Welcome to the latest update about my time at Fredrikstad Fotballklubb. In my last update we had managed to progress to the 3rd round of the Norwegian Cup and sat comfortably in 5th place in the OBOS-ligaen just 3 points off the guaranteed automatic promotion spot. What I can’t believe is why I have never managed in Scandinavia before. I am enjoying browsing around the Scandinavian Leagues and I am also enjoying the fact that financially we have to be very prudent. It still seems strange starting the season in April and finishing in October. The target for the board this season is to reach the playoffs however I would like to make a push for automatic promotion and then achieve stability in the top tier before pushing on to the next level of challenging at the top. After recruiting on the staff side of the club we now boast the best Scouting Network, Best Coaching set up and Medical team in the 2nd tier. With this foundation in place we can concentrate on getting it right on the pitch. Whilst on the subject of on the pitch I have been using an asymmetric 4-3-3 along with a 4-4-2 depending what players we have fit, however I switched to a 4-2-3-1 in the last month of the season. All 3 shapes have produced entertaining football along with getting the result. I am not going to go in to any detail about the tactics because I always build my tactics around the club and continually tweek roles and instructions along the way, so anybody wanting a plug and play tactic will be more than disappointed. In my short experience playing in the 2nd tier in Norway is that teams seem to pack the defence and midfield with numbers so you are at times looking for ways to break teams down which makes the in game experience all the better for me. Right so how have we been doing? I have broken the results down before and after the transfer window leading up to and including the final 2 months of the season.
We opened the month with a Norwegian Cup 3rd Round tie against Premier Division club Brann. I fielded a rotational side who performed fantastically in getting us a 2-1 win in the Fredrikstad Stadion. Kapidzic and N’Diaye getting the goals to put us in to the last 16. Four days later we were back in league action at home to Ranheim. We dominated the game and thanks to goals from Sansara, Dahlberg, Karoliussen and Westgaard we ran out 4-0 winners. A short month for games we end the month with a last 16 Norwegian Cup 4th round tie at home to top tier club Sarsborg which we lost 1-2 with Thørnt Jensen scoring our consolation goal.
With us knocked out of the cup we can now concentrate on our league form and a push for promotion. We get the month off to a good start thrashing Levanger 5-1 with young Swedish Forward Viktor Gotesson grabbing 4 goals after a performance behond his years, Flo scored our other goal in the satisfying victory. We came crashing back down to earth with our next game against league leaders Jerv who demolished us 0-4 in their own back yard. A devastating result that I have to take the blame for our away form as not been good and I failed to set us up to get a result, a steep learning curve for me and the chance to address it straight away with another away game against Konsvinger, I changed our shape to a 5-3-2 / 3-5-2 formation which I had already used in the past. We got a 3-2 victory however we were far from convincing. We then entertained struggling Kfum Oslo and suffered a a 0-1 defeat that ended the month for us struggling for form.
After analysing our last few games I came to the conclusion that some of the older players in the squad were under performing and that it was time for me to put my faith in a few of our younger players and ring the changes for opening game of the month against Mjøndalen in the Fredrikstad Stadion. So in came wingers Begby and Benmoussa along with right full back Thornt Jensen. We played well and got a 2-2 draw with goals from Flo and Johansen in a game which we looked to have a better balance to our play. Our next test was an away trip to Asane were we came away with a 1-1 draw after a Dahlberg screamer. Keeping faith with younger players we beat Kristiansund 3-0 at home with goals from Karoliussen, Jensen and Dahlberg. We are looking better after freshening the first team up and an away trip to 2nd placed Sandnes Ulf produced a good display in a 0-0 draw which we were unlucky not to get all 3 points. With a new found confidence we beat Strømmen at home with goals from Karoliussen and Gotesson in a good 2-0 win. We end the month by completing a double over much fancied Sandefjord 2-0 courtesy of goals from Gotesson and Westgaard. So with 9 games to go we sit nicely in 3rd spot just 2 points off the automatic promotion spot.
Top Scorers All Competitions At The End Of August
- Viktor Gotessen 12
- Mikael Dahlberg 9
- Patrik Karoliussen 5
Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Table August 2016
- Nystrom has joined Kristiansund for 475k
- N’Diaye has joined Pescara for 90k
- Kapidzic has joined Zrinjski for 100k
- Tonne has joined BK Haken for 43k
Total transfer revenue generated 708k
Director of Football Asbjørn Helgeland has managed to complete the signings of Central Defender 29 year old Steiner Strømnes from Strømmen for 12k. Strømnes will hopefully add experience to our back line. Also coming in to our back line is Central Defender Sondre Johansen, the 21 year old former Stromgodset defender cost 60k. Another defender 21 year old Swedish full back Viktor Wernersson joined us for 170k from Syrianska. Asbjørn Helgeland also secured the signing of on loan Swedish Forward Viktor Gotesson for 79k which could rise to 200k with add ons . Last but not least 20 year old versatile midfielder Martin Hole Andersen joined the club for 19.75k from Kvik Halden. We have made a small profit in the transfer window which can be invested in the search for some Norwegian youth that will we can develop for the future.
Total transfer fees paid 340.75k
Net Transfer Spend -367.25k
I am pleased to announce that I have signed a new 2 year contract with the club which ends speculation of taking one of the vacant jobs at either Aston Villa or Preston North End.
The Switch To 4-2-3-1
With the introduction to the starting line up of some of our younger players I have made the switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
On the back of going 6 games unbeaten last month we start September with 2 draws, the first a 0-0 draw at home to Ull /Kisa which incidentally is our 5th clean sheet on the bounce. Full back Viktor Wernersson scored our goal in the 1-1 draw at Bryne rounding off an impressive debut. We stay on the road and travel to struggling Hodd were we come away with all 3 points after Dahlberg and the ever improving Karoliussen get on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win. Another draw 1-1 our third of the month at Ranheim rounds the month off with Viktor Gotesson scoring his 13th goal of the season, which extends our unbeaten run to 10 games setting up a last month of the season with us in with a chance of promotion to the top tier.
The last month of the season got off to a flyer with us beating bottom club Raufoss 3-0 thanks to a brace from Gotesson and a Karoliussen strike. The takes us in to 2nd place and an automatic promotion spot. We then welcome league leaders Jerv to the Fredrikstad Stadion were we get revenge for our defeat earlier in the season by hammering the Champions elect 5-1 with our best performance of the season, our goals come courtesy of Gotesson, Jensen, Benmoussa, Risholt and Simonsen. We now look favourites to join Jerv in gaining promotion to the top tier which looks more likely with a 3-1 win away at relegation threatened Levanger. Pedersen, Johansen and Benmoussa with the goals that extend our unbeaten run to 13 games. Our final home game of the regular season sees Konsvinger visit the Fredrikstad Stadion and end our unbeaten run has we lose 1-2 (Benmoussa) after a poor performance which sees us drop out of the automatic promotion spot and in to the playoff positions with one game to go.The final game of the season is at relegation threatened Kfum Oslo with us knowing a win will see us promoted unless a 9 goal swing in favour of Sandnes Ulf happened. We get off to the best possible start when top scorer Viktor Gotesson gives us the lead in the first minute of the game with his 17th goal of the season. The nerves start to develop when Kfum Oslo grab an equaliser just before half time which see us go in at the break level. The second half turns out to be so frustrating has we look for the goal that takes us to the top tier. The goal never comes and the game ends 1-1 with us blowing our chance of automatic promotion. We have finished 4th in the table with other results going against us. We have to wait for the playoff draw to see who we face in a single leg Semi Final.
Watch Viktor Gotesson score a cracker in full HD against Jerv below.
Top Scorers All Competitions
- Viktor Gotesson 17
- Mikael Dahlberg 10
- Patrik Karoliussen 7
- Thornt Jensen 7
- Begby 6
Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Final Table 2016
Play Off 1st Round Fredrikstad FK – Konsvinger
We finish the season and any hope of promotion with a poor performance in front of our own fans in the Fredrikstad Stadion losing 1-2 to Konsvinger who score a 80th minute goal to win the tie after we had got back in to the game with a 77th minute equaliser from Benmoussa after we had been forced to chase the game from the 13th minute.
End Of Season Awards
Norwegian Premier Division Tippeligaen Final Table 2016
What can I say I have had a really enjoyable first season in Norway that has seen us miss out on automatic promotion by 3 points and then lose the playoff Semi Final in our own back yard. I am now looking forward to next season which will see us regroup and attempt to gain promotion. At the start of the season the board wanted us to reach the playoffs which we did by 8 points in the end however we got so close to going up automatic to throw it away in the final 2 games. In reality we drew too many games too many games ten in total a third of our league games. We had a decent Cup run reaching the last 16 and off the pitch we built a good foundation which should see us prosper long term. We will say goodbye to a few players who are out of contract at the end of the year and a couple of other players have requested permission to speak to a couple of top tier club’s who are sniffing around them. We have not had a youth intake yet however by the time my next update is ready I should have more news on our intake. I have identified a few players who I think are in our reach that will replace any outgoing players during pre season. I have seen a lot of positives at Fredrikstad Fotballklubb and believe we will come back stronger next season with a younger, hungrier squad of players to mount a challenge at the top end of the table.
Thanks for taking the time to checkout this post and hope you will be back to read my next post which will be available over the next 7 days.
‘The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far’
2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd (last 16)