Odd... For an English speaking person, there is always a childish giggle that a teams’ name could be so, well, odd. It isn’t rude, but for some reason there is just a little hint of a smile. Yet in 2020, there are plenty more reasons to smile in Skien. Odd are currently the in-form Eliteserien team, picking up 15 out of 18 points available in the last 6 games, losing only to Molde. Yet, no one seems to give them the credit they deserve. They are never talked about in the papers, never highlighted as a model club despite their rich traditions of bringing through young players, and consistently challenging for European places despite a modest budget. So how do they do it?
by Tom Dent
After yet another disappointing international performance, the pressure on Norway manager Lars Lagerbäck has never been more intense. It has been widely accepted that Norway are currently experiencing a 'Golden Generation' of footballing talent with the likes of Martin Ødegaard and Erling Haaland now regular members of the national team setup. However, huge doubts remain as to whether Lars Lagerbäck is the right man to get the best out of this current crop of players.
With the hugely important playoff match vs. Serbia looming on the horizon just a month away, I take a look into the issues the Norwegian team are currently experiencing and how they may try to combat these problems going forward.
FK Jerv are starting to make a name for themselves as a club with a habit of bringing big name signings down to their home of Grimstad. Whether it's David Faupala in 2019 or Erixon Danso in 2017 the club have had a penchant for a 'big name gamble' with variable successes in recent years.
Diego Campos signed for FK Jerv at the start of the 2020 season and has already impressed, scoring 4 and assisting 1 in 6 games. We spoke to Diego about growing up in the U.S.A college football system, his time with MLS side Chicago Fire and how his seemingly 'random' move to FK Jerv came about.
by Ben Wells
It feels like only yesterday the Eliteserien resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown, but we have now already played 11 rounds... More than a 3rd of the season has been & gone. Glimt & Molde are the clear standouts and dominate the 'Team of the Year... So Far' which is why I have decided to produce two teams. One, being the true 'Team of the Year... So Far' and the other being a 'Best of the Rest XI' as I would feel fraudulent not mentioning other players outside of the Molde/Glimt bubble.
As ever, let me know what you think in the comments and send me your own Teams of the Year... So Far. I am sure they will be just as dominated by the top two clubs so far this season!
by Ben Wells
We're delighted to welcome journalist & Serie A expert Sam Brookes onto the site. Getting people to write for your blog is a lot easier when they literally live downstairs. Sam has years of experience covering Serie A in a professional capacity & is a regular panel member on the Get Italian Football News podcast, which you can find here.
In this piece, Sam takes a look at Morten Thorsby's progression in Serie A with Sampdoria. After a tough start to life in Italy following his move from Heerenveen, it certainly looks as though Thorsby is quickly becoming a key player for the Genoa-based side.
by Sam Brookes
Tactical Analysis maestro Tom Dent returns this week with a look into Strømsgodset's performances this season & how their pressing game is helping them pick up some crucial points already in 2020. However, there are still issues to be addressed by Henrik Pedersen & his team in order to avoid another battle against relegation this season.
Having already highlighted issues with Aalesund, Valerenga & Rosenborg this year, Tom takes a look at some ways this Strømsgodset side may become exposed during their intense pressing play. It's worth noting that since this piece was written, Henrik Pedersen's side picked up a crucial home win vs. Brann in the most recent midweek round, a game that highlighted both praise & concern from Tom raised in this article.
by Tom Dent
Periodisation & Bodø/Glimt; What Does A Regular Working Week Look Like For Norway's Most Effective Team?
Word is getting out about Bodø/Glimt. All of Europe can now see the form the Eliteserien leaders are displaying and attention on both the team and the Eliteserien in general has never been higher. We are delighted to welcome Mike Brown to the site, who will regularly be providing unparalleled insight into the workings behind Norway's most effective team.
Mike is a physio by trade but has taken on the role of Physical Coach with Glimt since the beginning of the 2019 season. In this piece, he takes behind the scenes and outlines what a regular training week is like for players & coaches. Glimt have undeniably looked on another level in terms of fitness & conditioning this season, so it's incredibly interesting to see how they put their sessions together with the end goal of gaining three points week on week.
by Mike Brown
This week's Tactical Analysis sees Tom Dent tackle the issue of Rosenborg. A club in danger of losing their identity on and off the pitch as evidenced by performances in recent seasons. What are the issues the club are currently tackling and how could they go about amending these issues in order to improve results on the field in this years' Eliteserien season? Lots to consider & Tom tackles most if not all of it in this article!
by Tom Dent
It's never easy moving 18,000 km across the world to pursue your career. Now imagine doing just that but in the middle of a global pandemic that has created uncertainty around the globe. Joe Bell has settled into life in Norway seamlessly so far despite outside forces seemingly trying to make the adaptation to a new country even harder than it usually would be. We had a chat with Viking's new midfield playmaker about how he is adapting to life in Norway and got his early thoughts on playing in the Eliteserien.
by Ben Wells
After a successful debut, Tom Dent returns this week with a new piece of tactical analysis. Having picked apart Aalesund's defensive issues last time out, he now turns his attention to Valerenga.
Dag Eilev Fagermo took over the role from Ronny Deila at the start of 2020 with many expecting Valerenga under Fagermo to mimic the boss' previous Odd team tactically. However, despite some pleasing progress already early in the season, the team have also encountered a few issues that will need to be remedied by the new manager if they are able to meet expectations this year.
by Tom Dent