In this piece, editor Axel Falk analyzes his home country and its performances in Euro 2016. Enjoy his hard-hitting truths and please be aware that he isn't calming down.
I have never in my life been one who usually overestimates. This is especially important not to do when it comes to Sweden. However, it was hard this time around. It was hard not to overestimate, because it didn't matter how bad we all thought Sweden were going to be, they proved to be even worse.
No player turned up, no player played up to their standard and no player's market value was raised. This whole Euros was a big lacklustrue performance from the boys in yellow and it ended with Sweden's biggest star ever calling it a day. Zlatan himself did nothing to help Sweden and was often found wandering the pitch in search of a bigger meaning, while John Guidetti or Marcus Berg ran and pressed all game long. This sporadic press was out of synch and made the team thinner instead of the opposite, making it easier for the opponents to find holes in our "defensive structure".
Other players like the veterans Sebastian Larsson, Kim Källström, Andreas Granqvist and Andreas Isaksson were at times not at all as leading as they should have been and at the end of the day, young John Guidetti was the one leading the team on the pitch instead of one of the older players with more routine and experience.
How this team reached the Euros is a mystery to me.
Moreover, Erik Hamrén, the lame manager of this lacklustre side, was as bad as the rest of the squad. His substitutions didn't make any sense at all and his tactics were heavily flawed by all means. For example, he substituted Albin Ekdal, the only attacking force in central midfield, for Oscar Lewicki, a babyfaced mediocre tackler who genuinely can't even pass a ball properly. He made this substitution when we had 0-0 against Italy and dominated the game. The more sane thing would have been to substitute Kim Källström for Oscar Hiljemark which would have meant so much for the outcome of that tie.
It was boring to watch, sad to feel and horrible to experience. As a Swede, I am glad Zlatan retires from international football, I'm glad Erik Hamrén leaves the post and I'm honestly glad the Swedish overestimating experts got to see how bad we actually are. Now they will perhaps understand.
Onwards and upwards. It shouldn't be too hard.
editor and angry Swede.
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