ULLEVAL (VG) TV 2 football expert Yaw Amankwa believes that Stefan Strandberg’s performance in Vålerenga is not compatible with playing for the national team.
But national team manager Ståle Solbakken takes issue with the Vålerenga captain’s criticism. The 33-year-old is in the squad for matches against the Faroe Islands and Scotland.
There are also Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard. Norway’s two biggest stars have had injury problems recently.
– The one we’re worried about is Martin, he’s very doubtful. Solbakken says he has an injury that doesn’t seem to be letting go.
He fears there could be a decline in the performance of Arsenal’s hip-plagued captain.
Things are going better for Erling Braut Haaland.
– Things are going really well. Very forward. This is the last message I got. The national team director says: At the moment there are no restrictions on him.
Odegaard was left out of Arsenal’s squad for this weekend’s Premier League match against Newcastle. Haaland limped off the field due to ankle problems in the match against Bournemouth.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided positive updates regarding Odegaard’s hip problems.
Haaland looked alert during City training on Monday.
AZ player David Møller Wolfe is in Norway’s squad for the first time. Vålerengas Stefan Strandberg is also involved.
According to Solbaken, the VIF tampon is among those “closest to its expiration date” in terms of age and body.
At the same time, Solbakken allowed himself to be provoked by all of Strandberg’s criticisms.
The defense speech began when he was confronted with a statement from Yaw Amankwa. TV 2’s football expert believes it is untenable that Strandberg will play – because the goalkeeper has been among Valerenga’s weakest players since the last national team meeting.
– What Stefan did in the national team has become very big… and I have the impression that social media is in control. It wasn’t a peep because he hadn’t played a game for seven or eight months. Solbakken says he played at about the same level.
Solbakken claims that many experts are influenced by fans’ frustration and that Strandberg is playing for a bad Vålerenga team. He denies that the plug has a clip card.
– Solbakin says that it was not “Facebook United” that took the team out.
He admits that Strandberg was involved in some of the late goals. but:
– We conceded a lot of goals, but we are one of the four teams in all the qualifying groups that conceded the least number of scoring chances.
– Stefan has his weaknesses, which are obvious ones – when the rooms get too big and he gets into one-on-one situations. I agree that his performance after our meeting was somewhat weaker than the three or four weeks preceding the previous meeting.
– I agree that he was not at his best in recent matches. But there would be such a mass and unfair suggestion and such an ignorant debate instead of looking at what he actually did in these EU qualifiers. It was at a completely acceptable and reliable level.
Solbakken highlighted statistics showing that Strandberg is among the four or five goalkeepers with the most forward passes (through ‘knuckles’) in European Championship qualifiers.
-I feel a great need to defend Stefan. I think this is unfair. I don’t think this is true.
Watch the full press conference here:
The next two international matches are not of particular importance for Norwegian football.
The Faroe Islands will play a special international match at Ulleval Stadium on November 16, while Norway and Scotland will meet in a European Championship qualifier at Hampden Park on November 19.
Norway already faces Spain and Scotland in the European Union qualifiers.
But the hope of taking the “back road” to the European Football Championship in Germany is still alive. Norway must first get help from Israel, which will play four decisive matches in just ten days in mid-November.
The probability that things will go in Norway’s favor is 39%, according to VG’s calculations.
But help from Israel is not enough. Norway also has to play two playoff matches.
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