Football in Sweden

Today’s Helsingin Sanomat has a little piece about the ‘Finnish derby’ that took place yesterday in Stockholm. Djurgården have 3 Finns now, after signing Aki Riihilahti from Kaiserslautern, and Malmo sometimes field Jonatan Johansson and Jari Litmanen. Unfortunately china ankles and Johansson didn’t play yesterday, whereas Djurgården played all three of their Finnjävels; this was of course the reason Malmo lost 1-0 to a goal from Jones Kusi Asare.

It got me snooping around the Swedish media, though. I didn’t spend long looking at Expressen’s website, their lead story today is that Swedish people go on holiday to Bulgaria and drink a lot before having sex with each other. Who’d have thought?

Aftonbladet has better football coverage. They report that Aki Riihilahti is a ‘star who rejected the Premier League for Allsvenskan‘. They really believe in hyping their product, I’ll say that for them. he rejected the Premier League so firmly that he went to Kaiserslautern before Allsvenskan, and rejected them too. It can only be Aftonbladet’s characteristic Swedish modesty that prevents them from pointing out Aki’s dismissal of Bundesliga along with the poor EPL.

Then I had a look at the hysteria over Svennis’s arrival at Manchester City. I may be leaving a hostage to fortune here, but what exactly does Sven have to do for the population of Sweden to see the light and crawl out of his backside? The man went to the World Cup with two injured strikers, Peter Crouch, and a teenager he had never seen play. Lets just think about that for a second. It’s the biggest competition in the world, it is probably your last chance to do something good there, and you go there with one fit striker who has played a competitive match in the last 6 months. That’s ridiculous, and it shows why he took the England job – 5m pounds sterling, every single year.

Which brings me to the other Nordic moan about the English media. That they should leave Sven alone when he’s spreading his geriatric love, because that’s private. No way in hell is it ‘private’. He was the England manager, getting paid a huge sum of money that he wouldn’t get anywhere else in the world. If he was bothered about his privacy he could resign and keep his dignity, but no. He wanted the money, so the spineless pensioner took his wages and kept trying to squeeze the three ‘biggest stars’ into a midfield that couldn’t accommodate them. he was a manager that couldn’t manage, couldn’t make a difficult decision.

And now, he has gone to City against the judgment of the club’s previous board, thanks to Thaksin Shinawatra. Now in such a lovely, democratic and peaceful country as Sweden, you’d think people might have a problem with their favourite football manager jumping into bed with a man like Thaksin. Human Rights Watch has some interesting articles about Thaksin’s policies.

His wikipedia page is full of little nuggets of gold like:

A Bangkok university poll conducted in February 2003 revealed 92% of respondents backed Thaksin’s approach. The same survey did show, however, that seven out of 10 people feared being shot by police themselves.

Maybe Thaksin’s thugs used bofors guns, so it was alright?


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