Two different incidents during a day and a half – and the pressure is suddenly on Lars Lagerbäck, in a completely different way than expected, before the meeting with Romania on Sunday night.
For now, many people’s favorite candidate to lead the Norwegian A national team for men is unemployed. The news that Ståle Solbakken has finished at FC Copenhagen does something with the entire Norwegian football landscape.
And in Football Norway, there are many who want him in. Text message from a Norwegian football manager today:
“Now NFF must go for Solbakken” – with a number of arguments for why NFF should replace Lars Lagerbäck with Ståle Solbakken, now that the chance is there.
And with Solbakken available, the pressure on Lars Lagerbäck increases – consciously or unconsciously. A victory against Romania on Sunday will almost be demanded, the same against Northern Ireland on Wednesday. Because a situation has suddenly arisen, where each result suddenly becomes even more decisive.
Football is brutal like this: Suddenly the result means everything.
There are two different scenarios: One where you know what you have, but not what you can get, which has been the situation around the national team and Lagerbäck – for a long time.
A completely different situation arises when you actually know what else you CAN get.
And it’s free.
In the past, discussions have often stopped at just that: A coach must be bought free from a club, which can be both difficult in practice – and expensive.
That argument now disappeared in a boardroom in Copenhagen. And that leads to Solbakken becoming a very natural name in the discussion about who will lead the Norwegian national team in the coming years. Lars Lagerbäck’s candidate as his own successor quickly becomes his assistant, Per Joar Hansen. In NFF, some in the management are very weak for Leif Gunnar Smerud, today’s U-21 boss.
In my opinion, none of these reach up to Ståle Solbakken.