'Brainwashed' experts snort – send unusual Christmas card to reassure players – NRK Sport – Sports news, scores and broadcast schedule

'Brainwashed' experts snort – send unusual Christmas card to reassure players – NRK Sport – Sports news, scores and broadcast schedule

– I could be surprised that someone who I thought had an idea has completely lost his mind. It doesn't affect me, but it may affect my relationship with that person in the future.

That's what open-hearted Ståle Solbakken says in NRK's ​​latest documentary The dream of the European Commission»Which can be watched now on NRK TV.

Optimism is sky high before the start of the qualifiers. But the national team's boys face unexpected opposition in a fortune teller from Sheffield and a mysterious storm in Georgia.

Experts' confidence and patience with Solbakin's project began to run out before the national team's new year began immediately with two training matches against the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

There was no shortage of critical voices after the 2023 World Cup qualifiers ended in failure, and Solbakken has so far failed in two successive qualifying matches to lead Norway to the tournament.

Since taking over as national team manager in December 2020, this is the 56-year-old's face:

Harsh criticism

Last year, Norway had to settle for third place in the European Championship qualifiers, and they did It is therefore not among the 33 countries in Europe that have secured a direct place in the European Commission or in a play-off.

– Kjetil Rekdal was doomed in the VGTV studio.

– Solbakken has been quite clear that he can expect the European Commission to participate and a Norwegian team focused on this qualification. This is what should be measured, said Karl-Erik Torp of NRK.

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– brainwashing

Norway's president says in the documentary that he realizes there will be critical voices, but that's not all he has to offer.

He doesn't name specific experts, but he makes it clear that he allows himself to be disturbed by much of what is to come.

– There are people with a good football mentality, people who you probably still respect, who bring good things. But there's also someone you respect, who completely loses his mind after the game, gets completely brainwashed and becomes the “Monday coach,” as they call him in Denmark, says Solbakken.

UNDER PRESSURE: After two failed qualifying matches, Ståle Solbakken are ready to start the road to the European Commission with National League matches in the fall.

Image: NTP

People having strong opinions about football is part of that, and that's how it should be, stresses the national team manager.

Solbakken himself has been an expert many times over and knows how easy it is to use big words in a TV studio.

– But when I become a tabloid, I still like to document what I say with facts, pictures and evidence. He believes that this is not always what you are offered.

– Damn, what a depressing life

Solbakin notes with his temperament that adversity affects him. After Norway's bad matches, the biggest enemy is his head, not the experts and the critical press.

-I go to those press conferences without consuming a single calorie. My problem starts when I lock up the hotel room and go to bed, and you've done what you think you can do. Then you think, “Damn, what a ridiculous life, a meaningless life,” says Solbakken.

Especially Christmas cards

Because if you look at the numbers and the facts, Solbakken believes that Norwegian football experts should be able to see that the playoffs have been ruined by what he calls good old bad luck.

In fact, send a joint “Christmas card” Notice to all national team players after the 2023 season.

And in what could be said to be an unusual kind of Christmas card, he meticulously goes through everything that happened against Norway in the European Union qualifiers.

Solbakken reads NRK's ​​Christmas card, and here's an illustration:

December 2023

Stahl Solbakken:

-It was his Christmas card! No desire for a peaceful Christmas or anything like that? Jokes presenter Eric Solbakken in the latest documentary.

– No, we don't care about that, the President of Norway replies with a smile.

-Based on the Christmas card, I read that there is a good bit of bad luck in this picture?

– correct. Scotland has had such crazy luck. He's completely crazy. But that's the way it is

– What do you think about these numbers?

-I've known that for a long time. If you take Sign up, Wescott Or Andrew (Findlay, head of analysis for the men's national team) gets the same numbers. It's almost the same thing. “We are completely honest, and our numbers match those of Opta, Wayscot and the big boys,” says the Norwegian manager.

Football, training with the Norway men's national team

Making a documentary: Morten Rahm and Erik Solbakken.

Photo: Fredrik Varfjell/NTB

– The biggest opportunity of his career

When Solbakin is asked to estimate how much is bad luck, and how much is incompetence in previous qualifications, he answers 50/50.

– There are some players, in some situations, who should have performed better. And the coach who should have done a better job in some situations. “It's incompetence,” he answers.

– But it is unfortunate that the best striker in the world does not play in the first two matches, where we created 100 scoring chances. It's bad luck. The biggest chance Martin missed in his career came against Georgia, right. So there are a lot of things like that, Sulbakin sighs.

Football, European Nations Cup qualifiers, Scotland - Norway

UFLAKS: Ståle Solbakken believes that Norway in a normal situation would have had much better salaries than in 2023.

Photo: Vegard Groot / BILDBYRÅN

Almost physically ill

Now he will lead Norway in two unimportant matches in terms of results against the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Ulleval on March 22-26.

While other teams compete in the European Championship, Norway will have to wait until the National League matches in the fall before getting serious again.

-The fact that the German European Championship will be without Norway makes me almost physically ill. It's very heavy. “On behalf of me, the players and the Norwegian fans who could have had a great summer in Germany, so it was very painful,” says Solbakken.

Watch all episodes of “Drømmen om EC” on NRKTV now.

Optimism is sky high before the start of the qualifiers. But the national team's boys face unexpected opposition in a fortune teller from Sheffield and a mysterious storm in Georgia.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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