Allsvenskan Notebook Jan. 26, 2012
Nilsson out at Copenhagen; Brazilians refuse to report; GAIS banks on Wanderson; Gefle signs Fourth Division striker; Peter Larsson's career up in air; Zlatan wins top Italian award
by Chipp Reid
Copenhagen cans ‘Rolle’
It didn’t take Roland Nilsson long to learn his golden touch has lost its luster. Just seven months after bolting from Malmö to take the reins at Copenhagen, the Danish club fired Nilsson, citing the tried-and-true reason of “irreconcilable differences.”
Nilsson led Malmö to the 2010 title but his on-again-off-again romance with Copenhagen last spring was one reason critics said Malmö failed to repeat as champions. Copenhagen is currently in first place in the Danish League but failed to reach the group stage of the Champions League. Nilsson clashed with the club management almost from the get-go and never really meshed his players, many of whom were Swedes.
When he led Malmö to the 2010 title, fans hailed Nilsson as the club’s golden-haired manager, a reference to his still-blond hair. However, Malmö fans and bloggers were less than kind after his firing, with many saying it was Pep Clotet, Nilsson’s assistant coach in 2010, who turned Malmö into a champion. Clotet and Nilsson have one other thing common. Clotet lost his own head coaching last July at Halmstad after he led the team to just one win in the first half of the 2011 season.
Two of the bigger names to move during the offseason don’t seem to be in any hurry to leave the sun and fun of South America. Brazilian midfielder Daniel Sobralense moved to IFK Göteborg from Kalmar, sort of, while striker Paulo “Paulilnho” Oliveira joined Örebro, almost. Both are still in Brazil while their teams gear up for preseason matches. Sobralense claims Göteborg “tricked” him into signing a contract he didn’t understand and which he calls unfair. Paulinho simply doesn’t like the city of Örebro and has made it clear he doesn’t want to play there.
Göteborg says Sobralense is completely wrong in his claims, most of which revolve a signing bonus he says the club promised to pay in one lump sum. IFK general manager Håkan Mild called that claim ludicrous, saying Sobralense has an agent who speaks Swedish and if anyone is to blame for misunderstanding the contract language, it’s the agent.
Paulinho, meanwhile, said he doesn’t want to move his family to Örebro because of problems his family had in the past while living in Sweden. Örebro club president Lennart Sjögren is now looking at ways it can break its contract with the player. IFK Göteborg has no plans to cut Sobralense, with Mild saying the club would keep the player on the books but suspend him without pay. Such a move would prevent Sobralense from playing for any other team.
Brother can you spare a dime
GAIS could use some spare change, about $500,000 worth of spare change. The Göteborg club, which is home to the player everyone wants but for whom nobody wants to pay, Wanderson do Carmo, recently admitted to taking out a 3 million kronor loan so it could keep the Brazilian star. Helsingborg, Odense and several other clubs made offers for the forward, but none met GAIS’ asking price, said to be 14 million to 18 million kronor.
GAIS sports manager Mats Persson told a press conference the club could absorb the loan, although he admitted it was a short-term solution. GAIS is 8 million kronor in the hole and the club expected to sell Wanderson during the winter to make up that gap. However, when offers didn’t meet the club’s asking price, GAIS arranged for the financial loan.
“It’s clear there is an outer limit as to how long we can keep him,” Persson said, “but we’re not there yet. We as a club made a decision as to how much we want for him and we’re going to stick to it.”
Striking gold, again?
Gefle officials believe they may have found yet another unknown, unheard-of striker in Johan Svantesson, who last year played for Vara SK in the Fourth Division. Yes, that’s the Fourth Division. Still, the 19-year-old scored 29 goals in 22 games, good – and cheap – enough to warrant the team’s interest.
Gefle has a reputation for finding passed-over players. The club groomed both striker Johan Oremo, now with Djurgården, and high-scoring midfielder Jakob Orlov, now as Glasgow Celtic.Gefle coach Pelle Lennartsson says he believes three could well be a charm.
“Johan has excellent technique and knowledge of the game,” Lennartsson said. “We’ll see how he does.”
Is you in or is you out?
That’s the question Peter Larsson has for his new boss at FC Copenhagen. Larsson was the odd man out under former manager Roland Nilsson, who made no secret of his dislike of the player. Now that Nilsson is gone and Carsten V Jensen is in charge, Larsson hopes someone might actually let him play again.
Larsson spent half of last season at Helsingborg and has said he would like to return there, but Copenhagen has set his transfer fee at a sky-high 9 million kronor. Jensen is already looking at players for Larsson’s position – defensive midfielder – and he might be willing to let Larsson leave for much less.
For his part, Larsson said he wants to remain at Copenhagen and has no ill will toward the club, despite reports in the Danish media to the contrary.
“It’s all a big misunderstanding,” Larsson said. “I like FC Copenhagen and want to play here. I have a good contract and I want to stay.”
Zlatan tops in Italy
Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the Oscar del Calcio prize as the top player in Italy.
The annual awards, which were held in Milan, are voted for by Serie A players vote for the annual awards which recognize the best player, coach, club and referee from the previous season.
Ibrahimovic, who plays for AC Milan, won both Best Player and Best Foreign Player while Massimiliano Allegri won the Best Coach award after guiding Milan to the Serie A title.
Thiago Silva won Best Defender and Stephen El Shaarawy, also now with Milan, received the Best Serie B Player award.