Hi fellow Yids!
Im bored and brainstormed about what I could write about....Swedish football. Ive lived in Sweden since birth and I must say directly that im not fond of it (small crouds, crap football and so on).
My footballing career started on the streets with my dad when I was 5-6 years old. Dad advanced with the ball towards me in goal and hit a sledgehammer of a shot right in my face. I started crying but my dad fixed it by saying "ill buy 5 bags of candy and a soda if you stop crying" which I immediately did.
In school I always got to be the goalie, I sucked at it so I changed my style for a more libero/goalie roll, rushing out to help out at my teams attack. 2 x 20 minute breaks and 1 45 minute and we played every day, no weather could stop us.
I was maybe 9-10 when a friend asked me to join GAIS (Göteborgs Atlet och Idrottssällskap) (one of three "top" sides in Gothenburg. I live in the suburbghetto part of town and taking the buss to training didnt fancy me. Instead I joined local team Lärje/Angered. A mate of mine followed me there and it was great fun in the beginning. I didnt get to play that often, I didnt like tackles, was afraid to head it but I was quick. I competed in 100 meter and 4x100 in track & field so at least I had something. My coach didnt see it cause I never got to play.
So I followed my friend and joined GAIS. My group was U10 boys and this was great fun. I made some new friends and got to play here and there, the coach noticed my fast pace and used me on the rightwing. My right foot isnt that sensitive but I practised hard on freekicks and corners. After about a year with GAIS I injured my right knee. Still 20 years later I get pain in my knee if i run so its hard to play regularly with the mates in the summer. I do still have a rightfoot to be proud of, stroke a 25 meters goal in the drawer while advancing on the right side, no chance for the goalie to take it. Everytime I score I do what Raul does, kiss his marriagering, well im not married so I just kiss my finger and run around like a madman. I honestly feel the joy of scoring can be just as great if you do it like me: a sandy pitch with maybe a girlfriend or two and someones mama watching. The same game I hit a volley in the middle of the pitch, the balls flyes up and over the fence and hit a kindergarten window, the alarm went and we had to flee the scene.
I stopped fotboll altogether in 1990 and my interest in the sport vanished. In 1998 a friend got me hooked on footie again and we watched the WC. Every summer since then me and my mates play on Sundays. Once we were playing a group of Serbian men walk by, they shouted friendly banter and thought we were useless. We invited them to play and they ****ing murdered us. They tackled hard and put insane pressure every time we had the boll. It wasnt funny, my shiny blue adidas pants had holes in them from everytime I was tackled to the ground. They won something like 8-0 and I never want to meet them again.
Sometime 98/99/00 (I had followed spurs since 199 A friend asked if id like to come with him and buy a season ticket for newly promoted GAIS. I was stoked and had high hopes of seeing fotball live. I had seen the playoff final earlier where GAIS beat Kalmar FF to get their place in the top flight.
Excuse me if facts are wrong, this was a long time ago.
The first home game was a against Västra Frölunda (also a GBG team), a charlton type club who shouldnt take liberties with the big clubs. We lost 1-0 and the football was of such bad quality I didnt go to any more of the games and ripped my season ticket.
Classic, legendary Gothenburg player: Hans Blomqvist.
Hes played for almost every Gothenburg club. They always give him the boot cause he is constantly injured. Darren Anderton times 5. Anyway, GAIS reqruited him when they were in division 2. This was sometime 2005. Hans technique is crazy, he can do breathtaking tricks with his both sensivite feet and the goals he scores are works of art. Only player in swedish history who could bear the "swedens Maradona" tag and get away with it. Anyway, the season is getting to an end and GAIS come 3rd in division 2 and has to play a twolegged playoff against Landskrona (14th place in division 1). Blomquist hasnt played one match the whole season but coach Roland Nilsson shockingly has Blomqvist among the starters. He plays a blinder and was a big part in GAIS beating Landskrona. For this every GAIS supporter will always remember him.
I saw on tv at the news one night that AIK (stockholms best supported team) would play IFK Göteborg in a cup final. The news was that AIKs Black Army (firm) would piss on our city and destroy every IFK hooligan who they see. I dig hooligans a lot but im not one myself so I went to the game. Only fun in the game was when IFK substituted in Erik Nevland (now at Fulham) because I knew him from Football manager, always nice to see how they look like. Nothing happened, the AIK crowd just chanted some anti IFK/Gothenburg songs but was it. I had promised my friends there might be crowd violence and stuff so we were all disappointed.
Football violence is on the up in sweden. All the teams from the 3 big cities (malmö, göteborg and stockholm) have them. Some of the smaller ones are coming not far from behind. The violence is always preplanned and a long way from the arena so innocents dont get hurt.
When AIK (my 2nd favourite club because their fantastic fans who sing all game long) played in the champions league, that was fantastic. This was late 90s early 2000s. They had a manager, Stuart Baxter, who had them play great football. Their group consisted of Arsenal, Barcelona and Fiorentina. Imagine us getting a mouthwatering draw for like that for Spurs! I remember the home games against Barca, it was late in the game and AIKs Nebojsa Novakovic scored 1-0 on a magnificent lob. The place went crazy but Barca soon equalized. At 1-1 Baxter wanted to make a substitution since one of his players was injured. The ref let match go on and Barca scored 2-1 in the dying minutes. Stuart Baxter furious with ref yelled "this is the ****ing champions league!". Another memorable game was Arsenal at the library. The game was even and AIK could have snatched a point. What was memorable though how the AIK fans who had travelled to the game all sung the whole match, you couldnt hear a peep from the Arsenal fans. Afterwards the Arsenal crowd gave the stockholmers a standing ovation.
Brits in Swedish football:
* Steve Galloway, the man with the huge nose. Played 5 times for Crystal palace and then moved to Djurgården and later Umeå. Sometimes he makes appearances in swedish tv. Last time I saw him he said he supports Spurs because its his hometown and he also is fond of Leeds.
* Peter Crouch, you know who he is. Had a short loan spell with Hässleholm (been there, crap place).
* Teddy Sheringham, legend. He was loaned out to stockholm club Djurgården where he scored 13 times in 21 games.
* James Keene, striker. Portsmouth loaned him to GAIS a couple of years ago. He was an instant hit and his workrate was Carlos Tevez-like. Scored many important goals. Then a bigger team, Elfsborg, bought him after just one season.
* Frank Worthington, ladies man. He represented something insane like 27
clubs in his long career. He represented Mjällby on loan one summer in the 1980s. Known for partying and likes women (very much).
* Roy Hogdson, manager. He guided Halmstad to win the swedish allsvenskan in the 70s, also managed Örebro in the 80s. Look at Rodgsons managerials record, hes been there done that almost everywhere. And he almost always succeeds.
* Kenny Pavey, AIK-legend. He played 7 seasons for Ljungskile before AIK found him. He has been a key element at AIK and works hard 100% and is a pretty good player allround. When AIK won the league last season Kenny was a key player. Once when he scored a goal he shouted "GET IN!!!", I have stolen this so when my FM players score I clinch my fist and shout "GET IN!!!". Its now routine, my friends thought it was fun the first 2-3 times. :-)
Cant come up with anymore, im sure ive missed someone vital, I once recruited Sir Les Ferdinand to GAIS in FM when he was clubless, does that count?
Some major swedish teams:
AIK - They havent won more trophies than the bigger clubs but they are always fascinating. Their fans often make the headlines, once a player was partying in a nightclub and a firm member saw this, he threw the player out and said "once more and youre of the club". They have also paid visits to players in their last years of contract and make them sign new ones so they cant go free on the bosman ruling. Everybody at AIK knows this, their last manager Richard Norling said on tv "how could I critisize our fans, they are the best". Their manager after that considered wearing a Stone Island coat to the games to show much he supports the Black Army and Firman Boys. Funny story: EC in Sweden 1992. Trevor Tanner (of Tottenham Massive) sees a swede with Doc Martens and a big swastika flag, he just goes in front of him and hits him to the ground, thats how mighty the Black Army were.
Djurgården - The second team in Stockholm. Won the league three times during the 2000s. They had quality players in their ranks as Kim Kjällström (Lyon) and played a great football.
Hammarby - Third stockholm team. They are from a side of town called söder (south) where their fanbase are reqruited from. Many hooligans have joined them the last years, as with Djurgården too.
Malmö FF - Great club with fantastic tradition, they play down south in swedens third largest city. The club that gave us Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he pondered quitting football in his teens but a youth coach at Malmö got him to other thoughts. Imagine football without this genious (maybe overrated at times). Funny trivia: Malmö is the first city in sweden where more than 50% of the city are from a different background than swedish.
IFK Göteborg - Biggest club in the second city. They have won the uefa-cup twice and Sven Göran Eriksson started his managerial career here with the cup win 1982 (or was it 1984?). In the nineties IFK were like Lyon a couple of years ago. They seemed to win it always and it wasnt exciting. IFK also had a couple of memorable CL runs.
GAIS - Second biggest club in Gothenburg. Since ive played for them I support them (you can really only have 1 club, mine is Spurs so GAIS, Torquay, Paris and Roma are just mistresses that I dont love that much). Traditionally a working class club (as are IFK) and they do attract a lot of bums and freaks. Once a friend of mine was at IFK GAIS game and in the toilet there was this GAIS woman who looked like 7 hard years and was inhaling petrol from a cokebottle. Classy. When GAIS first got together a Firm they announced all over the internet that they were to be counted with, AIK took upp this challenge, travelled down to Gothenburg and stormed the pitch, they ran across it and gave the GAIS thugs a good whapping.
Örgryte IS - Third club in Gothenburg. Traditionally middleclass and the bourgeoise support this club. A joke is that they travel to away games in Porsches. This clubs biggest "own son" is Marcus Allbäck who scored against England in the WC a couple of years back, was it 2006?
Helsingborg - They come from close to Malmö so this is their derby. A couple of years ago they beat Inter in the 3rd qualifying round to the CL so be warned Redknapp & Co, small teams should be respected too.
The rest of the teams are crap and not worth mentioning.
Swedes playing in England:
Anders Limpar - AIK - Now has an own restaurant in Stockholm called Limpbar.
Tomas Brolin - Leeds and Crystal Palace - He is still fat, even more. He works selling vacumcleaners. LOL.
Roland Nilsson - Coventry - Total gentleman, fine rightback with over 100 caps. He coached GAIS back to the highest division and then left for Malmö. Interesting young manager.
Magnus Hedman - Celtic + brief spell with Chelsea 2006 - Married to one of swedens most known popmusic artists. He is a crap punter on tv now. Glad he doesnt get to do the WC though.
Pontus Kåmark - Leicester - A great man marker, he had Juninho in his pocket and he couldnt shine when Boro met Leicester in the carling cup final. He is now covering La Liga and the WC for swedish tv.
Andreas Andersson - Newcastle - Andreas who? He scored 4 goals for them...as a striker. How come he got to represent Milan ill never know.
Niclas Alexandersson - Sheffield Wednesday - Good player, can play both midfield and defense, great with both feet.
Erik Edman - Tottenham, Wigan - Thanks Edman for that goal against Liverpool, other than that he was mediocre and a risk in the penalty area with his crazy tackles. Lennon effectively put an end to his PL career when 7 or 8 of the goals in that 9-1 thrashing came from Edmans side. Now playes for Helsingborg who are top of the league.
Fredrik Ljungberg - Arsenal - Hate to say it but he was brilliant. Is responsible for making Arsenal a much much loved club in Sweden. Limpard started it, Ljungberg finished it. I just praise god Edman didnt give us any fans, was afraid when we bought him. I want to have my loved club for myself, when I go out theres too many Arsenal shirts everywhere, its nice to be a minority.
Forgot someone for sure, but the Swedish bugs deserve that (my parents are from Finland).
Swedish football sucks. If theres nothing else on tv I will watch it but its not entertaining. The chants are all "I F K I F K" or "G A I S G A I S". Tiresome. Last time I went they had opened a MAX hamburger restaurant on one of the corners on the ground. Never eaten there before so I gave it a chance. Instead of ketchup or dressing they use mayjones. Disgusting. And the football was crap too. And it reigned, ill never go again.
Im day dreaming every day about moving to London and seeing proper football culture, but thats probably never happen. I have to make due with coming over once a season and catching one game.