Most of this text was written almost three weeks ago, apologies for being so late with publishing it.
On Saturday Fulham lost at home to Chelsea after having put in a tremendous display of commitment and hard work. Even though we lost most Fulham fans I know are proud of the lads and fell that this attitude is something to build on for the future. There is a saying in Sweden that would be translated in to something like “Motivation/Dedication beats class/quality”.
Fulham proved that back in March and almost did it again on Saturday. Being one of these people who live for two teams the derby games sometimes come one after another. I had barely managed to recharge myself mentally after the SW6 derby before I had to focus on the last Stockholm derby of the season. Yesterday we (Hammarby IF) would travel to the north suburbs to take on AIK at the national stadium Råsunda. The build up to the game could have been better, to say the least.
- Hadn’t won since 3rd of august.
- Was fined SEK 250.000 and got 3 points deducted following trouble inside our ground at the last derby.
- Have the longest list of injured players in the league (resemblance to Fulham?)
- Attendance figures have dropped drastically at home.
- Morale being extremely low both in the squad as well as the fans.
- Unbeaten for the last 23 home games.
- Has scored in every home game this season.
- 9 straight games without a loss.
- ¾ of the ground sold to home fans.
As you can understand we weren’t to upbeat or filled with confidence before the game. I even claimed to my mates that we would win this game only based on the fact that nothing says we should.
During the pre-game warm-up one could see that the players would be up for it at least. The desire to play football seemed to be back and a few players was back from injuries and suspension. That was at least a good sign. The atmosphere among the Hammarby fans wasn’t as good before the game though. We had very few people in the stands, the songs didn’t really shake the ground as normal and you could tell that not many people believed we could get a result from this game. Boy, were we wrong!
When the game started I could not believe my eyes. The aggression (in a positive sense) shown by all Hammarby players from the first second was great. They didn’t give the AIK players any time to control the ball which lead to them either loosing possession to us or hoofing the ball long. It didn’t take more than 3 minutes before Hammarby scored from a corner. In fairness the AIK goalkeeper is to blame for this one, but it was still deserved. Hammarby kept coming in attacking wave after attacking wave, by winning the midfield we could keep the ball far from our own goal and keep the pressure. In the 33rd minute we scored again and from this moment on I think most fans thought that we can actually win this and from this moment onwards we sang louder and louder until the game was over.
In the second half AIK managed to stand up a little bit better but they didn’t create much chances at all. It was closer to 3-0 than 2-1.
So out of two derbies within a few days I got to see the two teams that I love put in great displays and shown that there’s plenty to build on for the future.
Come on you Whites!