Facts: The standings in Sweden’s Nations League group
Norway: 10 points (6–3 on goal difference).
Serbia: 7 (7–4).
Sweden: 3 (5–6).
Slovenia: 2 (3–8).
Norway and Serbia settle for the group victory and advancement to the first division. Sweden must keep Slovenia behind them in the final table, otherwise relegation to the third division awaits. As recently as 2020, Sweden played in the A division.
Remaining matches in Sweden’s group:
Saturday: Serbia-Sweden (20.45), Slovenia-Norway (18.00).
Tuesday: Sweden–Slovenia (20.45), Norway–Serbia (20.45).
Union captain Andersson’s investment in a more offensively characterized 4–3–3 did not turn out well. After the three losses in the summer’s four games in the Nations League, he let the players participate in an evaluation.
It was, in Andersson’s own words, unanimous.
The national team captain is holding a press conference in Belgrade late on Friday afternoon and has not confirmed that the playing system practiced in June will be scrapped, either temporarily or for good.
“It did not work”
But Mattias Svanberg says ahead of Saturday’s match against Serbia:
— I think it was right to do it (try again) during the last collection because we had four games and plenty of time. It didn’t work and we are in a rather sharp position and then it is quite smart to go back to how it was before.
The midfielder believes that the players’ answers to Andersson’s questions play a role.
— It obviously matters. We try to have a relationship between players and leaders so that we can work in the same direction. Then I don’t know what the others thought. But I think it’s a pretty wise decision because quite a few people are used to playing the way we did before.
TT: Is it your impression that the tactical modifications you made at the last gathering didn’t work?
— My impression was that there was great potential around what we did, but that we did not achieve what we wanted was quite obvious. We can continue to work in that way at another time.
Worth working on
TT: So the conclusion is that it didn’t turn out the way you wanted?
— No, of course. All the players felt it too, that it didn’t turn out the way we wanted. But I don’t think anyone feels that we can’t do that again. It was a good idea and we can work on it, but that it won’t be during this collection. And that feels good to most people.
Viktor Claesson wants to see a tighter defensive line.
Viktor Claesson is on the same line as Svanberg, but expresses himself more cautiously.
— I think that defensively we didn’t really get the bite in the press that we might have wanted. At the same time, we let a little too many turnovers and goal chances go against us.
— We will probably go back a little more to the old defensive game. Then we also hope to be able to screw up the attacking game, which I still felt we took a step with the last collection. It’s not so black or white, 4–4–2 or 4–3–3. It’s more about the methods, methods of attack and defense you have. Defensively, it will probably be a little more in the old direction.
A tighter defensive line is necessary, something Claesson also pointed out in his answers to the confederation captain’s questions.
— I think that the defensive game has worked very well, we have disturbed the best nations in the world. It feels safe somehow. I don’t know what everyone has answered. I did say that I thought the defensive game has felt very safe.