Select Page

Of course I’m bias but the question does make sense (to me at least). There is a piece in Sweden’s largest sports newspaper “Sportbladet” today about the lack of high profile players from Sweden in the Premiership. I don’t really like the journalist, who wrote the text, nor can I take the journalism that the paper stands for seriously, but he does raise an interesting point.

Where are the Swedes and why are they not in England? We have internationals performing well in Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A etc. What could the reason be that the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Markus Berg, Markus Rosenberg, Johan Elmander, Zlatan Muslimovich and many more are playing well pretty much everywhere but England?

Just 10 months ago Henrik Larsson was influential for Manchester United, a few seasons ago we had Rami Shaaban in Goal and Freddie Ljungberg in midfield for Arsenal. Prior to the Southampton relegation we had Anders and Mikael Svensson playing for the south coast club. We’ve had Anders Limpar in Arsenal and Everton, Tobias Linderoth also in Everton, Glenn Hysén captained Liverpool and I’m quite sure I’m missing someone obvious too.

Sure, there are a few Swedish players in the premiership at the moment, but with the exception of Olof Mellberg in Aston Villa there’s noting much worth mentioning. Freddie Ljungberg has only started 3 games for West Ham this season and Christian “Chippen” Willhelmsson doesn’t seem to fit the profile of a player that will get many minutes under Megson at Bolton.

Our very own Björn Runström didn’t get many chances to show his abilities under Coleman, and Lawrie “I can’t see foreigners settling in quickly enough” Sanchez didn’t even glance at him twice before sending him out on loan. Maybe he’ll never make it in the premiership, but I still think he would if he was only given a chance. Maybe not in a “long balling” Fulham under Sanchez, but I think his way of playing football would suit many teams in England.

Ok, back to the main question again, where are the Swedes? As it seems, English clubs doesn’t scout Scandinavia as they used to do? The question is why. I can’t see any logical reason for not keeping tabs on the developments in Scandinavia. It’s not just Sweden, Norway and Denmark has the same trend.

Scandinavian players are fairly cheap to sign, they all speak decent English, most of them are very hardworking and rarely divas and for some reason they seem to settle very quickly in a new club and country.

Oh well, I guess there’s no simple answer to why! It might just be a few years and the situation is reversed.

Hopefully Fulham can be one of the clubs who will be looking closer at Scandinavian players in the future. Mr. Sanchez, please take a serious look at the likes of Jonas Olsson, Razak Omotoyossi and David Johansson.

// Nick