BODØ (VG) It was the only alternative: Without a fruitful meeting, with concessions from both parties, Lars Lagerbäck (72) could not have taken out Alexander Sørloth (24) in the next national team squad.
Without an excuse, externally, from Sørloth, it would have been impossible for Lagerbäck, who could lose much of the respect internally. Now the national team manager has instead proved that he can be a diplomat, and come to a kind of settlement – all so that the best players will still be on the national team.
And Sørloth has realized that all argumentation, and strong opinions, must stop at a given time. In the end, it is a man who decides, he is employed, he has paid well to make decisions – until he is no longer national team manager.
The most important match is always the next, not the previous one. Everyone was disappointed after the very pale match against Serbia. But at some point, everyone has to move on.
Even an avid Alexander Sørloth must understand that. That NFF connected Stefan Johansen as a kind of mediator here, it was wise. Johansen is a so-called “streetsmart”, ie a guy with good social skills. Norway’s national team captain was guaranteed to use his skills here, in conversations with Sørloth. In collaboration with the apparatus around the national team, this was resolved for the benefit of all, Sunday night.
Stefan Johansen should get a big thank you. He has been important in rebuilding trust between player and national team manager.
It just had to be a solution, so the national team does not take this with them into the next gathering. Dealers / players / national team managers had to re-establish trust in each other if the collaboration is to continue.
Some clarifications, or translations, from what the Norwegian Football Association sent out as a press release on Sunday night:
“The form of communication went wrong” means: Words were used that should not be used in such discussions.
“Agreement on guidelines for the national team” means: This can not happen several times.
“The temperature became too high” means: It all became too unreasonable.
“The discussion went too far” means: Things were said that both parties understand should not have happened.