Sweden completed its fiasco in the Nations League
The Swedish men’s national team completed its fiasco in the Nations League by cruising against Slovenia (1-1) on Tuesday.
Already on Wednesday, the management staff gathered, with the national team captain Janne Andersson at the head, to make an initial evaluation of the collection.
National team manager Jens T Andersson did not participate in it. That will only come later.
– I was not involved in that evaluation based on the fact that I was not involved in the entire collection. Then I have development responsibility for all national team activities. My evaluation takes place more during continuous occasions. I don’t sit down the morning after a national team meeting and evaluate. It happens continuously in my business. Then I will have a conversation with Janne and Peter in the future and see what that evaluation (which they did, eds.anm) yielded. I will be recorded, but I was not there when they performed the actual evaluation, says Jens T Andersson to Fotbollskanalen.
So you haven’t taken part in the evaluation they’ve already done?
– No. Those who have been part of the collection have also had a rather intense period. You need to recover and gain distance from the collection and collect your impressions before I think of them in the next position.
When can you hear from them about their evaluation?
– I do not know. It will be within the next few weeks.
If you look at the evaluation that you have to do, which happens continuously, what are you looking at then? What are the points for the evaluation?
– I will not go into detail and discuss in the media exactly what we do in our evaluation work. But in general you can say that the collection as such is a part. Then we also evaluate the work between the collections and what we do there. Then it is always the case that you have to take a number of factors into account in the evaluation work. Looking at the last two collections, they have been quite messy with players who have given back offers in advance, players who have had to leave the collections and we have had to pick up new players during the collections. Then it is clear that the first question you ask yourself is “why does it happen like that?”. Is there anything we do in our business that can affect this? No, players are injured in their club teams and we cannot influence that much. Players have been given limited playing time in their club teams and we can’t influence that much either, says Jens T Andersson and continues:
– But can we support the players between our gatherings? Then we look at that question. It is not a form 1A that we are sitting and ticking off. There are many factors that come into play. Then it is clear that the evaluation they do in connection with the collection, which they did last yesterday, is more about the collection itself. It is about everything from the sporting, logistical and practical aspects that have a significance for the whole. Everything from accommodation to transport to food and travel. They do that type of evaluation immediately after collection. Then you have to remember that many of the leaders are separated for the next gathering and there the national team activities differ from the club team activities.
If you look from the summer collection to the collection that was now, can you say something about what you came up with then purely in terms of results? Was it the injuries that were pointed to then?
– I can talk about what I think and that was my first collection. At the time, I was actually involved during the entire collection because I was fairly new to the job. Then I wanted to see the whole. It was a very special gathering where we had four games in twelve days. We had a number of withdrawals from carry players before the collection and the players who came there had just finished their seasons in their club teams. There were a bunch of tired players and we got one of those injuries during the gathering that meant we had to replace players. Then the conditions for the gathering are completely different from when you plan it, says the national team manager and continues:
– The confederation captains plan their gatherings for a long time. During the last days, as it is the match weekend before you gather on Monday, the conditions are thrown around and then they continue to be thrown around. I think that is a key when evaluating national team activities. I understand, and like, that there are expectations for the men’s national team and the women’s national team. It’s nothing strange. But when conditions change for us, expectations do not follow. If you are the national team captain of the men’s national team and can play with the very best players who are fit, that is one thing. But when it’s not like that and you might lose one of the supporting players, well, then all of a sudden you have completely different conditions. I don’t think you always think of that as an outsider.
If you look at the results, mainly in the Nations League, how mitigated are the circumstances?
– They are mitigating. But looking at the last match (against Slovenia) at Friends, I think we should win it. Then there’s sports we’re doing and sometimes the ball rolls into the goal and sometimes it doesn’t. The Serbia match was different because Serbia was a better team and parallel to that we are making a rather weak effort. There is no talk there.
On the topic of evaluation, Dejan Kulusevski has been involved in talent development. Is that something that will also be looked at?
– To me, that is an interesting and completely different question. How the talent development looks like in Sweden and the fact that we have changed the forms of play for our youth football a few years ago does not have an effect on the men’s national team yet. It will do so in another year, and only then will we be able to evaluate that work. But to draw that parallel to this national team gathering, I find it difficult to see a connection.
As national team manager, how do you work with a common thread between the national teams? Should it be similar or should it be different?
– Right now we don’t have a style of play that says you have to play a certain way in the youth national team. There are countries that have it that way. But in Sweden we haven’t had that.
Is it something you’ve been thinking about watching?
– We are constantly looking at areas of development. You have to ask yourself that question at regular and irregular intervals. I have an ambition that we will constantly do things better tomorrow than we did yesterday. That is where the talk of holding a debate in Swedish football has come up lately. I welcome it and I think it is healthy for Swedish football to have a greater debate climate to discuss those issues. We are running a business that is not black or white. Some believe that we should play in exactly the same way in the national teams, while others believe the exact opposite. Then I mean that you should dare to question what we do and discuss it to ensure that we do the things that suit Swedish football best.
Blågult has had difficulty getting results since the exit against Ukraine in the EC quarter-finals last year. The result is two victories in the last ten games and calls for resignation of Janne Andersson have been raised, among others from C More and Telia expert Astrit Ajdarevic.
But the national team captain is safe. Jens T Andersson assures that.
– There is full confidence in Janne Andersson.
Who has on their table to evaluate Janne Andersson’s work?
– The organization looks like this: The board of the Swedish Football Association are the ones who formally appoint the association captain. In the daily operations, I evaluate the operation and the people who work in it. Then I have a dialogue with Håkan Sjöstrand (general secretary, SvFF). It is me and Håkan who own that responsibility in the day-to-day operations. Of Håkan and me, I am the one closest to the team.
Full confidence. Is it the same for the rest of the management staff?
– Absolutely. Then it is the case that when you have appointed a national team captain, he needs to be given the conditions he wants within reason. Of course, we have to provide the conditions that we can and that Janne wants. There he has been involved in choosing the people who work around him.
Have you had any requests to bring in a new voice in the leadership team to try to get the results back in order?
– It is not something I have discussed with Janne.
I was thinking of one that Zlatan has been with before. He has certainly been a player, but also functioned as a form of leader. Have you had any discussion with him?
– I have not discussed that issue with Zlatan.
Janne Andersson will lead Sweden into the European Championship qualifiers, I suspect then.
– Yes. He will do that.
SvFF’s general secretary Håkan Sjöstrand has also assured that Janne Andersson is safe.
– We have full trust and confidence, he told Football Channel yesterday.