There are two good teams in Tampere: Tampere United and Tampere United reserves

There was a great game at Tammela this evening. TPV are a farm team this season, and had two TamU players in their line-up. They had contrasting fortunes. Chris James played very well in a kind of trequartista role, causing a lot of problems against a physical Viikingit defence and providing consistently good service into the box. Henri Scheweleff was substituted in the second half, and was one of the least effective TPV players. He seems to be a little bit wary of heavy tackling, which is understandable given his injury record.

Viikingit were very poor, offered nothing going forward and looked anything but a table-topping team. It will be interesting to see if JJK can claw back some of the deficit.

The crowd was 548, which is excellent for TPV. A lot of TamU players and Ari Hjelm were in attendance. Hjelm has been moaning in the press recently about his problems since Juska Savolainen was sold, but it looks like he is just looking for excuses. No Finnish team could prevent one of their players moving to a big club, or turn down a €350,000 transfer fee. And Hjelm said nothing about it at the time, because he knew this.

It’s possible that he sees the difficulty of progressing at TamU, and is now looking for an exit strategy. With a long contract recently signed, he’s pretty secure but if his working relationship with TamU staff and directors breaks down completely they may be forced to sack him, however expensive that turns out to be. Hjelm is unlikely to get a job abroad and is good friends with Seppo ‘Sedu’ Koskinen, FC Haka owner and ‘nightclub impressario’. Sedu has also been active in the press recently, but that deserves a lengthier and altogether less respectful blog post.

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