“It’s time for it”

1-3 against Austria and a dead EC dream.
Then Olof Lundh states:
– It is time to change the national team captain.

Sweden won against Estonia this weekend with a clear 5-0, and the dreams were there of shrinking the distance to Austria in front of 42,000 spectators at the Friends Arena. A win was a must for Sweden if the dream of the EC was to live, and the start promised well. Sweden came out on top in the first half, creating plenty of scoring chances – but with 45 played the score was still 0-0. Austria thanked for that, and made a direct push in the second half.

Appeal to the union

The away team scored three quick goals against a beaten Sweden, and the 1-3 loss means an almost impossible task for Blågult if they want to get to the EC. With three matches left to play, Sweden has seven points up on Belgium and Austria, and it is therefore required that one of the above-mentioned teams does not win any more matches in the qualifying group. Janne Andersson has had a leaden year behind him, with a missed WC and now a missed EC for the first time since 1996. And now a collective chorus of experts says that it is time for new leadership.

– It is clear that it is a disaster to miss the EC, there are still 23 places. We must be able to demand that Sweden is, says TV4 profiler Olof Lundh in the Football Channel.

230912 Head coach Janne Andersson of Sweden in the Viaplay studio after the UEFA Euro Qualifier football match between Sweden and Austria on September 12, 2023 in Stockholm. Photo: Emma Wallskog / BILDBYRÅN

Olof Lundh agrees that it is time for a new union captain to take over, but does not believe that the union will act before the next meeting, in November.

– Maybe the association is low for so long, there is still an EC place in theory. But in practice it’s over. It is clear that the football association must work on the question: Who will take over the national team? For now, the national team must be rebuilt, and then it’s about the management first and foremost, in order to aim for the WC 2026, says Lundh.

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“It’s time”

Janne Andersson was celebrated at the beginning of his years as national team captain, when Sweden went far in the World Cup and played evenly against all the world’s great nations.

– Janne Andersson has done very well at the beginning of his national team period, but he finishes with two difficult years, and it is time to change the national team captain, Olof Lundh asserts.

230112 Olof Lundh from TV4 during the international friendly football match between Sweden and Iceland on January 12, 2023 in Faro. Photo: Jesper Zerman / BILDBYRÅN

However, Olof Lundh hopes that Sweden will have a new national team captain in place during the autumn – who can start the journey towards taking Sweden to the WC 2026, which will be played in the USA, Canada and Mexico. He does not believe that Janne Andersson would be fired in the middle of the qualification.

– Swedish football has never changed the captain like that. I think that Janne Andersson gets to run the qualifiers out, while the terrain is now being probed for who can be relevant, and who wants to take over this, and is ready to take over this. And that hunt must have already begun, and intensified, because perhaps they want to present a national team captain already in the autumn. But I don’t think anything will happen before the EC qualification is completely dead, says Lundh.

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