When Kjetil Rekdal has to react after losing a football game, he seems to pull out a riddle or mount an episode of the sitcom “Courage in the chest”.
Fortunately for Rekdal, the series was so popular in the 1990s that nearly 150 episodes were produced.
Rosenborg (sic) head of sport, Roar Vikvang, who spoke on this week’s Adressa “Rasmus & Saga” podcast.
Vikvang also provides, with the poise that is truly characteristic of an ex-army professional, a fascinating insight into the decision-making process at what was once one of the top clubs from Trondheim.
Because many people are wondering who exactly decides what at Rosenborg in 2023.
Who sanctioned the purchase of players from him and sporting director Mikael Dorsin.
Who judges the coach.
Who can fire him.
A top club without trust
Most of the conversation around the club right now revolves around plans that no one can see through.
And a coach who stands up and defends it all deep inside knows he will one day stand up and defend.
According to the only objective criterion that really counts in football, Kjetil Rekdal has not been successful as a coach at Rosenborg. At least not this year. And there are too many.
Partly because Rosenborg have a self-image that suggests they have to be a top team every year. Everything else will make you quickly find a quick solution to the problem. Now they could quickly find themselves in the bottom of the relegation zone if the team behind them wins their hanging game.
Partly because Rekdal was such a controversial choice as a coach that few developed the strongest feelings for him. and the project.
This Wednesday, Rekdal and his assistant Geir Frigård were invited into the boardroom in Lerkendal to update the club’s highest body on the state of the A-team squad. That ended with them being allowed to continue as coaches of Rosenborg. And aiming at the table. Soon as possible the only direction moving for the former champions team..
There is little irony that the loss that further accelerated Rekdal’s planned trip to the boardroom was against Brann, led by former Rosenborg coach Eirik Horneland.
He was brought expensively to Lerkendal. And getting fired was even more expensive just a year and a half later.
Without being given the time and space for the action he needs in the in-between period. Instead, he got it in Norway’s most restless city. Regardless of degradation and critical souls at every light rail stop. Now he has built the performance culture he wanted in Brann.
This has produced impressive results. No one can pretend that you didn’t notice this in Trondheimwhere they have only had four head coaches since last winning the series in 2018.
Therefore, board chairman Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen will not prioritize sacking the coaching staff.
Chairman’s baptism of fire
Partly because it solves nothing.
Rosenborg’s problems are bigger and clearly structural. As Snorre Valen, the editor of Trønderdebatt, explains it so aptly Nidaros in April:
«The need for greatness trumps the principles on which greatness was originally built: Willful patience, building from the ground up, and a constant fixation on continuous improvement».
What’s more, this entire sporting crisis has also been a baptism of fire for Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen as chairman and Tore Bjørseth Berdal, who replaced reigning Tove Moe Dyrhaug as general manager last fall.
Neither of them had been in this situation before – and their position going forward would be determined by how current pressures from the environment were handled.
Lack of choice
Partly because there was no clear alternative to taking over, which was also a challenge when Rekdal was hired.
Well, one might think that developer trainer Svein Maalen, who previously coached Ranheim, could be a possible name. Maalen is a local and knows his Eggen to his fingertips. But Maalen had clearly been considered beforehand and thought it was too easy.
Now the situation is even more challenging for new coach candidates. By the time Rekdal finished at Rosenborg, Maalen could become a coach elsewhere, for example in Aalesund.
The bigger name was coach Häcken Per-Mathias Høgmo, who also coached Rosenborg in 2005–06 before retiring midway through a season that ended in league gold. Høgmo, who was very successful in Sweden, expressed no small amount of temptation to take over at RBK again. But that’s not possible with an immediate effect.
So the choices are few. Which is a situation other former big teams are currently experiencing as well.
No progress on Intility either
Due to Oslo’s alleged pride, Vålerenga had a slightly better start to the series than Rosenborg. But the feeling of a cessation of sport under coach Dag-Eilev Fagermo after three years at the club is long overdue.
Fagermo has shown an uncanny knack for coming off as what’s called a “back kid,” which is someone who fires back whenever you think he’s done.
Additionally, he appears to be more or less patronized by Vålerenga’s depository and money owner, Tor financier Olav Trøim.
Nevertheless, dissatisfaction with the development of the squad, which appears in many ways more homogeneous than the aforementioned Rosenborg, was huge among the supporters.
But where Rosenborg’s Kjernen support group has publicly demanded the head coach’s resignation, the Klan are waiting for the moment. Still sounds the muttering sounded much louder than Intility’s cheers during the day. Especially after Vålerenga failed to equalize against Stabæk who was reduced to 9 men in Nadderud last Monday.
You will also see developments in Valle soon.
Better with a switch?
And that brings us into the paradox surrounding the two clubs.
It is possible that the best solution to the challenges of Rosenborg and Vålerenga is to change trainers between them.
Because it actually makes sense.
It has given Vålerenga a coach who can toughen the organization up defensively. As he had done at Vålerenga before – to the extent that he was the last man to coach the club to league gold.
At the same time, Rosenborg got a coach dedicated to the 4-3-3 football they love so much.
The fact that Fagermo would not be immediately popular with the Lerkendal crowd was a situation that was quickly expected. Now the main desire is a new course. And you definitely get it.
Moreover, the two emerged as timely and sustainable top clubs. In a sort of football’s own circular economy.
However, it is likely that Fagermo will still lead Vålerenga against Bodø/Glimt on Sunday.
At the same time, Rosenborg played one of these decisive matches at home to Lerkendal, with Kjetil Rekdal as manager. Ironically against HamKam, the club Rekdal left behind took over Rosenborg.
Should the desired sports appointment still not come, and so it is wrong with Rekdal that he was eventually fired from Rosenborg, there is always comfort to be found in his favorite series Mot i brøset.
Because as Wikipedia writes about the main character Karl Reverud, played by Nils Vogt:
«After losing his job, he started his own consulting firm called K-Konsult, and it became very successful.»
“Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student.”