You know who
- Aug 7, 2008
That's not true. Strømsgodset were 2nd in 2012 and won the title in 2013. Rosenborg finished behind them in both occasions.I have a dubious handwriting.
If you want some background for the league tables you found, I’m happy to provide.
Molde as you know, had never won a Norwegian league since it’s formation in 1911. But in 1998, billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke, owner of Norwegian Seafood and Aker, invested big money in stadium, players and coaches, in order to make Molde a top team. Several locally well renowned coaches were hired, including Gunder Bengtsson who took IFK Göteborg to a UEFA Cup win, but to no avail. In 2006 they were even relegated, and in 2009 they were close to relegation again. 2010 they did well under the iron disciplin of Uwe Rösler of Brentford ‘fame’ to come third, but the squad was dubious and people (including Rösler) questioned the mentality of many of the players.
Solskjær got a good war chest when he came in in 2011. He got a good chemistry with the players he kept and hit well with his buys. He had a clear playing style inspired mostly I believe by Meulensteen and Guardiola, fairly possession based. It all gelled quickly, and they won two leagues in a row. If you have read your tables, you’ll know that different teams had pipped Rosenborg when they were at a beatable level, but none had managed to do it back-to-back-seasons since the early 80’s.
The third season, Ole met challenges in injuries, losing a few strong players to foreign leagues, ageing stars and players who were not hungry after the success. He started adressing these things, removing a few bad apples, giving some younger players chances, and the team picked up towards the end of the season, when Solskjær left for PL. Young and proising Tor Skullerud was picked as a successor was cosen partly because he stood for a similar playing style. He got one great season where the team Ole built clicked a hundred per cent, but his coaching and man management abilities were not at the same level, and the team deteriorated in his second season. He couldn’t change that around, and the age profile of the group was such that a big rebuild was necessary, but Røkke was intent on making the club more self sustained and didn’t invest as much any more. Skullerud hasn’t been able to build a successful team anywhere else since then. I think it’s safe to say that the runaway league win under Skullerud was mainly due to Ole’s teambuilding, and in facy Skullerud has said as much himself later.
The second time Ole came back, the club was still in need of a rebuild, and money were much more sparse. Solskjær this time opted for building slowly from youth. His Cardiff time had learnt him that possesion tactics only work if you have the best 11, so he used more from his previous NT coach Egil Drillo Olsen, and was also trying to implement high press inspired by Klopp’s Dortmund. This was a slower process with the younger players, but they over three years made steady process, doing well in Europe, and the last half of last season before he left, they were results-wise and playing wise head and shoulders the best team in Norway, including the then league winners Rosenborg. This season, the team Ole built has continued that form to large degree under his then assistant, playing Ole’s way and with his key players. Everything points to this being mostly Ole’s work.
So what can we draw from this? I think it’s fair to say Solskjær must be credited with building two different top level teams in this league, one with much money using them well, and one with medium money building gradually from youth. He clearly deserves more of the credit for Molde’s good form of 2014 and 2019 than his successor and assistant. He has shown he is able to develop playing style with time, and is such a modern manager.
Is doing this in Norway translatable to England? Who knows, it will be interesting to find out.