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FM16: The Frozen Throne

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

Pepsideildin

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A decent start which could have been perfect with some better luck.

Yet again the campaign kicked off with a home game against Vikingur Ólafsvik. The people responsible for the schedule don't really seem very creative. Anyway, bad news came two days before the match - Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson twisted his knee in training and was going to be out for the rest of the month. Thus Kjartan Kristjánsson started as our number 9. And he only needed ten minutes to score his first goal for KA in the Pepsideildin. Stanimirovic swinged in a cross at the far post and the striker hit the ball home with a confident shot. His injury proneness came into action in the 21st minute though and we lost another striker, this time it turned out to be a wrist injury. We continued to push on, calmly controlling the game. In the 63rd minute Filip Lakicevic attempted a beautiful turn-and-shoot move from the left corner of the penalty box, their goalkeeper Cody Mizell couldn't hold onto the ball and it rolled very slowly past the line. It counted as an own goal which is a shame for the Serbian who unleashed a fantastic strike really. There was some nerve in the dying minutes as Atli Fannar Jónsson exploited a hole in our defence and beat Hafsteinsson with 88 minutes on the clock, but their pursuit of the equaliser wasn't as intense as you'd expect. A good win to start the season.

And then the Valur curse struck again. In the 11th minute Christian Follerås showed the agility of a coal cart as Mateo Galic simply ran around him and into the box with the ball before putting them in front with a well-aimed shot at the near post. Then we stormed them. According to the match statistics we had two clear cut chances, but there were more really good opportunities to grab the equaliser. Porebski, Dolmagic, Lakicevic, Matthíasson, Geirsson - they all had their chances. In the end though none of them was converted and we dropped three points in a really stupid way.

Next up, KR. They are one of the league's top sides and it was obviously going to be a tough clash. The first half was their advantage, at times even domination, but thanks to a great performance from Hafsteinsson it ended goalless. Our goalkeeper put in a couple of fantastic saves there. After the break we kicked off in the best way possible. Arnar Sveinn Geirsson received the ball on the right wing, played it across the penalty area and Filip Lakicevic unleashed a sensational scissor kick from just outside the box which went just inside the far post. Amazing goal from the Serbian, one that would certainly get a lot of replays on TV. After many nervous minutes of the very even match we extended our lead through Sindri Björnsson in the 83rd minute. The Icelander came off the bench just a few minutes earlier, replacing Dino Dolmagic. KR got one back shortly after, Nikola Asceric on the scoresheet, but that didn't matter. We snatched a potentially very important win there.

And finally Fjölnir, by far the most comfortable game of all these. They were weakened even further as their Borgunarbikar took place one day later than ours and it carried over all the way to the penalty shoot-out, which they eventually won. But, back to Akureyrarvöllur - in the 7th minute a nice passing move allowed Peder Kristiansen to take a shot with his weaker right foot. It was perfectly timed and well placed and their goalkeeper was helpless as the Norwegian celebrated his first goal for the club. Twenty minutes later a deep cross from Dolmagic found Lakicevic on the far post. The angle was extremely tight, but he somehow managed to hit the target. The same duo struck again just as the 90th minute passed - another cross from Dolmagic, another goal for Lakicevic, this time from a much easier position. Our domination was visible from the beginning to the end and Fjölnir didn't even manage a single shot on target. That's how we should be dealing with weaker teams.

Borgunarbikar

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A comfortable win against lower league opposition.

Njarðvík are obviously a poor team compared to us, but we learn from history that it doesn't guarantee a result at all. This time though the game was a walk in the park really, exactly as it should be. In the 32nd minute Lakicevic put in a cross from the left, their defender Bjarki Hákonarson attempted to head it away for a corner, but ended up putting it in his own net. And just before the break a cross from Kjartan Páll Sæmundsson reached Przemyslaw Porebski who smashed it in from point blank range. There could have been more goals there, but the most satisfying part is that we allowed pretty much nothing from Njarðvík.

In the next round we face a trip to Keflavík.

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What an amazing thread! Just spent an hour plus catching up. :)

Thanks, it's always nice to get comments like this. Enjoy. :thup:

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

Pepsideildin

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Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?!

At the start of the month we faced a heated confrontation with our local rivals Þór. And what can I say, we should have smashed them. By the time Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson gave us the lead in the 13th minute with his first league goal of the season, we had already wasted a couple of great opportunities. And after the goal it continued - the result could have easily read 5:0 after half an hour if we were more effective. But the 33rd minute came and it all went to ****. Horribly passive defending enabled Baldvin Ingimar Árnason to calmly put the ball past Hafsteinsson and into the net. The ball literally floated from one side of the box to another with next to no reaction at all. After the equaliser our domination ceased to exist, everything levelled out and Þór got the result I believe they wanted.

Next up, Stjarnan, never an easy game really. But after twenty minutes it seemed this could actually be quite a comfortable win for us - we kept the ball on their half and created a couple of chances, but failed to convert any of them. Of course after something like that they had to catch us on the break, which they did in the 22nd minute. Horrible positioning in defence allowed Stjarnan players to simply pass the ball around ours and finally Atli Hrafn Andrason slotted it home, not really obstructed by anyone. From that point the game became much more even, but exactly twenty minutes after their goal we got the equaliser. Bozidar Stanimirovic drilled a cross from the right for Gestsson to smash it into the net. Our celebrations didn't even last sixty seconds though. Stjarnan attacked straight from the kick-off and Andrason grabbed his second goal of the game. The second half was quite boring with maybe slight advantage on our side. We lost at home for the first time this season.

I feel sorry for everyone who decided to attend our match at ÍA. It was one of the most dull, boring matches I've witnessed on this game. The home team got in front after fourteen minutes of football. Hafsteinsson made a very poor save attempt after a seemingly weak shot, deflecting the ball right where Tom Nedreaas was waiting for a rebound. Just before half time we equalised with our first shot of the game. Peder Kristiansen's cross sliced through their penalty area and Dino Dolmagic was there for the tap-in. We struggled incredibly to create anything and ÍA weren't any better than that, but in the 64th minute another case of Hafsteinsson's bad handling cost us three points, Nedreaas on the scoresheet again. We made a couple of attack attempts towards the final whistle, but trust me, they were pathetic. Almost as pathetic as our overall performance.

Just three days later we travelled to ÍBV. These ones are usually extremely tight, but as you can see, it's not the case when we're on such terrible form. In the first half we somehow managed to maintain a clean sheet, mostly due to Hafsteinsson's heroics. There were also a few offensive attempts, but at the end of the day we only managed one shot on target in the whole match and that sums it up pretty well. Finally our defence gave in ten minutes after the break. A failed clearance attempt from Davið Hall presented Oguzcan Bayraktar with an easy chance he couldn't miss. At this point I decided to shift the tactics towards attacking, but that backfired as Zeljko Zerandjanin and Ulises Salinas bit us again in the 63rd and 79th minute respectively. We didn't look like turning our form around at all.

And another tricky one to round the month off - Keflavík. I don't want to spoil too much for you, but after our cup game I believed this could be our breakthrough game. And it did look like one... for the first fifteen minutes. We could have scored three or four times, but the severe lack of confidence in front of goal proved to be very costly in the end. Keflavík walked through the storm without harm and after that period they took control. Goals only seemed to be a matter of time and eventually the first came through Milan Adamek in the 64th minute. Admittedly it was a very nice finish, but the opportunity itself came after a simple hoofball from their centre back. That shouldn't be happening at all. They doubled their lead shortly after and it was all over. Not only was it a winless month, but we only managed to grab one point in five games. It's not even relegation form, it's much worse.

Borgunarbikar

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And the football gods have screwed us over again.

I could go on for a long time describing all the chances we missed in the first half, but to cut the long story short, I'll simply tell you that in the whole game we even managed to smash the ball straight at the goalkeeper in an open net situation. Twice. This simply had to backfire sooner or later. And in the 54th minute a horrendous backpass attempt from our young right back Sæmundsson sent Ragnar Bragi Sveinsson one on one with Hafsteinsson. A placed shot at the far post, 1:0. A few great chances to equalise, wasted. 76th minute, a long ball from inside their half into our area, Hafsteinsson caught way off his line, ball nodded on, Kristóffer Ingi Kristinsson with a tap-in, 2:0. We finally got one back in the 90th minute through Eyþór Garðarsson, but that was it. I feel ripped off.

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Oooof. I must admit I enjoy seeing this take a slow, realistic path with ups and downs. Though it must be said, I keep thinking "this is the year!" after seeing how good some of your players are for this level.

In particular, how did the Brazilian and American slot in?

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Oooof. I must admit I enjoy seeing this take a slow, realistic path with ups and downs. Though it must be said, I keep thinking "this is the year!" after seeing how good some of your players are for this level.

In particular, how did the Brazilian and American slot in?

I keep thinking exactly the same. I have to say that other teams manage to bring in some very good players as well, it's not like we're going to dominate the league with what we have.

The foreigners seem to have settled in quite well, I don't get any homesickness or complaining. Thomson is a key player in our backline and Luiz Camargo hasn't really impressed and ended up as a benchwarmer.

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I keep thinking exactly the same. I have to say that other teams manage to bring in some very good players as well, it's not like we're going to dominate the league with what we have.

The foreigners seem to have settled in quite well, I don't get any homesickness or complaining. Thomson is a key player in our backline and Luiz Camargo hasn't really impressed and ended up as a benchwarmer.

Good to hear that as an American. :p

Shame with Camargo, though. I'm a sucker for Brazilians with technical attributes so was excited to see you brought him in.

edit - Looking back at him now, guess the signs were there for a 34-year old physically limited midfielder playing in Iceland. Could just have poor hidden attributes, who knows! Anyways, keep up the good work. :thup:

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Good to hear that as an American. :p

Shame with Camargo, though. I'm a sucker for Brazilians with technical attributes so was excited to see you brought him in.

edit - Looking back at him now, guess the signs were there for a 34-year old physically limited midfielder playing in Iceland. Could just have poor hidden attributes, who knows! Anyways, keep up the good work. :thup:

Thanks. :thup: Camargo was always going to be a gamble, the upside is that his coaching attributes turned out quite decent and I've already signed a new contract with him, now he's a manager of the U-19 side.

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

Pepsideildin

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And we've suddenly started to turn things around, in more ways than one as well.

First up we took on Fram, who were sitting at the bottom of the table at that time. Not exactly good prognosis in our case, but we had to start collecting points somewhere and this was the perfect opportunity. And we finally looked good and confident on the pitch again. The change I made was a formation switch from a 4-3-3 (or 4-1-2-2-1, as some call it) to a 4-1-4-1, dropping the wingers to MR/ML positions. And it worked - our defence was much more coherent and at times looked simply impenetrable. The wingers didn't seem particularly hindered offensively - in the 20th minute a cross from Dino Dolmagic found Filip Lakicevic. The Serbian winger partnership gave us yet another goal, these guys are a joy to watch when they work together so well. Lakicevic doubled his goal tally in the 62nd minute, calmly converting a penalty after a foul on Christian Follerås. The early signs were good, but the new formation was yet to be properly tested. A special mention goes to Eyþór Garðarsson who attempted a shocking number of 134 passes, completing 112 of them.

You know the Valur curse, don't you? In our last three confrontations we conceded nine goals, not scoring a single one. And quite frankly the first half looked like the game was going to be yet another episode of the same series. Their goalkeeper Ante Mrmic was performing miracles on his line, words can't really describe some of his saves. It's not even like the shots were weak or something, they were all well aimed and well hit. This guy just seemed unbeatable. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the visitors scored with pretty much the only chance they created. It was Agnar Darri Sverrison who put his name on the scoresheet in the 23rd minute. Luckily for us, the breakthrough came eleven minutes into the second half. Stanimirovic found Gestsson on the near post and the Icelander smashed the ball between Mrmic's legs. The winning goal came in the 82nd minute and it was a classic. Dolmagic from the right, Lakicevic on the far post. What a satisfying win that was, for the first time this season we managed to pull off a comeback.

And it wasn't the last one. We fell behind just three minutes into the Vikingur Ólafsvik game to a nice header from Tor André Aasheim. We punched back shortly after with a Gestsson goal. Our star striker also gave us the lead in the 35th minute as Kevin Thomson's conscious behaviour in the box exploited a massive gap in the home team's defence, setting the Icelander up for an easy shot. Do you guys remember Gestsson's hat-trick against Vikingur Ólafsvik in the final game of the last season? Well, he bloody went and did it again. In the 68th minute he chose a perfect moment to pull away from his marker as Kristiansen's cross came in and landed right there on his left foot and then in the net. And quite frankly he could have got a double hat-trick there because the chances just kept coming to him one after another, he missed a fair few of them inside the first 70 minutes of the match. But what would football be without some drama? In the 71st minute the hosts got one back through Helðar Ægisson's wonder strike from 25 yards out which caught Hafsteinsson off his line. They sniffed blood and launched a furious wave of attacks. When a spectacular half-volley from just outside the box was sent flying just inside the far post of our goal in the dying minutes of the game, I thought we'd blow it. But our goalkeeper somehow managed to reach and deflect the ball. Him and the defence seriously put in some heroics after the 2:3 goal. It was a fantastic game for the neutrals, but a nerve-wrecking one for the managers.

If we snatched a home win against KR this season by luck, then this time it came back and took its belongings away from us. I have no idea how could they manage to hold onto a goalless draw there. For some weird reason their goalkeeper Uros Matic only got a 6.9 rating, but in my eyes he deserved a 9.0. He even exceeded what Ante Mrmic did in the first half of our clash with Valur. And when he made that single mistake by coming off his line and getting caught by Matthíasson, the ball first bounced off the crossbar and then Garðarsson rebound from a very tight angle stopped at the post. Gestsson's wonderful placed effort from just outside the box in the second half - off the bar as well. KR only threatened us once and it was at the beginning of the game, but Hafsteinsson was right there to deal with the danger. We really should have won this one.

And finally we were presented with the best chance to take revenge on FH for the Deildabikar struggles. Three days before the game they travelled to Basque country for an Europa League qualifier against Real Sociedad and came back home having suffered a 5:0 loss and completely exhausted. If we were going to beat them, it had to happen right then and there. However, there were some squad issues. Bozidar Stanimirovic and Mark Browne were suspended for yellow cards and Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson was out with a bruised rib. But almost as soon as the match kicked off, I knew each and every of the eleven players I sent to battle knew exactly what they should do. In the 8th minute Przemyslaw Porebski put us in front with a fantastically executed finish after Arnar Sveinn Geirsson's through ball. And the Icelander - replacing Gestsson in the number 9 slot - created another wonderful opportunity for us in the 25th minute, dribbling into the box and getting brought down by a defender. Lakicevic stepped up to the spot and doubled our lead. We looked very comfortable right up to the final whistle and grabbed a very confident and potentially vital win. The hope is back.

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Still within touching distance of the top though (albeit with the top-2 each holding a game in hand) :thup:

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Still within touching distance of the top though (albeit with the top-2 each holding a game in hand) :thup:

Here's hoping we don't implode again!

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

Pepsideildin

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One thing's for sure, half of the league will be biting their nails throughout September. What a tight finish it's going to be!

The first half of the ÍBV game was quite a borefest, but we made up for it by scoring an absolutely marvellous goal. In the 40th minute Porebski played the ball from congested midfield to the right, where Sæmundsson was. The right back waited until the ball got to him, then launched a very powerful drilled cross which was aimed at the Polish midfielder running into the box at full speed. It was perfectly placed and Porebski smashed it home with a well aimed effort. Ten minutes after the break being too passive in defence turned out extremely costly for us. Oguzcan Bayraktar was pretty much left alone 25 yards away from goal and without hesitation he unleashed a shot which landed in the top corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance. The second half was ÍBV advantage, but a few good saves from Hafsteinsson let us came out of this with a point.

Back in May we dealt with Fjölnir with almost no trouble at all, but this time they were on a four games unbeaten run and looked much, much stronger. And they proved it. Surprisingly, just like during our previous meeting they didn't have a shot on target, but they certainly had opportunities and the sole reason why Hafsteinsson kept a clean sheet was their inability to get the shot itself right. We were much more restrained this time, but managed to find the net from this one chance we got. A cross from Dolmagic landed on the head of Gestsson whose strike seemed a bit weak, but it was well placed and just out of the goalkeeper's reach. A bit shaky, but we got the win in the end.

I can't stress enough how happy I am that Þór are close to getting relegated. I just hate these games, it's like everything turns hostile on us when we face them. Or is it the derby atmosphere my players can't handle? It doesn't matter. What matters is that we dropped two points where we really shouldn't have dropped them. For instance, we had a great chance in the first half. Dolmagic put in a cross, Matthíasson got a shot with the goalkeeper standing next to one of the posts, but instead of looking for the empty space, he struck it straight at him. To make it worse, Porebski's rebound was so weak that he managed to recover and catch the ball. Finally in the 61st minute Porebski's cross from a corner found Davið Hall at the near post and the center back gave us the lead. But what happened next? Watch this. After the kick-off they exchanged a few passes and then launched a long ball upfield. Hall was standing right there, unchallenged by anyone, looking dead on to head it away or even control it and bring it down to his feet. But no, he jumped high in the air... and missed the header completely. Aron Ingi Birgisson picked the ball up and faced Hafsteinsson, by that time Hall had already recovered and chased him. He even managed to overtake the striker, but as he sent the shot flying, Hafsteinsson dived in one direction and Hall deflected the ball to the other. I couldn't believe my eyes as I watched it slowly roll into the net. Yeah, that's our typical Þór game right there for you.

And finally Stjarnan, an obviously important match that must have been a massive disappointment for the fans on both sides. There was literally no highlight shown in the first half bar one Stjarnan corner in the 40th minute which turned out to be no danger at all. After the break things looked slightly more lively, slightly being the important word there. Our best opportunity fell to the feet of Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson, but his effort was denied by the crossbar. The hosts managed to create two good chances, but both ended with shots from tight angles Hafsteinsson managed to keep away. Quite a letdown there, with better luck we could have grabbed a win.

We're still yet to play ÍA at home and FH away, which should make September very interesting.

Youth Intake

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Nothing that would make me jump out of my seat, but we got a decent goalkeeper.

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

Pepsideildin

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Sometimes you get the feeling that you're just not meant to do certain things.

It was obvious that the ÍA game was going to be absolutely key for us, but we got ripped apart by injuries, suspensions and international games so badly that we had to bring up three players from the U-19 team to make up the numbers on the bench. Some of these were old things, some - like Gestsson's food poisoning - surfaced days or even hours before the whistle. Probably the most important absence was Przemyslaw Porebski, out with a twisted ankle back in the Stjarnan game. And so, the first battle began. In the first half we were very compact and cautious which turned the match into a terrible show for the fans. But the wall was nowhere near as soild as it would be with some key players who were missing and in the 50th minute poor defending from Follerås allowed Tom Nedreaas to put the visitors in front with a placed shot. After that I simply had to act and take a risk of switching on an offensive tactic, but it simply couldn't work with a midfield trio made up of two youngsters and a second choice defensive midfielder. To cut the long story short, Nedreaas completed his hat-trick with goals in the 66th and 78th minute. That also means he scored five goals in two games against us. Simply unstoppable.

Next up, Fram away. If we were to recover, it had to happen right there and then. And, as you see, it didn't. It didn't despite the 20 shots we took over the course of the game, it didn't despite the clear cut chances we created. Fram's goalkeeper Issa Dossama played an absolute blinder. Powerful drilled efforts from close range, placed shots going into the upper 90, headers - he dealt with them all. There was simply no way past this guy. The home team persistently kept attempting to attack us from time to time and in the 68th mintue a corner resulted in a big mix-up in front of the goal which finally ended with Alex Freyr Elísson scoring the only goal of the game. It was all over. Our chances of getting into Europe became purely mathematical.

Shutting up shop and submitting a teamsheet that just screamed "**** it" was pretty much the only thing I could do against FH. Mark Browne picked up his 8th yellow card of the season against Fram, which meant he could already start planning his holidays as that equals a two match suspension in Iceland. Porebski still hadn't recovered from his injury, we were also missing Gestsson, Stanimirovic, Lakicevic and Follerås. 16-year-old Emil Guðmundsson, a centre back from our last youth intake, made his first team debut alongside Kevin Thomson. And you know what? It almost worked. In the first twenty minutes we had two great chances to grab the lead after hitting them on counter, but in both cases Matthíasson took ages to decide to shoot and got blocked by a last-ditch tackle. The only goal of the game came after a corner in the 26th minute, Turkish loanee Kaan Çelebi on the scoresheet. After the final whistle we could witness FH celebrate as this game clinched the league title for them. Remembering the Deildabikar, this felt like a knee to the testicles.

And finally Keflavík at home, the great battle for the 7th place against still reigning champions who had an even more disappointing season than we did. This game marked the return of a few important players from our squad. Which ones? Well, the first of them received a cross from Bozidar Stanimirovic in the 5th minute and gave us the lead with a fantastic header. Of course it was Gestsson in what will probably turn out to be his last appearance for KA. And in the 34th minute Stanimirovic got his second assist of the day, this time setting up Filip Lakicevic for his trademark tap-in. Keflavík did have their chances, but Hafsteinsson really turned up for the game, and even when the ball was out of his reach, the goalpost came to help us. After all a final day win gave us this slight shot of optimism I needed so badly.

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

Pepsi-deildin

Results

Competition Performance: 7th

Another horrendous finish, but it doesn't really do us justice. When all the important players were fit, we were unstoppable. Yes, that's the period in the middle of the season when we went on a nine games unbeaten run. But it only took a couple of injuries to turn it into a five games withouth a win streak which buried us in the bottom half of the table.

Deildabikar

Competition Performance: Runners-up

Finally we managed to get past the quarter finals and were doing very well until FH beat us in a final that really could have gone either way.

Borgunarbikar

Competition Performance: Fourth Round

We easily saw off Njardvík before crashing out to Keflavík in a game where we absolutely battered them.

Squad

The team keeps getting stronger and stronger, but we may struggle with a couple of areas as Thomson and Gestsson have their contracts expiring and won't talk to be about renewing them.

Transfers - Finances

Another decent window for us with pretty much everyone meeting the expectations, Filip Lakicevic arguably the best pick of the bunch. On the side of departure we made a profit with transfers of three fringe players which is always good.

No Europe this season and it cost us. I'm just waiting for another chairman who will take out a massive loan and won't even think of actually getting us a decent sponsorship deal, an area where we're severely lacking.

Player of the Season

1st - Filip Lakicevic - the best transfer of the window who turned out to be an absolutely vital player for us. With eight goals in eighteen appearances he ended up as our joint top scorer in the league along with Gestsson. We suffered greatly when he was out injured.

2nd - Przemyslaw Porebski - not as decisive as last season, but still a key member of the team. He definitely has the ability to decide matches single-handedly, but at times he couldn't seem to show it. My opinion from last season still stands though - there's no player in the Icelandic league better than him.

3rd - Eyþór Garðarsson - the sensational discovery, the Xavi to our Iniesta. He got his chance in the Deildabikar first and impressed me so much that I tried him out in the league. As you can see, he appeared in all 22 games, ending up with a very good average rating of 7.15.

Next Season

I've made my decision - no matter what happens next season, I'm going to fulfill my contract and then move on. If we don't win the title, I have no idea how I could possibly improve the team, especially with the imminent departure of two of my key players. If we do, my job here will be done anyway.

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Still a solid season but I understand your desire to move on - any club/league in particular in mind?

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Still a solid season but I understand your desire to move on - any club/league in particular in mind?

If I don't manage to win the league, I'll have to stay in Iceland, so ideally I'd like a job at one of the big sides like FH, Stjarnan or KR. If we somehow managed to do it, then I'm moving to Finland.

Bottled it at the end. :(:thdn:

The ÍA game was the key factor there, we had like six or seven important players missing for that one. After that it just went downhill.

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Unsurprisingly, after a poor season and 8th place finish KR have sacked their manager. Let's see how this goes.

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I know I said I'd say at KA for another season, but sometimes the opportunity comes and you just have to take it (after a bit of wage negotiation).

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - New Club - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

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The expectations have just skyrocketed.

Club Name: Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Nickname: -

Year Founded: 1899

Status: Semi-Professional

Stadium: KR-völlur (5,562 capacity, 4,322 seated)

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Obviously KR are the big boys in Iceland. They have the most league, cup and supercup wins in the country which really speaks for itself. Their last league title was back in 2018 though, quite a long time.

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Let's do this then!

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For some reason I didn't obtain the licence last time even though my attributes did rise. Strange.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Preview - 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Board Expectations:

Pepsideildin: Qualify for Europa League

Borgunarbikar: Semi-Final

Deildabikar: Not important

My Expectations:

Pepsideildin: European qualification is the minimum I'm aiming for.

Borgunarbikar: It would be nice to get past the Fourth Round.

Deildabikar: The period of assessing the team and putting finishing touches on the tactics. A decent run here would be a good early sign.

Budgets:

Transfer: £0

Wage: £7,832 (currently spending £8,034)

Balance: £226,342

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Pre-Season - 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Friendlies

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Just like at KA, I had my assistant take charge of these.

Transfers

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A massive clearout of fringe players and five new faces at the KR-völlur, including one you already know very well.

Adnan Islamovic - we didn't have a single left back in the squad, so we went and signed this guy. He's by no means a world beater, but should do the job.

Vujica Kojic - strenghtening the left flank, part two. He only joins us on a non-contract, but he looks like a very promising lad and if he performs well, he should get a proper deal sooner than later.

Daouda Ndiaye - and another left winger. He'll probably serve as a backup player in case something happens to Kojic.

Martino Pistis - we also needed a central defender, so when an agent came and offered us Pistis, I didn't have to think twice before offering him a deal. Also a backup player.

Snæbjörn Valur Gestsson - you may think I needed him because we sold Asceric, but it was actually the other way around - I sold the Serbian to make room for him after I saw he was available on relatively cheap wages. No need to introduce this guy I think.

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This happens to be quite an important match in the Deildabikar.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - February 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Deildabikar

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My desk must be wishing I gave up already.

My first game in charge of KR was a clash against a 1. Deild karla side ÍR, certainly a weaker team. I went for the same 4-1-4-1 I've been using for the past few months. And it looked great. We were compact and looked impenetrable, circulated the ball well and kept creating chances. The only problem? We couldn't score no matter what we tried. Gestsson alone wasted three great opportunities, but some other players like Karlo Muhar or Vujica Kojic could and should have found the net as well. Even our centre back Yann Songo'o found himself in a good position after a corner, but couldn't find the net. After yet another miss from Gestsson in the 60th minute I got frustrated and brought him off, sending Kim Ove Riksvold to the rescue. And just five minutes later the Norwegian gave us the lead with a well executed header. A massive sigh of relief was let out, but it wasn't game over. In the 71st minute a cross from deep somehow got through our defence without anyone's reaction, Ívar Örn Björgvinsson managed to take a weak shot that was well within Matic's reach, but the goalkeeper pretty much punched it inside the net instead of keeping it away. ÍR only took two shots compared to our sixteen throughout the game, but it was enough to grab the point in the end. Horrific finishing there.

How do you know a game is not going to go too well? An own goal in the 4th minute could be a sign pointing towards that, especially if it's an attempt to clear the ball away after an overhit cross that was accidentally sent hurling towards the top corner of the goal. Adnan Islamovic should have done much, much better there. After that the game turned into a borefest with us creating the odd chance. Again the finishing was a massive letdown though. In the dying minutes I tried to equalise at all costs and just sent everyone forward, giving Uros Matic to perform a very good and confident save in a 1v2 situation. The only upside to this terrible match really.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - March 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Deildabikar

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Finally a decent set of results, but the way we're playing is still far from I'd like to see.

The Haukar game started in the worst possible way for us. Haukur Ásberg Hilmarsson received a through ball in our penalty box and knocked it past Uros Matic just two minutes in. After such a start this was never going to be an easy game, but we managed to recover. At times we absolutely dominated possession, with the bar at the bottom of the screen making it almost all the way to the right. But one thing we severely lacked was penetration. So what we kept the ball if we couldn't get it behind their defenders and into a decent position? No surprise our goal came from a quick counter attack. In the 33rd minute a wonderful diagonal pass from Gestsson found Daouda Ndiaye in acres of space on the left hand side of the box. The winger struck the ball without any hesitation and what a hit it was - it caught the goalkeeper on the wrong foot and fell just inside the far post. The rest of the match was even more domination against last year's sensational Borgunarbikar winners, but as I said before, we struggled to actually create anything.

A week passed and the big one came up. Apparently it's a massive game for FH fans, not necessarily for ours. And again we started it in the worst way possible. In the 9th minute a tiki-taka set-up by our rivals ended with playing the ball to the right and then crossing it for Marko Obradovic to head it home. The whole match was quite lively with both teams getting their chances. A few minutes after the goal we had our chance to equalise, but Marko Keca's headed effort was denied by the post. Finally in the 38th minute the ball fell to the feet of Branimir Jocic who unleashed an absolutely unstoppable strike from just outside the penalty area. What a lovely goal it was. After some more struggle we got in front in the 66th minute. Similarly to the Haukar match, Gestsson's long ball found Ndiaye in the box, the Senegalese had a tight angle, but somehow he managed to round the goalkeeper and squeeze the ball between the goalposts. Then we sat back, hoping for killing off the game or maybe launching a deadly counter attack. And it worked - we restricted FH to long shots which were no danger at all. That was a perfect game for a breakthrough really.

And we rounded off March with a game against HK, a side that has just been promoted to the Pepsideildin. The first half seemed to be showing some signs of progress compared to the previous games - we were in control and also managed to be more creative up front. But then again our finishing was not as good as you'd expect. Their goalkeeper Miloje Prekovic made an absolutely ridiculous save minutes before the break when Kim Ove Riksvold looked dead certain to score from a couple of yards out. In the 57th minute Daouda Ndiaye replaced Vujica Kojic on the left wing and just sixty second later he found himself on the end of a wonderful cross by Jérémy Serwy and had no trouble slotting the ball in. That makes it three goals from three games for the Senegalese. HK had a couple of chances, but they were nothing that would make my heart stop and our defence generally dealt with them rather comfortably.

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Good luck in the new gig. :thup:

Good news I suppose is the board doesn't care about the Delidabikar, so you can just focus more on your new team getting to grips with how you want them to play.

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Good luck in the new gig. :thup:

Good news I suppose is the board doesn't care about the Delidabikar, so you can just focus more on your new team getting to grips with how you want them to play.

Thank you kind sir.

They don't care at all, which means I can try out different options before the proper challenge starts. :thup:

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A lot going on here.

Positive, and well earned move to KR. Hopefully the extra step you need to conquer Iceland. I must say I was taken back after realizing the "big club" in Iceland is still semi-professional!

Gestsson looks, attribute wise, ready for a huge season and move for you to cash in on. A bit moot if you end up leaving I suppose, so best to run him into the ground while you can. :p

Best of luck this season, top three would be nice.

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A lot going on here.

Positive, and well earned move to KR. Hopefully the extra step you need to conquer Iceland. I must say I was taken back after realizing the "big club" in Iceland is still semi-professional!

Gestsson looks, attribute wise, ready for a huge season and move for you to cash in on. A bit moot if you end up leaving I suppose, so best to run him into the ground while you can. :p

Best of luck this season, top three would be nice.

Yeah, Iceland isn't exactly a rich league, they're still miles away from any club turning professional.

Gestsson hasn't really started too strongly, he has two assists, but he's still yet to score for us despite having some good chances to do so. I hope he just needs a bit more time to settle in and start firing.

Top three is the board's expectation really, anything lower than that could get me in trouble.

Hopefully you can be successful at KR.

Fingers crossed!

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - April 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Deildabikar

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And with a bit of luck we made it out of the group after all.

The BÍ/Bolungarvík was so bad that I find it difficult to put together a description. It was the worst kind of 0:0, one that leaves people snoring in their seats after the final whistle. The only notable event of the whole match was Vujica Kojic hitting the post with a tight angle header. Generally we controlled possession, but couldn't break down their defence no matter what.

Before the Fjölnir game we sat in 5th and needed pretty much all the other games to go our way if we were to qualify for the quarters. And of course we had to do our own job by winning, preferably by a high margin. In the 15th minute things finally kicked off for Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson who scored his first ever goal for KR, making perfect use of a nice pass from Ndiaye. The striker doubled his goal tally just before the break, this time it was a much more difficult position, but despite having two defenders pushing him out to the wing he scored with a magnificent strike from 20 yards out. We had a bit of a brainfart in the opening seconds of the second half which allowed Fjölnir to get one back, but as it turned out, it was only a minor setback. Kim Ove Riksvold scored from Marko Keca's pass in the 70th minute and that was it. The two games that were played at the same time as our went in our favour and a couple of hours later FH disappointed their fans by losing to BÍ/Bolungarvík, which meant both them and Stjarnan didn't make it from the group.

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Fuming.

Despite our advantage in the opening minutes it only took Valur one counter attack to get in front. In the 17th minute Kevin Davis's cross found Djordje Petranovic in the box and the Serbian made it 1:0. Uros Matic should have done much better to keep the shot away though, he did get his hand to it, but it ended up in the net anyway. We kept pushing on and finally equalised twenty minutes later, a goalmouth scramble after a corner ended when Pejo Pejic smashed the ball home. And honestly, we should have wiped the floor with Valur, they were that poor. Vujica Kojic should have won us the game single-handedly, but all of his three wonderful chances got denied by the incredible Ante Mrmic in goal. He also saved a seemingly unstoppable strike from Riksvold in the second half, becoming pretty much the sole reason why extra time was needed. And just as I thought the tie would get settled in penalties, Valur got awarded a free kick on the left wing in the 118th minute and Þorsteinn Ingason sent them to the Semi Final with a header.

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What KA do in December, KR do in April. The deal is the same though and I don't think it will actually change anything for me.

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Unlucky break in the cup, hopefully you start the league on a better note.

On any other day we could have won that Valur game, it doesn't matter anymore though. The league has certainly started much more convincingly than the cup.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - May 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Pepsideildin

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A strong start to the season, exactly what we needed.

We kicked off our Pepsideildin campaign with a match against Fjölnir, a side we already know quite well. Or should I say, a side Gestsson already knows quite well. Our striker opened his league goal tally in the 19th minute of the game, tapping the ball in after a nice cross from Edivaldo. Eight minutes later it was 2:0 and it was Gestsson again. Massive chaos erupted in front of their goal after a deep free kick and finally the Icelander found the ball at his feet and sent it home with a calm finish. In the second half we weren't so dominant, Fjölnir finally found their flow and the match became much more even with both teams creating something from time to time. Finally we killed it off in the 88th minute. A cross from Riksvold found Ísmail Ateş on the far post. The young midfielder making his debut from the bench had no trouble finding the net. A big moment for him as he scored his first goal for the club just 24 hours after signing the contract.

Next up, HK, a side newly promoted to the league. Those who expected a walk in the park were certainly surprised as the hosts proved to be quite a tough opponent, which is signified by the fact that we only managed five shots over the whole game. On the other hand, we were in control for most of the time and that is proven by our 61% possession stat. On to the goals - in the 24th minute a brilliant cross from our youth product right back Jakob Ómarsson landed on the head of Vujica Kojic on the far post. It wasn't an easy position, but the Serbian managed to squeeze the ball in. Six minutes later Kim Ove Riksvold was brought down in the box. Karlo Muhar stepped up to take the penalty and doubled our lead with a placed shot. The players didn't seem to want to put too much effort into carrying the result to the final whistle and were punished for that in the 48th minute as Hjörvar Guðnason restored some hope for the home fans. The second half was quite boring though and with little nerve we got away with three points.

In our final league game of May we hosted ÍA. They surprised everyone last season with a very strong season - they finished 5th, but that could have been much better if they didn't go on a three games winless streak at the very end. And we battered them. We absolutely dominated from the first to the last minute. But they only needed one break in the 19th minute to go in front through Trausti Gunnarsson's header. After wasting some good chances in the first half we finally equalised shortly after the break. Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson went on a mazy solo run and after reaching the penalty box he finally unleashed a strike which went in at the near post just under the crossbar. Amazing flair move from the striker. But what happened next had me on the verge of smashing the computer screen and throwing it out of the window. Three open goal situations missed inside the final ten minutes of the game. First, Vujica Kojic in a situation almost identical to the one at HK, where he did bloody score - off the bar. Next, Gestsson, a header from the edge of the six yard box - off the bar. And seconds later, Riksvold after a square ball from Kojic - somehow he managed to have it saved by the goalkeeper. Even after some time I struggle to find words for this. There's no dumber way to drop two points at home really.

Borgunarbikar

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Not much to talk about really, it was an execution.

We started off very strongly and after two minutes we were already in front. A corner taken by Marko Keca found Daouda Ndiaye in the box and the Senegalese calmly slotted the ball home with a placed left-footed shot. In the 10th minute came another goal scored by Keca himself, Jakob Ómarsson with a beautiful assist from the right wing. Fifteen minutes later we made it 3:0, a loose ball in the penalty area fell to the feet of Riksvold who knew exactly what to do with it. After that goal we calmed down a bit and stopped creating chances for quite a long period, but at the same time we didn't allow anything from Léttir. When we pushed again from the 60th minute onwards, their goalkeeper started to play a blinder, making a couple of really good saves in one on one situations. He finally gave up in the 74th minute when Zvonimir Bekavac was presented with an open net. Maybe if I had played him against ÍA... no, scratch that. Let's not come back to this. In the dying minutes we got the fifth and it was Ndiaye again from the left side of the six yard box, Ómarsson with another great cross. The right back performed very well throughout May and he's certainly earned a chance he's going to get in the league in June.

Transfers

Ísmail Ateş - this guy was offered to me by his agent on deadline day and I just couldn't resist. Looks decent already and seems to have bags of potential to develop.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - June 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Pepsideildin

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Our inability to hold onto a lead has been terrifying.

June had just started and we already faced a potential six-pointer away at FH. Their squad looked slightly weaker on paper than what I expected, but of course they were not to be underestimated. Seemingly my players did make that mistake and in the 22th minute Goodness Ajayi sent the home fans celebrating with a placed shot, Ante Kuseta with the assist. After a slight tactical change and applying individual pressure on the Croatian, we finally kicked off. Our main man Gestsson gave us the equaliser in the 53th minute, another assist from Jakob Ómarsson. The young right back looks like he could be the big discovery of this season. We kept pushing on and in the 73th minute Karlo Muhar gave us the winner coming off the bench. It was quite a lucky goal after a rebound, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is the points and we got them all.

The shot stat from the ÍBV game left me holding my head in disbelief - out of the seven shots we took, every single one was on target. At the half hour mark we should have already been two up. Kim Ove Riksvold wasted two fantastic opportunities though. Finally the 37th minute came and the Norwegian made perfect use of Vujica Kojic's cross with a gorgeous header. But just one minute later Zvonimir Bekavac was sent off for a stupid two-footer and I simply knew there would be trouble. We held onto the lead until the half time whistle, but then Emil Atlason scored just seconds after the kick-off. In the 58th minute we were punished again, this time by Oguzcan Bayraktar. And the last five minutes was just a two-way battle with neither team really caring to hold the guard up. First ÍBV went 3:1 up through the second goal by Atlason. Then Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson restored some hope in the 89th minute, but just a minute later Nikola Rakic set the final scoreline. Again we dropped points needlessly, before the sending off this looked like a very winnable game.

Four days later we travelled to Vikingur Ólafsvik and really had to recover immediately if we weren't to lose too much ground on the other title challengers. And to be honest we didn't look very strong in the second half. We did have more of the ball, but nothing seemed to come out of this. At half time I decided to fiddle with the squad somewhat and threw Marko Keca to the right wing. Just four minutes later the Serbian gave us the lead, finding himself at the end of a nice cross by Vujica Kojic. What a lovely feeling to make a change like that. We held onto the lead rather comfortably with very little danger from the home team. Finally all doubt was erased in the 88th minute. Another substitute Viktor Guðmundsson played a lovely through ball from deep and Gestsson had no trouble putting the ball into the net. Just the result we needed.

After a week we finally faced KA, a team I've spent six years at. Funnily enough they have appointed Luiz Camargo - yes, the one I brought to the club - as their manager. And in the opening minutes it looked like we were going to wipe the floor with them. 4th minute, Gestsson, 1:0. 6th minute, an overhit cross by Ómarsson finds the net, but the goal is disallowed for Kojic's foul on KA's new Brazilian goalkeeper António Carlos. 11th minute, Kojic, 2:0, a rightful goal without a shadow of doubt. We relaxed a bit after that one, but still were in full control. And in the 63th minute... something happened. A very poor cross by Bozidar Stanimirovic was sent flying straight at Uros Matic, but instead of catching it, our goalkeeper just deflected it forwards and fell on his arse, watching helplessly as Aron Sigurðarson gave the visitors a goal that changed the match completely. Just six minutes later Sigurðarson scored again, this time from a proper assist by Stanimirovic and very poor marking on the near post by Tin Salatovic. And in the 76th minute another overhit cross arrived into our box... and Pejo Pejic punched it away. A ridiculous brainfart moment from our defensive midfielder cost us a penalty which was converted by Przemyslaw Porebski. We had a great chance to equalise in the 84th minute, but after a very conscious square pass from Kojic, Gestsson made a complete mess and missed an open net with his weaker left foot. Honestly, I have no idea what happened there. I didn't do that on purpose, trust me.

And finally the Keflavík game which proved that something wrong happens to us after taking a lead without a shadow of doubt. We kept playing very well up until the 21st minute when another great cross by Ómarsson was converted by Kojic. After the goal we completely gave away control for no reason. And of course we got punished for that after fifteen minutes when Milan Adamek exploited the indecisiveness of our central defenders. The half time whistle came to us as a relief as we were pushed hard by the home team, but managed to hold on. And inexplicably after coming out of the dressing room we played well again... until the 56th minute. That's when a fantastic individual run by Keca was finished with a brilliant effort which went in off the crossbar. Bang, 2:1, lights out, the team becomes clueless once again. Jóhann Laxdal gave Keflavík another equaliser in the 68th minute and that was it. Our 63% possession stat can be very misleading, we had no control ove this match at all.

Borgunarbikar

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Comfortable enough.

I made a couple of changes to the line-up for this clash as I believed we should be beating Ægir easily enough. And we did - it was a win that took as little effort as possible. Kim Ove Riksvold opened the scoreline in the 19th minute after a nice through ball by Keca. And seven minutes later a gorgeous assist from Viktor Guðmundsson was met by a run by our right back Zvonimir Bekavac which sliced through their defence. The Croatian finished that with such ease that it should make our strikers blush. We comfortably carried the result up until the final whistle, trying not to get too tired in the middle of a fixture congestion.

In the Quarter Finals we're hosting ÍBV.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - July 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Pepsideildin

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A decent set of results and we're still in the mix.

We started the month big with a home game against Stjarnan, who still have their say in the battle for the European spots. I hoped we could be slightly more lucky than in the Deildabikar, where, as you may remember, we lost to a rather ridiculous goal. But the players went into the game incredibly shaky this time. The first good chance we gave away quite stupidly was somehow dealt with, but when Tin Salatovic headed a seemingly not dangerous ball straight to the feet of Árni Vilhjámsson in the 4th minute, all the Icelander had to do was simply slotting it past Matic, which he did. After that the game became rather dull, we had possession, but couldn't break their defence down. Our situation was made even worse towards the end of the first half when Adnan Islamovic picked up his second yellow card. In the 54th minute the weakness of our dismantled backline was exploited again, this time it was a cross from the corner of the box and Steven Ugarkovic with the goal. We replied almost immediately through Daouda Ndiaye, but that was it. Despite actually pushing on and creating some chances playing with 10 men, we couldn't grab the goal we needed so much.

Newly promoted Vikingur Reykjavík look surprisingly strong this season and I expected a tight clash against them. And so it was - their defence played so well that they only allowed four shots from us. The fans probably didn't enjoy watching this as the game quickly turned into a midfield batlle, with both teams struggling to break through. Finally we managed to get into a good position in the 54th minute and we scored immediately - a cross from Ómarsson was met with a good finish by Kojic. After getting in front we restrained a bit and, despite letting the opponents take six shots on goal, carried the win until the final whistle with relative calm.

Next up, Fjölnir, one of the weakest sides in the league, one that we've already beaten twice this season and both times these were quite comfortable games for us. And this one turned out to be no different. The scoring began in the 10th minute. Marko Keca put in a cross from the right wing and Vujica Kojic was presented with an easy chance. Fifteen minutes later the same duo struck again, but this time the shot bounced off Torfi Gunnarsson before finding the net and was eventually counted as an own goal. We didn't let our foot off the gas for a single moment there and absolutely battered Fjölnir. In the 66th minute we made it 3:0 - a nice through ball from Gestsson found Karlo Muhar in the box and our midfield spearhead kept a cool head in a one on one situation. Finally Kojic bagged a goal which could have been his hat-trick, but was only a brace in the 89th minute, marking a very confident win. As you will see later, this was exactly what we neeeded at that point.

Valur have already presented themselves as a strong team last season, so I wasn't surprised this year when they entered the European spots battle and before our game with them they found themselves above us in the table. But as soon as the game started, it was clearly visible which side has more quality and domination of the pitch - it was Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur. It's also worth mentioning that there's a rivarly between these two sides and the stadium was sold out with exactly 5,562 fans spectating the game. And as I often have it against Valur, despite playing well and creating numerous chances, we couldn't find our way to score. This time it wasn't the usual Ante Mrmic miracles though, but our inability to get a shot on goal from a promising position. But exactly when I was starting to get a bit nervous, in the 69th minute a failed clearance by their defender hit another player in the back, setting Karlo Muhar up for a must-score situation. The Croatian made over five thousand people celebrate with a composed finish. We should have made it 2:0 shortly after, but when Ndiaye looked dead certain to score, Mrmic reminded everyone of himself and somehow managed to stop the shot from point blank range. After all it was a comfortable win though with Valur not taking a single shot on goal.

Five days later we hosted another relegation candidate, HK. And please believe me - it should have been ten, literally. The match stats are showing eight clear cut chances and two half chances for us, while HK, like Valur, didn't even have a shot on goal. That game proved there was something wrong with Gestsson. The striker could have finished the first half with a hat-trick, but each time he was presented with a fantastic opportunity at the near post, he either smashed it straight at the goalkeeper or was denied by the post. Marko Keca looked absolutely unstoppable on the right wing, if I've ever seen a 10.0 performance that didn't include scoring a ridiculous number of goals, then that was it. We finally broke the deadlock in the 49th minute when yet another of Keca's crosses found its way to Ndiaye on the far post. The Senegalese had no trouble putting it in the empty net. Despite our absolute domination, I was rather unsettled with the 1:0, knowing that a stupid defensive mistake could be very costly for us. This time it wasn't the case though and in the 90th minute Ndiaye put an end to any doubt, doubling his goal tally with a very similar goal to the first one, although this time it was Ómarsson with the assist. A smashing performance from the whole team.

Do you remember our first game against ÍA? Of course you do, it was an extraordinary case of horrible finishing and stupidly dropped two points. So of course in the away game we went and did exactly the same, but this time we couldn't even manage to get this one goal. This time it wasn't the crossbar that kept denying us, but a Mrmic-esque performance by their goalkeeper, Árni Snær Ólafsson. When Gestsson finally unleashed a shot that looked like it would surely end his league goal drought, it was somehow stopped by a save you just don't see in real life. When a powerful shot from five yards out is sent flying towards the opposite corner, it just goes in. Not this time though. And of course what would an ÍA game be without getting caught on the break? In the 37th minute a ridiculous case of bad defensive positioning and breaking the offside trap allowed Bergur Róbertsson to get into a crossing position and find Trausti Gunnarsson in the box. For the second time in a row it was his header that was unstoppable for Matic. The result is especially frustrating because we already knew that ÍBV lost their game and a win would get us level on points with them.

August is going to be extremely important for us. First we host FH and just three days later we're travelling to ÍBV. This could really define our season.

Borgunarbikar

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Ouch.

Sometimes you just come across a team that seems too good. Your players have a bad day at the office and the opposition are storming. That's exactly what happened there. ÍBV looked like they could score whenever they wanted while we struggled to put three passes together. In the 16th minute a Carl Torres cross landed on the head of Ulises Salinas who made it 1:0 with a nicely placed effort. Thirteen minutes later I witnessed what could be the worst case of defensive indecisiveness. Following a free kick from 25 yards out, Uros Matic made a miraculous triple save, but even that didn't give our defenders enough time to track back and finally stop Emil Atlason from taking shot after shot. His fourth attempt finally found its way in. We conceded from two more headers in the second half, first Zeljko Zeradjanin's in the 55th minute and in the 74th minute it was Ulises Salinas again. Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson gave us a consolation goal eight minutes later, but that was all we could manage.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - August 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Pepsideildin

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There was hope following the ÍBV game, but now it's purely mathematical.

The first of the two very important matched couldn't have started better for us - in the 3rd minute a cross from Keca found Karlo Muhar who only had an empty net in front of him. For a short period of time it looked like we could absolutely smash them, but obviously FH are one of the very best sides in Iceland and they recovered quickly, which made the match very even and intense. After a fantastic first half with chances on both sides of the pitch we were in front. And then I made a mistake - I jumped the gun on Jakob Ómarsson, thinking he might be too tired to start the second half, and replaced him with Zvonimir Bekavac. Now I can say that was the decision that cost us three points, maybe it was the decision that will cost us the season? In the 57th minute a cross came in from Bekavac's zone and Nikola Radovic gave the visitors an equaliser. Fifteen minutes later they attempted to play a long ball behind our right back, he did get his head to it, but instead of clearing it away, he attempted to control it and ended up losing the ball and leaving the flank completely exposed. Of course a pass was played there immediately, Radovic, 2:1, game over. I wish I could apologise to the fans for this one.

Just three days later we travelled to Vestmannaeyjar to face ÍBV, another title challenger. And again we started the game very well. 12th minute, a fantastic passing move inside their box ends with Gestsson setting up Keca for a one on one and the Serbian has no trouble slotting the ball past the goalkeeper. 1:0. We carried the result to half time with relative ease, but after the break a furious wave of attacks was launched. We were saved by Matic, by the crossbar, by very near misses - I've seen this happen to us so many times that I know exactly how their manager must have been feeling. That's why I was hugely relieved when in the 60th minute we were awarded a penalty. Too early - Adnan Islamovic took the spot kick, but Simon Sluga read his intentions and saved the shot. Luckily eight minutes later we were presented with an even easier chance. A cross from Ísmail landed on the head of Ndiaye, his effort was wonderfully saved by the goalkeeper, but the deflection left the ball almost standing still five yards away from an empty net. That was the perfect opportunity for Gestsson to finally score in the league. The goal cut ÍBV's wings completely and we gained control once again, but couldn't find the net for the third time. Not that we particularly needed that, but it would be nice to get a proper revenge for the smashing we received in the cup, wouldn't it?

I thought things would go downhill from then on as we hosted Vikingur Ólafsvik, a side I usually beat rather easily. Oh, how naive of me. We fell behind in the 10th minute to an Atli Fannar Jónsson goal and right then I already knew this won't be the usual Vikingur Ólafsvik clash. There was simply something wrong with us. We kept giving the ball away stupidly and pretty much creating their chances for them. Fifteen fouls commited wasn't a good sign, either. At times we were just helpless, we went into meltdown for no reason at all. We had one lucky break in the 71st minute when Ómarsson got his sixth assist in the league and Gestsson scored in the second game in a row. That could give us a slight glimmer of hope that he could get firing again, but the draw meant that our rivals slipped away and at this stage of the season two points is a lot.

If I was still a KA manager, I'd be very happy with the hosts' performance in our last game of August. Apart from one decent chance for Gestsson in the first half, we were pretty much completely shut off. We did take eleven shots, but most of them were from hopeless positions and only two were on target. Luiz Camargo's boys were simply the better team. We kept holding them off for most of the time and I was actually starting to be happy about getting away with a draw, but it wasn't to be. In the 83rd minute Porebski found himself in the penalty area surrounded by three of our defenders, but he still found a way to score - a deflection off Martino Pistis left Matic standing helplessly as the ball rolled into the net. It went down as an own goal, too. Another awful performance that could be a sign of some bigger problem. If only I knew what it could be...

Youth Intake

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A very poor intake with two standout players.

Stefan Jónsson

Birkir Jónsson

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Hopefully that means I won't get the boot if I don't meet the expectations this season.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - August 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Pepsideildin

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And we've blown it at our own wish.

We're **** poor at home. Period. Keflavík came to the KR-völlur to put an end to any doubt about that. We looked like a personification of every single bit of criticism about tiki-taka football - we kept possession for most of the time, but were painfully slow and predictable and thus ended up circulating it around the halfway line instead of actually creating chances. And the visitors just sat back and countered. And countered. And countered. And we countered their counter attack in the 62nd minute. A through ball into the penalty area was aimed for Zvonimir Bekavac, but the Croatian was brought down just as he crossed the line. He went on to take the spot kick himself and smashed it straight at their goalkeeper. After that I simply knew we would go on to concede. And we did - in the 75th minute Milan Adamek was presented with a completely unmarked header at the near post. Easy enough for him to get his team the winning goal.

It wasn't the end of the world though - Stjarnan lost their game as well, which meant we would overtake them should we beat them at their place. And the game was just about as dull and uninspiring as it gets. Again we dominated possession, but Stjarnan simply sat back and defended and we couldn't get through them. When they got the ball back, they didn't look particularly interested in launching a quick attack. And thus the match just skimmed by with barely any highlights shown. Are we really that bad?

So not only didn't we catch up with Stjarnan, but we also got overtaken by Valur who, after a mid-season slump, were finishing very strongly. We still had the possibility of beating them on the final day to move back above them, but first we needed three points against Vikingur Reykjavík. And, to my slight surprise, we got them with relative ease. The scoreline was opened in the 14th minute thanks to a Vujica Kojic furious thunderbolt from the edge of the six yard box, Karlo Muhar with the assist. A very consciously played corner enabled Yann Songo'o to score his first goal of the season ten minutes before the break with an easy tap-in. Kudos to Adnan Islamovic for heading the ball down to the Cameroonian. And finally another corner in the 64th minute another corner ignited chaos in their box which ended up with an own goal by Milos Gordic. Vikingur did attempt the odd attack, but most of the times they were stopped in their tracks. Was this the late awakening?

We needed two things to happen on the final day to qualify for the Europa League. Most importantly, we had to beat Valur. In other games we needed Stjarnan to drop points at home to ÍA. Which they did - the visitors won 2:0, giving us the chance. And that turned out to be the only chance we got since we created absolutely nothing in our match. And neither did Valur - they were more than content with the result as it guaranteed them 3rd place. The only two highlights shown throughout the whole match were two individual runs by Gestsson, both of which ended with hopeless shots from tight angles. Two shots by Valur, seven by us. Horrible game for the fans and a disappointing end to a disappointing season for us.

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Oh no. :/

What's the job security like?

It's very insecure at the moment, I think the new contract could save me from getting sacked.

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Unfortunately the board don't trust me enough to fund another course at the moment.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Review - 2023 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Pepsi-deildin

Results

Competition Performance: 5th

Well, you can all see the results and spot the moment where it went to pieces. Still, we had two great chances to secure a European qualification spot, but on both occasions we produced a very uninspiring 0:0. Let's just say this was a transition season.

Deildabikar

Competition Performance: Quarter Finals

A rather lucky qualification from the group before an extremely unlucky loss against Valur. We could have won the whole thing really if it wasn't for that one ridiculous game.

Borgunarbikar

Competition Performance: Quarter Finals

Two easy wins against lower league opposition before getting absolutely outclassed against ÍBV. A team like ours has to do better than that.

Squad

On paper this is a very strong team, especially in midfield. Hopefully next season everyone will play up to their potential.

Transfers - Finances

A painfully average transfer window with not a single player that really changed the team. The positives are the two left wingers, Vujica Kojic and Daouda Ndiaye. On the other hand, centre back Martino Pistis and striker Svæbjörn Valur Gestsson disappointed me with their performances.

A nice profit made this season, but the sole reason why we're in the black is the cash injections provided by the board. They gave us something around £400K over the course of the season, on the other hand we had to pay a very similar amount in order to repay a massive £3M loan the club took back in 2017.

Player of the Season

1st - Karlo Muhar - the clutch player. He got five goals from seventeen appearances in the attacking midfielder slot and pretty much all of them was a result decider. At one point he was pretty much single-handedly keeping us in the title mix, unfortunately we fell off later on.

2nd - Jakob Ómarsson - the discovery. After noticing him as a standout player in the U-19 squad I decided to give him a chance in the first team and he's been impressing ever since. He'll definitely be a starter next year as well, nice young talent there.

3rd - Marko Keca - at times he was carrying the whole team on his back, looking unstoppable. But he also had games where he completely switched off and was useless for us. If he improves his consistency, he could become the best player of the division.

Next Season

Top three is the very least we're aiming for. There are a few transfer already in place that will aid our title bid. A few high earners are leaving the club, which will help as well.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Preview - 2024 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Board Expectations:

Pepsideildin: Qualify for Europa League

Borgunarbikar: Final

Deildabikar: Not important

My Expectations:

Pepsideildin: I think I've been sitting in Iceland for too long. Time to get out of here.

Borgunarbikar: We're definitely capable of winning it.

Deildabikar: Not important.

Budgets:

Transfer: £0

Wage: £7,910 (currently spending £6,954)

Balance: £242,058

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Finances are good at least.

Yeah, always look at the positive. :D

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