last minute. Filip Lakicevic gave us the lead in the 21st minute, cutting inside from the left and scoring with his weaker right foot. Just a minute later Arnar Sveinn Geirsson received the ball in the box and made it 2:0 with a powerful, very confident shot. Gestsson made us wait for him until the 44th minute. Lakicevic set him through on goal and the Icelander had no trouble beating their goalkeeper. And finally in the 79th minute a nice cross by Peder Kristiansen reached Geirsson who got his second goal of the game with a rather easy header. Probably the easiest win of the whole group stage.

And finally Fjölnir, a game we definitely should be winning. Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson seemed to agree with me as he made it 1:0 in the 16th minute, again Stanimirovic with the assist from the right wing. Surprisingly it was Fjölnir who had more of the ball and a few times we had to put in some last-ditch challenges. Hafsteinsson made his return from the injury and also performed a couple of decent saves. But then the 52nd minute came and poor marking at the near post after a corner left him helpless. We replied quickly though and just three minutes later we were in front again. Lakicevic played a square ball from the left, it reached Geirsson on the opposite side of the box, his shot seemed weak, but for some reason their goalkeeper didn't even attempt a save. From then on we grabbed control and eventually added another goal. Porebski's through ball from deep reached Gestsson, he waited until the defenders overtook him and then scored with a beautiful placed shot from just outside the box.

Transfers

Guðjón Orri Sigurjónsson - the emergency goalkeeper who turned out to be better than the backup one we had before. When Hafsteinsson returns, he'll become number two.

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Some decent signings this winter! KUTGW, will be following with interest.

Thanks, some decent players have joined us indeed. :thup:

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - April 2022 - Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar

Deildabikar

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A confident win against a much weaker side, just as expected.

We grabbed control from the very first moments of the Grótta game, but surprisingly we struggled to break down their tight defence in the first half. We did it in the 39th minute. Lakicevic received the ball on the left, played it across the penalty box to Geirsson who put us in front with a gorgeous chip over the goalkeeper. Who would think this guy had a period when he couldn't score even with an open goal? Grótta remained curled in a ball like an armadillo and we couldn't find another goal for a long time. Finally the 82nd minute came. Dino Dolmagic, who had come off the bench a few minutes earlier, assisted Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson for his eighth goal of the campaign, again a very composed finish. Then they surprised us with a quick attack, the ball came right through the middle and Haraldur Freyr Guðnason knocked it past Hafsteinsson and into the net. Grótta's fans probably started celebrating and hoping, but Gestsson silenced them almost immediately, making it 3:1. He could have got a hat-trick, but another of his shots got denied by the post. So the qualification was sealed, what's going to happen next?

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Massive, massive heartbreak.

As it's always the case when we play ÍBV, it was a very tight and even game. And again we came out on top. Neither team took control of the game and there were good chances on both sides. Luckily we had Hafsteinsson in his top form. He performed a few very good saves, including an almost miraculous one from point blank range. Finally the 78th minute came and we broke through. Luiz Camargo shifted play, finding Matthíasson on the left wing. He put in a cross, the ball met Porebski's head and flew into the net past their helpless goalkeeper. Celebrations erupted, but that wasn't all we had to offer. Eight minutes later a low cross from Lakicevic was deflected, their goalkeeper came out to collect the ball, but Gestsson was first to snatch it and then tap it into an empty net. For the first time under my helm we made it past the Quarter Finals. Big, big moment.

To make things better, we probably got matched with the weakest possible opponent. We went into the game knowing that FH had already beaten KR hours before and were waiting for us in the final. The first half was all but domination on our side, but despite a couple of great chances we couldn't seem to find way past Cody Mizell between the sticks, always hitting it straight at him. Vikingur could manage pretty much nothing bar the odd counter attack which we dealt with quite comfortably. And in the 70th minute we broke through. A cross from Stanimirovic found Dino Dolmagic who put us in front with a drilled shot at the near post. I was already slowly starting to celebrate when just before stoppage time Mark Browne added another goal to ensure our passage to the final. Only one game left to go.

That was going to be big and we knew it even before the game started. FH were the only team to beat us in the Deildabikar this season. I feared them a bit, but they also had respect towards us. And that was visible in the first half which probably wasn't very entertaining for the neutrals. The best goalscoring chance fell at the feet of Arnar Sveinn Geirsson, but despite trying twice he couldn't beat Marko Donovic. Then in the 51st minute a cross was played from the left and Amer Gojak smashed the ball home from just outside the box with a sensational, Zidane-esque volley. It's like a fist to the guts to concede such a goal in the final, the overwhelming sensation of helplessness. To make things worse, just two minutes later it was 2:0. Our defence completely lost it when FH players started to pass the ball around inside the penalty box and finally Stefan Þór Steinarsson was set up for an easy finish. And then we stormed. In the 71st minute Porebski's cross from a corner landed on the head of Kevin Thomson, hit the crossbar and bounced off the ground just past the goal line. There was still a lot of time to pursue the equaliser. FH started to look more and more nervous. When Lakicevic played a brilliant pass to Dolmagic, sending him one on one with the goalkeeper, I thought that could be it. But no, the Serbian hit a weak shot straight into his hands. As time passed, they tightened their defence and the wasted opportunities began to hurt. The final was lost.

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There will be many more finals to come, I'm sure :)

I hope so. :p

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