Leif Gunnar Smerud, Hegi Reis

Leif Gunnar Smerud, Hegi Reis

Ulval (Nitavisen): Shortly after Hegi Reis finished coaching the national team, it became clear that Leif Gunnar Smerud would take over on an interim basis. This was after the World Championship, where the results were below par, and the National Football Association carried out a comprehensive review of the tournament after that.

Immediately after the World Cup, it seemed that things internally were chaotic and problematic. Netavisin was able to say last August that, according to various sources, there was great dissatisfaction within the team. At some point, half of Norway’s World Cup players will have thought about their future in the national team.

– I can’t relate to that, because I don’t know who said something like that. I read the media a little, but I don’t understand everything. “I think representing Norway is something that the vast majority of people want to do and I have no indication that anyone doesn’t want to do it now,” Smerud tells Netafsen.

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On Wednesday, the new coach spoke to the media about the national team’s choices before the upcoming matches in the European Nations League. All the big profiles were submitted there, and it appears Smerud never received a ‘no’ from any of those selected. However, Ada Hegerberg was not part of the team due to injury.

Despite the many headlines and speculation that have characterized the media picture recently, Smerud has remained silent about what happened before his entrance.

– I have to deal with the reality I see when I meet players. I cannot deal with media allegations. I think I come after one thing and before another, so a big part of my job is to get a direct picture from the players and support staff.

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Smerud thus takes over from Hegi Reis, who has moved to another position in the National Football Association. He does not want to say much about the talks with his predecessor.

-I talked to Heiji, yes. I knew Heiji before and talked to her. He says clearly: I don’t want to go into more.

“Awkward situations”

Football expert Karl-Erik Torp was also present during the selection of the national team. He is clear about how things should look in the future.

-We have struggled for some time and we have to find a direction to move forward, so as not to fall further behind than we need to. I think this is possible. It’s a fresh start, which I think is good for a lot of people. “You can identify a clear trend,” he tells Netavicin.

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This summer Samrud finished coaching the national under-21 team. He gave the message in March, but was involved even after the UEFA qualifiers. There the dispute over the goalkeeper’s status arose and subsequently made headlines.

-Leif Gunnar will have another test now. There was an episode this summer, during the U21 EC tournament, that was handled strangely. The choices made were strange and the ways they were responded to afterwards were strange. Dealing with it was not good. Torp says there are very embarrassing situations in the women’s national team and it cannot happen again.

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Temporary employee

The football expert points out that Samrud is not currently working on a permanent basis and that the coach himself will not say much about the way forward. Therefore, it will take some time before it is known whether the new coach of the women’s national team will sit in the head coach’s chair permanently.

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– This is a temporary solution, and we will see how it works. But it is a natural solution according to what is available and from a financial standpoint.

On September 22, Norway will meet Austria in Ulleval. Four days later, Portugal was on the other side of the pitch.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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

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