Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Örebro 0 - 2 Maif / 3rd game Monday week 13

Mjällby won yesterday Monday his first again away. Afer the draw with AIK and the victory at home, the total point is now 7 of 9. For a new comer in Allsvenskan, this is an excellent start.

Mattias Asper:
Zero goal taken in 3 games. At 36 years old, he is at his top form. No mistake, secure on corners and he saved Mjällby with a reflex in first half.

Jesper Westerberg:
New in the team this year, he has taken the place of Daniel Ivanovski. He seems that he has played with Mjällny for years. He looks like Melberg.

Juan Robledo:
The king on the pitch on Monday. No one take the ball to Mr Robledo and he is involved in the second goal. More calme that last year, no yellow card this time. Impressive of maturity.

Robin Cedeberg:
He has replaced Patrick Rosengren injured. He was good Robin. Only a small mistake which could have cost a goal. He gave the goal to Ekenberg for the 0-1.

William Leandersson:
He had a chance to show is value during the absence of Patrick Rosengren and he did it. He had a lot of work, Örebro was playing more on his side.

Daniel Nilsson:
When we do not see Daniel during the game it ´s usually good sign. He is doing a lot of work in the "shadow".

Patrick Osiako:
Is he the same Patrick as last year ? He was good last year but right now he is playing at a higher level. Very good technic, secure pass. Excellent.

Tobias Grahn:
Pavel x 10. One of the best player ever in Mjällby (according to what i have heard). A lot of agressivity in a good way. We hope he will keep this tempo.

Johan Svensson:
5 faults on him in 10 minutes in the first half. He created a lot of problem to Örebro player. Very good start of season.

Marcus Ekenberg:
One more goal. 4 in total now. He is showing that he had allsvenskan level. Thank you for all those years in Mjällby Marcus.

Moestafa El Kabir:
May be not his best first half but he stole many balls in second half and scored a very opportinist goal.

The referee could have given at least one penalty to Örebro for a hand in the surface. This time we were lucky.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Allsvenskan game in 25 years - Mjällby - GAIS

It was 25 years since we last saw some highest league-football at Strandvallen. Sunday the 21th of March was the day we had waited for so long.

The premiere of Allsvenskan was already done last week, at the National arena of Råsunda, where the surprised trippel champions AIK took a draw.

Now it was time to see them at home, the new team, after a long winter with no football.

How should the players behave at home? How should the winter pitch be? And how would the improvements of the stadium had taken form?

Well, the pregame preparations was like just another game of Superettan. The pitch was not in the best condition, but still maybe one of the better this early the year. The stadium had a brand new north stand and the south stand also all redone for the away supporters with a giant screen behind.

Without giving any impression of nervousness at the start of the game, the players still left us spectators with Mjällby eyes a little bit nervous. And even if GAIS had big injury problems in the troup (already) they seemed to be able to give Mjällby a match. Still we didn´t stay nevous very long.

It took Marcus Ekenberg exactly 34 minutes to be historical as the first scorer of this Allsvenskan session. Ekenberg, who himself claimed to have played better in last weeks game, didn´t leave anyone disappointed when he scored 3 goals on 3 attempts - a true hattrick in his first game with Mjällby in Allsvenskan. 3 goals that made him scoring leader of Allsvenskan after 2 rounds.

Interesting to notice is how media has blown up the game in the game, between scoring champions of Allsvenskan and Superettan 2009, Wanderson do Carmo from GAIS and Mjällbys Marcus Ekenberg. Well, that part of the game finished 3-0 - to Superettan.

Ekenberg, who was also choosen to be the man of the game, was not the only one to do a good game. After some hesitation the whole team recovered and manage the game very well. Tobias Grahn did not dominate like last week, but seems to have been sick during the week and was not, maybe because of the illness, as intense. His mate in the midfield, Patrick Osiako, did another great game dominating his position. He has really improved since last year and is still just 23 years old.

Another youngster is 21 year old Moestafa El Kabir, the newcomer from Holland. He made a good first game in Stockholm. But his second game in the yellow shirt was just splendid. Even if
El Kabir did not score himself he was an excellent partner to Ekenberg and was the player who got the penalty Ekenberg took care of.

Funny was it also that Peter Gitselov was ready to play and could enter to replace El Kabir on the top with 20 minutes left of the game. Unfortunatelly for him the game died and the Mjällby players did not much more than to finish the game.

Next game is away towards Örebro SK, monday the 29th.

For a lot of great pictures: http://askadaren.blogspot.com/


Mjällby AIF - GAIS 3 - 0

Goals: 1-0 Marcus Ekenberg (34), 2-0 Ekenberg (52), 3-0 Ekenberg (71), penalty
Shots: 9 - 13
Shots on goal: 4 -4
Corners: 6 -3
Freekicks: 12 - 15
Ball posession: 58 - 42
Offside: 7 - 3
Yellow cards: 2 - 3
Red cards: 0 - 1

Spectators: 4049

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First game of the season: AIK 0 - 0 MAIF

For the first game of MAIF's 4th season in Allsvenskan, we met the 2009 champions at home in Råsunda, which is also the Swedish national arena. 17111 spectators, maybe 200 of which MAIF-are. I for one looked at the game on TV.
The weather was sunny and quiet. And cold. The pitch was more like a sandbox with a little green paint on, there was not grass to speak about. I.e. quite heavy and difficult to play ball on.
Anyhow, the pressure was on AIK who had to show who was the boss.

The first half was rather equal, with maybe 2 occasions for each team. Most everything happened in the middle, went up in more or less organized forms and then either water-tight defense put a nice end to it.
In the second half AIK pushed for like 5 minutes and then MAIF owned the game. AIK where uninspired on the sides, and in the center they tried with high balls. We know what happens with those: the ball ends up on either Robledo's or Bagarn's forehead and back into the central circle. Same player shoot again.
Most dangerous where a 1 on 1 situation of Eken who shot wide, and then Eken again in a free position at 92' where he lost time changing foot (should have pushed it in immediately with the left).
After the game AIK's trainer was very honest: they were ok defensively, but did not create anything offensively, while MAIF was the better team allround.

I would have wanted to see more shots, especially from 75' minutes or so: when the pitch is of that quality, and it doesn't get better with more play-time, don't try playing ball like we're in june and take a chance instead. AIK's keeper was like the rest of the team not in his best day. In the worst case it's good show.

Even though no team is fully up to speed, MAIF did at least earn 1 point and some level of respect. From AIK obviously, and the other teams as well.

The players:
Asper did what he had to when he needed to, ie not so very often.
Bagarn did his job. He got a very ugly (and completely voluntary) elbow in the face from AIK's Mutumba right in front of the referee who didn't move. Deserved at least a yellow (I'd sent the guy to cool down somewhere off the pitch, such behaviors have nothing to do in football).
Robledo did his job. The central lock with Bagarn worked fine like last year.
Cederberg and Westerberg did a good job on their sides.
Osiako did a good game, despite the pitch's quality.
Grahn got a lot of balls and showed some good things, but also lost many, played backwards at times, forgot to run sometimes and played alone when he had options. Needs to get in the team and up to speed. Has a lot of pressure from the press. Sucks in a lot of defense, which creates space for the others.
Johan Svensson was very active both offensively and defensively. Good game.
El Kabir did a lot of running and chasing, and had some occasions. A good surprise. He does deserve the title of Musse Pigg, even though he doesn't have the speed of a Berner (maybe it was the sandbox that made it difficult).
Danne did what he does: ran and ran and ran some more, keeping a constant pressure. Good corner kicks.
Eken had several very dangerous occasions and a very square foot who didn't shoot even close.

The replacers did not have much time to show what they went for:
Löken (for El Kabir) the same as last year (with shorter hair), runs a little too little fo my taste, but had a nice pass at 92' to Eken.
Wille (for Johan) helped defend the last minutes, and offense is not his strongest side.
Manne (for Grahn) tactical switch at 90', I'm not sure he even touched the ball.

I was very unimpressed by the AIK players, except maybe their defense (they have a good lock like ours). The big stars were mostly complaining about everything and life in general, but didn't demonstrate. They won't win another championship this way.

The referee: as I said, I would have pulled a card on the elbow on Bagarn, but other than that he was ok.

Last week I tipped a colleague the game would end at 0-0. I should have put money on that.

Next game at home in Strandvallen 21st of march when we'll receive GAIS.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

New year's resolutions 2010

New year, new season in Allsvenskan. The plan is to restart reporting MAIF's feats this year. Including some matches away, as several fellow teams (Kalmar, Trelleborg, Malmö, Helsingborg, Halmstad) are not so distant.

Some of the other minks have more time at hand to help me in this task, and they have promised to help. We'll see how that resolution holds...