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Me (to the left) as an expert commentator at the futsal game between IFK Göteborg Futsal and Borås AIK.

This winter, I have had the pleasure to improve my knowledge in futsal, the indoor version of football / soccer that I’ve written about earlier here on the blog. I have followed the sport in a few years and I think it is interesting, especially from a coaching perspective since the importance of a good coach during the game is far more important than in football / soccer. A few months ago I went to the official coach education for futsal coaches and I must admit that I have a desire to take on a team to test my skills in this relatively new sport sometime in future.

As I wrote in the blog last week, I received a phone call from Tommy Moholi, board member and event manager in IFK Göteborg Futsal. He had by chance ended up on my blog and was wondering if I was interested to be an expert commentator to Saturday’s game between IFK Göteborg Futsal and Borås AIK at Lisebergshallen. Of course, a flattering request which I accepted, something I absolutely do not regret today with a few days’ distance to the game.

My colleague for the day, the main commentator Tobias BW Granberg, welcomed me with open arms and I think that we are the whole did a good job together. As Granberg said after the game, it’s always a bit difficult to start working with someone who is new since the natural chemistry is not there yet, but it was a good debut.

What I really liked in my role as an “expert” (I dislike the word, but I think you understand) is that I got the opportunity to explain what actually happens in a game. Often, viewers have many opinions concerning why a team plays in a certain way, but they rarely understand why a coach chooses to play the game like that. Here, I got the chance to explain why a team uses high or low pressure in their defense, the different types of defensive methods, when there is the right time to take a time out and so on. I simply had the opportunity to explain how a coach reasons in different situations, which I think the viewers liked.

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The national certificate that confirms that I have passed the official training course for Futsal Coaches in Sweden.

If they ask my once again, I think I need to be more cautious regarding how much I should talk. As a coach, I see many different things and it can easily happen that there will be too much information, so I need to take it easy the next time.

About the game, I think IFK Göteborg Futsal partly had faulty tactics for the clash against Borås AIK. The guests are the best team in the series offensively with their 70 goals, but has a defensive where there are gaps when they are being counter attacked. Had the home team decided to stand a little lower in their defense and waited for the opponents and after that decided to counter attack, I think their chances would have improved. Even though the game was ended in the final minutes, it was flattering result for IFK Göteborg Futsal.

Borås AIK was the better team over 40 minutes. They had a diverse offensive game with a controlled build-up play where they patiently waited out the mistakes from the opponents. They could play both the short and long ball while they had players who could dribble off their defender. Sure, they were a bit too much ball viewers in their defense, but if they make seven goals in every game that should not be a problem.

I know that IFK Göteborg Futsal before the season talked about how they wanted to embrace a different game philosophy, one where they were a more attacking team who controlled the events of the game. For me, it is obvious that the club has not got to the point where they want to be. It is far too stagnant and they have too few players who has the ability to dribble off their defender.

If they are to maintain this idea, they should either get the player types they need, or invest in to rejuvenate the team and give young players time to learn the game. But for that they also need time and that they practice way more often than they do today. If I am not misinformed they practice only twice a week. It is difficult to build a lasting game idea with only two sessions a week, so maybe it is better to start from the team’s strengths and try to strengthen them in a modified game idea? If they do not want to sign players or exercise more, that is. Only then will they get a futsal team that battles for gold medals again.

I want to thank Tommy Moholi for the opportunity to come, it was a fine initiative and fun to have been asked. I would also like to thank the entire Brocast team in general and Tobias BW Granberg in particular, who was very welcoming and were generous with his feedback. Thanks for that!

I have said before that I, in the future, want to try to be futsal coach, especially when I have the highest possible futsal coach education in Sweden. I’m still without a coach job for 2017, but the idea has always been to take on a new football / soccer team. But after Saturday’s match, I’m not so sure anymore. Maybe a futsal team is my new address?

Only the future will tell…

 

First, let us start with a fact that, to most people, is no secret at all. I am a BK Häcken fan, a supporter who for many years stood on Sektion G and sang my team to new victories (and losses, all these losses…). I do not dislike or hate any other club, but BK Häcken is my team.

To be a fan is not something strange, most people tend to have a favorite team when they grow up, even though the relationship to the club changes over the years. I have spent big parts of my childhood in Gothenburg, but I have always felt more attracted to the small club from Hisingen Island than IFK Göteborg, one of the few giants in Swedish football / soccer. BK Häcken was the outsider, the opponent who fought against the Goliaths and a team who did this by playing, at times, fantastic football / soccer. It was not always effective, but it was certainly entertaining to look at. It was never boring to watch a game with the club from Hisingen.

Since I became a football / soccer coach, I have more of a professional view of things. Since this is my profession, I am no longer the fan who jumps up and down at the supporter section, but still the club has a safe place in my heart. For all my adult life, except for one year, I have lived on Hisingen, so I have strong connections to the island and the mentality of both the people and the club. Therefore, it has been a great honor to work for the club when I was the Head Coach for the Women’s Team, but as I said I need to have a more professional view of my football / soccer since I work with it every day.

During the last eight seasons, Peter Gerhardsson (also called PG), has been the Head Coach for the Men’s Team in BK Häcken. He is a man you either love or hate, or so it seems anyway. When he came to the club, most of the teams in the Swedish first division played a rather defensive and disciplined football / soccer. He wanted to change that and he told us many times that he was inspired by the football / soccer from the Netherlands and Spain, not England or Italy. The ball was on the ground most of the time and he wanted his team to brave and to take decisions. He did not want puppets who just followed orders, he wanted players who took responsibility.

I must admit something when it comes to PG – We have not always agreed on the same opinions. In fact, in many cases, I think that he has been a naïve coach who never coached his player to have a decent defense. During all his year, the defense was the team’s weak point, still I never felt he was willing to adjust this matter. He did not want his players to be cowards, so he stood by his philosophy.

Now, in retrospect, I think that Gerhardsson, with a more cynical view, could have achieved more on the pitch. He won a league silver and the Swedish cup, regarding of how long time he has been on the post I would have expected more. But beyond the medals we never took, I am forever grateful for his deeds. Mainly for two things – That he showed courage when everybody thought he was stupid and the mentality he brought to BK Häcken.

He may have, at times, been naïve in his football / soccer philosophy, but still he was a man of his word and always tried to play an attractive football / soccer. It was not always effective, as I said, but it takes courage to still command the players to continue to do so when the results are bad. The offensive style became a trademark of BK Häcken, something that everybody in Sweden recognizes. It is unthinkable today that BK Häcken should play a defensive style of play like Iceland did in this summer Euro 2016. Regardless of what I might think of that, it is Gerhard sons work that made many people to have respect for the club. This was not just a small team anymore, it was a contender who fought with the big clubs. All that was thanks to Gerhardsson.

My fondest memory of Gerhardsson was when I wanted to do my final exam of the UEFA A-course at BK Häcken. I were kind of nervous when I asked him, but his answers were as brave as his view on football / soccer. He said yes right away and came with suggestions on when I could come. In the end, I had my final exam in another city, but still this impression was still with me, that Gerhardsson was a positive and brave coach.

Eight long years have come to an end and today, Peter Gerhardsson is no longer the Head Coach of BK Häcken. It is a sad, but nevertheless necessary, fact. I hope PG finds a new club soon where he can bring his ideas into motion. As I said, I have not always agreed with him, but he have my respect nonetheless. Regardless of where he might end up, I will greet him with a standing ovation next time he comes to Bravida Arena.

It is the least I can do for a yellow and black hero.