The Norwegian national team has undoubtedly gained a new dimension.
Against Cyprus on Thursday, Norway played just over an hour without Antonio Nosa and Oscar Popp. The score was 1-0. Then the two talents came in, and suddenly the offense gained speed and unpredictability. Nosa was creating something almost every time he got the ball. Norway won 4-0.
Good teams naturally have wingers who can pass the ball one-on-one. But this is new for Norway.
For Norway, this could change a lot.
We are about to see the achievements of two types of players who have been missing from the national team for a long time. It was the third match for Noosa, an 18-year-old from Langos who plays for Club Brugge in Belgium. In September, he scored on his debut against Jordan, before setting up two goals for Norway in a home win against Georgia.
Last year, Nosa became the second-youngest goalscorer ever in the Champions League. According to the report, this summer, Chelsea tried to buy him for 400 million Norwegian kroner TV 2.
He has already shown why during three international matches.
Then we have Bob, the winger who plays for Manchester City. He is also quick, technical and creative, with a raw ability to create things on small surfaces, which he has demonstrated during his five first-team appearances.
It’s as if we have to pinch ourselves. Apart from Haaland and Martin Odegaard, Norway has great talent desired One of the biggest clubs in the world, and another that is already playing for the best team in the world.
They are 18 and 20 years old.
Whatever happens against Spain on Sunday, this could be the start of an attacking revolution. Not just because Nosa and Pope are good players, but because of the qualities they bring to the national team.
“A little different than what we have,” goalkeeper Stefan Strandberg said of Noosa in September.
You can safely say that.
Tips on edge
When was the last time Norway had two players like that?
The national team of the 1990s was largely composed of powerful forwards and powerful strikers. Norway were more dangerous when the ball was in the air or with the opponent. Flo’s pass made sense: if no one was dribbling on the edge of the pitch, the full-back could shoot the ball from his own half of the field.
In the 2000 European Championship, Norway faced Slovenia with four strikers in their eleven: John Carew, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Steffen Iversen and Tore Andre Flo. Two of them played on the edges. The score was 0-0 and Norway was eliminated.
Wingers with strong dribbling are important for creating chances against established defences. The world knows Norway as a team that bets on counterattacks, breaks and set pieces.
Norway Poetry He had technical players. Ullevaal saw great movement, powerful free kicks and delicate passes. But almost no one has been able to combine speed, technique and unpredictability in a way that creates disequilibrium time and time again. Few made the audience rise from their seats, excited about what was to come. In the absence of these qualities, Norway may find it very difficult to overcome Luxembourg and San Marino.
Even in these World Cup qualifiers, Alexander Sorloth, a striker, played on the right wing. He is good in the penalty area, but without good dribbles, Norway must rely on high ball pace and intelligent movements. the Can He goes. But it’s easier to have fun artists, styles that many big bands take for granted.
Even if a striker like Sorloth could create things on the right side, Norway lacks specialists. They are missing a type of player that many top teams take for granted.
Even the stars need help
Most good club teams in Europe have such dribblers. Martin Odegaard and Erling Braut Haaland score goals in the Premier League because they have teammates who create space for them.
At Arsenal, Odegaard plays between wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. They are often the ones who initiate attacks, before the ball ends up with Odegaard in front of goal.
Haaland relies on City moving around the edge. One of Pep Guardiola’s rules is that someone must extend the game at all times, so that there is more space in the middle. He has always had dribblers at City, from Leroy Sane to Riyad Mahrez and now Jeremy Doku.
Odegaard scored 15 goals in 37 league matches with Arsenal last season.
Odegaard scored 3 goals in 54 international matches for Norway.
Not because he gives less to the national team, but because the structure around him is not the same.
That’s how I beat Norway
Because as long as Norway struggles to create on the edge, the opponent can use their strength to close down the middle.
Scotland and Georgia took points from Norway in the qualifiers using five points in defence. Cyprus was eliminated on Thursday with a score of 5-3-2. This puts three keepers on Haaland, and if you have three midfielders in the middle, they can follow Odegaard. The two biggest stars were suspended. If the result is that Norway gets more page space, that will be fine.
That’s why Noosa and Bob mean so much. Against Georgia in September, Nosa created both goals by simply passing the ball from the left flank and dribbling. He put the ball on a silver platter for Odegaard and Haaland.
Against Cyprus, he immediately won a corner kick that led to Haaland’s first goal. It was later passed to Haaland, who scored again.
Haaland and Odegaard are still the team’s biggest stars, but they play in club teams where they are part of the machine. Haaland needs sticks and posts. Odegaard needs space and good runs. Noosa can make things happen on her own. Just give him the ball.
Hence one could accuse articles like this of putting pressure on the shoulders of young people. Nosa is still new to the first team, and on Thursday Staal reminded Solbakken that Pope has barely played first-team games in his entire life.
At the same time, it is true that Nosa is already considered a super talent in Europe, and is playing in the Champions League. Pope started for City against Newcastle in front of over 50,000 fans at St James’ Park. People outside Norway expect more from these two than just taking a Nordic national team to the European Championship against Slovenia and Cyprus.
Perhaps it is too much to expect that these two will actually save Norway. But in the next few years, the duo could transform the attack. For more than 20 years, there has been talk about what the national team lacks to reach the tournament.
Maybe we just got the answer.
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