Teemu Pukki

Got a good close up look at him last night at KTP’s 3-0 defeat at Haka. KTP normally play a long ball game based around 7-goal Kim Liljequist, but he was injured yesterday and so ‘the kids’ were given the freedom to play passing, attacking football. It’s really good to watch and made for an exciting game, but they just lacked the cutting edge and precision around the area that a team with more confidence and experience sometimes has.

Pukki partnered Niko Ikävalko up front, and they often seemed to be too far apart. They lack an understanding, but each has his own qualities. Ikävalko is a good dribbler and linked up well with the midfield, but he has an annoying habit of swinging his arms and letting his head drop when something goes wrong. Not sure whether it signifies an ‘attitude’, but KTP fans seem to think so.

Pukki, on the other hand, is calm and collected most of the time and never shows his displeasure with team mates (or at least he didn’t yesterday). He is clearly a class act, and has the knack of creating time and space where none seemed to exist. He could do with bulking out a bit, learning to hold defenders off and to go down when necessary, but I’m sure he’ll pick all that up.

I mentioned the rumours about hom going to KTP, and it seems like they are accepted as fact by the KTP support. His mother is supposed to have taken a year off work, the club badly needs money and his desire to finish high school before leaving Kotka looks forlorn, to say the least.

How will he do at Sevilla? Who knows. I spoke before about the reaction of Falkenberg to Astrit Ajdarevic‘s move to Liverpool, here it seems to be the other way around: the player wants to stay but is being pushed out the door. I certainly think he will benefit from being around better players, and from not being the main man who has to produce for a struggling team, but…… Kotka and Seville are very different places. If his mother goes with him she will hopefully mitigate the homesickness, but you never can tell.

Whatever happens, I don’t think he will suffer as a player. Lots of players go abroad from the Nordic countries when they are young, and they all learn something. Some come back, some stay and make a success of themselves, but they improve and expand their horizons and even if they come back they are better players for the experience. Juska Savolainen and Jussi Kujala both had spells in Holland in their youth, and are both integral parts of TamU’s team now. I wouldn’t be surprised if either or both of them go abroad again before they retire.

A word for KTP’s support: they were great. To bring decent numbers and volume to a Friday game 4 hours away is quite impressive, especially for a team in lower-mid table like KTP, and I was disappointed when the KTP players didn’t go over to acknowledge them immediately at the end. So were the KTP fans, and after some angry shouting Pukki led a few of the players over to give them a clap. I’ve travelled hundreds of miles to see my team lose 8-0, 7-1, 7-2 in the past, and this kind of thing is important.

A word for the referee: I thought Heikki Vehviläinen was excellent, letting the game flow when possible, stopping it when not, and all his bookings seemed fair enough.

Highlights will be here when Iltalehti put them up, you’ll have to scroll up. I didn’t mention the other results from Thursday, so here is everything since KTP-Lahti:

FC Haka FC KooTeePee 3 – 0
FF Jaro MyPa 0 – 3
FC Inter IFK Mariehamn 0 – 2
FC Viikingit FC Lahti 0 – 4
VPS HJK 2 – 1
FC Honka AC Oulu 2 – 0

Here’s the table:

TamU 19 41
FC Haka 20 40
FC Honka 20 35
TPS 20 32
FC Lahti 20 29
IFK Mariehamn 20 26
MyPa 20 26
VPS 21 26
FC KooTeePee 22 25
FC Inter 21 24
HJK 20 24
FF Jaro 21 22
FC Viikingit 20 18
AC Oulu 20 17

It would be absolutely hilarious if HJK went down, but it looks like the bottom three are doing their best to avoid that eventuality. I wouldn’t be that surprised if Jaro, Oulu and Viikingit didn’t win another game all season. Viikingit are my tip to stay up though, they seem to have the organisation and defensive fortitude (not sure what happened v Lahti) that usually triumphs in relegation battles.


2 Responses

  1. Regarding Teemu’s family name, does ‘goat’ in English has the same metaphorical connotation as ‘pukki’ in Finnish and ‘bock’ in Swedish?

  2. We tend to use ‘stud’ instead, derived from the retirement careers of our finest racehorses. They are ‘put out to stud’, meaning that their lucky owners sell their sperm for vast amounts of money.

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