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A few days before he released his final selection for the World Cup, national team coach Thomas Dennerby was asked if there would be any surprises in the team. "No, if you follow women's football, there will be nothing to surprise you". And most of the post-event commentary seemed to agree; This is as good as it gets. We can put together a pretty decent starting eleven, but no more injuries please. There is some good back-up among the defenders, and some of them can double as midfielders, but as a whole the bench is worringly thin.
This also means that the expectations from our football columnists aren't that high. In view of the tough opposition in the group, already advancing to the quarter-finals could be seen as a success.
A starting eleven will probably look like it has done the last year. Everybody seems to be hoping for goalie Hedvig Lindahl to get fit enough to take the starting position. Anna Paulsson, Hanna Marklund and Stina Segerström looks set in defense, joined by either Frida Östberg or Sara Thunebro on the left side. Caroline Seger, Nilla Fischer and Therese Sjögran has been the midfield trio since Dennerby introduced the new 4-3-3 while Lotta Schelin and Victoria Svensson probably will be joined by Sara Johansson in the attack. Hanna Ljungberg in full fitness is something to wish for, but it''s more likly that we will see her in second half appearences as some kind of "super-sub". Newbies Kristin Hammarström, Madeleine Edlund and Linda Forsberg of course got a lot of attention, but they probably won't see much playing time, if any at all.
There wasn't really that much ado about the 9 players that was cut. Someone had liked Maria Nordbrandt as this World Cup version of the 2003 Josefine Öqvist and Maria Bergqvist and Carola Söberg were vocally disappointed but otherwise not much.
This is derived from a lot of TV, radio and newspaper commentary. For once, I'd like your permission to be lazy and not post all the links. Thank you.

By the way, when I watched the players starting to walk up one after the other to be introduced, I couldn't help thinking "damn, that's a lot of blondes". It got a bit better when we moved from defenders to attackers (and why is that?), but still. I guess there are some fake blondes, though. I remember a Frida Östberg self-presentation on Umeå's website (?) some years ago, where she described her hair colour as "variable".
And by all means, feel free to complain about the song.
Svensk Fotboll:
player presentation (video clip from the presentation show)


Comments
Posted by: Rainer

Fine, that you take up the "blonde" thing. Sweden is abroad regarded as a country with lots of blond women and even if there might be more than in Mexico, everyone who's been here knows that this is exaggerated.
However, I was at the central station and when I saw those 21 ladies walk up on the stage, I had the same thought; I even counted them and came up to 13-14.
And the song, sorry BWO, is really, really awful popmusic. I would've preferred a power ballad like "One Moment In Time" or "Reach Out For The Medal" or stuff like that.

Posted by: Nillan

Who cares if they have blond or darkhair. There are just as many blondes in Norway or the Us for that matter, must be a male thing becasue no one else
gives a shit. No one would have even mention the haircolour of the mens NT.

2007-08-19 @ 13:03:26
Posted by: warbucks

Agree with Nillan. I'm a little more in need of analysis of the players who made it and who did not,
than haircolor of the team!

2007-08-19 @ 17:42:41
Posted by: jocasta

The song for the evening should've been "Keep Hope Alive," with its faster beat and simple repetitive lyric of "And I say this to you tonight, let us not forget, there is hope." Hope, that is, that Ljungberg is healthy. And I even have some hope that this could be a decent team, really. But the music, well, sucks. Is that really the new official song? Oy.

2007-08-19 @ 19:40:51
Posted by: Rainer

I haven't seen neither the Norwegian nor the American team presentation and the thing about hair color was just a remark, maybe out of a pure male perspective, though knowing and anticipating that there might be reactions like yours, Nillan and warbucks. Back to sports. I agree with Dennerby who has said that he could only chose among those who were available. If Sweden goes to the quarterfinals they have done what they have to do. Anything else is just great. We do not know much about North Korea execept that their F20 has won the world championship in Russia last year and that they are ranked 5 in the world. It's gonna be tough and I'll cross my fingers despite the hair color, I promise. @warbucks: Who should've been in the team and is not? The only nomination I was a little surprised about was Hammarström instead of Söberg. All the others were quite expected.

2007-08-19 @ 21:14:31
URL: http://rainersblogg.blogspot.com
Posted by: Nillan

Lets forget the haicolour :)
The North Korean are a mystery am sure, Holland beat them 1-0, but on the other hand they have a strong team that i think will give us a great deal of trouble
young quick players, and come WC they will give it there very best and then some. I do hope i am wrong. Nigeria is a fast and strong team aswell so we better be on they field and be ready to fight from the get go. i also hope that someone will get to see NK before the game so that we have some idee how they play. Maybe Dennerby should call the dutch coach.

2007-08-20 @ 12:21:33
Posted by: Anonym

I think it's a bit refreshing with all the negative comments from the media, they are often way off about this sport but they seem quite realistic this time.
The song is terrible but at least they got a new one, not a hockey song from the eighties like the boys. Also, the brunettes in this lineup look way more fake than the blondes.

2007-08-20 @ 15:04:50
Posted by: Dandal

Nobody probably cares any longer, but my blonde observation was intentionally put together with the song - neither has much to do with what happens on the football field, but are still interesting, at least to me. And yes, I would have made the same remark if the entire defense in a men's national team all looked like Marcus Allbäck. To me this is just as interesting as Lotta Schelin's tattoo or the fact that Ibrahimovic uses a shoe-string for a hair band. Not football, but still fun.

2007-08-21 @ 23:53:11
URL: http://dandal.webblogg.se
Posted by: jocasta

I still care... little details like this are fun. Östberg's hair color? Variable, just like Freddie Ljungberg (well, used to be, anyway). Why not? Schelin may be sorry about that tattoo though... she opens herself up to lots of "2little, 2L8" digs if she does badly. Back to the player selection. Personally, I am sorry that neither Törnqvist nor Bengtsson are on the squad, but I really didn't think that was going to happen anyway. I figured they were there more as a warning to the youngsters that their places are not secure, sort of an attempt to scare them straight...

2007-08-22 @ 16:04:36
Posted by: drew

ha ha ha ha!
jocasta, that was very funny about lotta's tattoo!
she is so good though.
i can't imagine her having a bad tournament.
the hair comment, i personally found it hilarious and laughed out loud when i read it.
i thought the team selection was good...no törnqvist and bengtsson...that is a bit depressing, but no surprise.
i understand why he had them with, but why they didn't make the cut.
how much playing time do we think hanna will actually have and what kind of impact can she have?
that will be the deciding factor...what do you think?

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