Experts believe Norwegian Football Association should call Solbakken

Ståle SolbakkenStåle Solbakken.Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB
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Several football experts believe the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) should enter into a dialogue with Ståle Solbakken.

“He must be contacted asap,” TV 2’s football expert Jesper Mathisen told newspaper VG.

However, the NFF will not contact Solbakken – at least not now.

“We have no comments on these questions other than those we made on Friday.

“We now have our full focus on the important matches on Sunday (Romania) and Wednesday (Northern Ireland), and those later in November.

“Other stuff is not a topic,” NFF’s general secretary Pål Bjerketvedt wrote in an SMS to news bureau NTB.

Open for exit

After Norway’s European Championship dream came to an end on Thursday, with the team’s 1-2 loss against Serbia at Ullevaal, Lagerbäck is open to stepping aside.

On Saturday, Ståle Solbakken was fired as the manager of FC Copenhagen after a weak start to the season.

Thus, speculation was quickly underway about Solbakken’s possible engagement with the Norwegian national team, despite the fact that Lagerbäck’s position is safe at the moment.

First choice

Solbakken was hired as the manager of the Norwegian national team in 2012, but he withdrew from the position to coach Cologne.

In 2017, when Lagerbäck ended up being hired, Ståle Solbakken was NFF’s first choice.

“This puts further pressure on Lagerbäck. If he does badly in the next matches, Solbakken will be a clear candidate to take over the job.

“I guess they will call him pretty quickly to explore the possibilities,” NRK expert Morten Morisbak Skjønsberg noted.

Nevertheless, Skjønsberg believes that Lagerbäck should continue as the Norwegian national team manager in the future.

Expert Carl-Erik Torp agrees with Skjønsberg in his assessment of Solbakken.

“He is a man who has been talked about for a long time. The association and many others in Norway want him.

“It is natural to enter a conversation with him to hear what he thinks, and I expect that will happen,” the football expert said.

Lagerbäck: The team is the most important

Lagerbäck himself was asked about the situation at Saturday’s press conference ahead of the Nations League match against Romania.

“It is not my job to answer that. The association must make that assessment on the day I leave.

“If they want to consult with me, I will of course show up. But I will talk with the football association about that, not with you,” the Swede said.

The national team’s manager stated that he is motivated for the four remaining matches in the UEFA Nations League.

He seemed a little annoyed that his role has become such a big topic in the media.

“My motivation is the same as it was the day before yesterday. I think you should drop this discussion here.

“What I do or don’t do is not that interesting. The important thing is the upcoming matches and that the national team is progressing,” he concluded.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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