TWO REINFORCEMENTS, ONE tailor-made match program and competitors with midweek matches in Europe have opened a door for Dag-Eilev Fagermos’ (53) ambitions for Europe 2021. That opening the VIF coach chooses to set foot in.
With the cup scrapped due to the pandemic, it keeps being inside the top four after the home game against Start on 19 December.
Dag-Eilev Fagermo, Norway’s most fearless coach, wants more than that.
AT A MEETING In the last week before the delayed start of the season in June, the VIF players agreed with themselves to set fifth place as a realistic goal. During a chat with Dag-Eilev Fagermo two days before the series opener, the coach went two places higher.
– Third place, said Fagermo – behind Molde and Bodø / Glimt it is so even that that place is free.
After 5-1 over Brann, where the new signings Henrik Bjørdal (1) and Vidar Örn Kjartansson (3) scored four of the goals – he has raised his eyes to the place behind the league leader.
DAG-EILEV FAGERMO have never been afraid to put the list high. That’s how it was in Odd. That’s how it is in Vålerenga. Last year, he aimed for 60 points and said it could hold for gold.
After the summer departures in Skien, when Odd was in a position to make his best season ever, it ended with 52 points and fourth place on a worse goal difference than Rosenborg.
AFTER 17 SERIES ROUNDS is six teams in the battle for the top four. The table looks like this:
- Bodø / Glimt 47 (+43)
- Molde 35 (+25)
- Odd 31 (+6)
- Rosenborg 29 (+14)
- Vålerenga 29 (+4)
- Kristiansund 27 (+10)
VÅLERENGA’S BIGGEST PROBLEM before Kjartansson, in addition to losing points through red cards and a young goalkeeper who has confidence and who is allowed to try and fail, has been the lack of a goal scorer. The goal chances have been there, the goals have been missed.
22 goals in 16 games does not give a top team.
However, the five goals in match 17, when Vålerenga scored more than two goals for the first time in over a year, may indicate that the problem is about to be solved.
DAG-EILEV FAGERMO knows what he had, sees what he has got and is tough enough in the face to adjust his ambitions based on the promise he thinks Henrik Bjørdal and Vidar Örn Kjartansson will give the team. It suits the telemarking.
The philosophy is simple, it’s about daring to take new steps.
If you do not think it is possible, then it does not happen.
That’s why Fagermo wants and uses young players more than most other coaches.
If you do not think they can be good enough, then they will not be either.
IT’S LIKE THAT Dag-Eilev Fagermo is and must be. That’s how he works. In addition, he can read. And when the eyes fall on the schedule, you see why the VIF coach upgrades the level of ambition and goes for gold, ie silver.
He sees that the 13 remaining matches are an advantage for Vålerenga.
TWO TEAMS ARE undefeated at home so far this season. One of them is Vålerenga. Bodø / Glimt has 8-0-0. Vålerenga has 5-3-0. And against the top six opponents, those who as of today are fighting for the same as Vålerenga, the Oslo team has home games against Molde, Kristiansund, Odd and Rosenborg.
ELITE SERIES 18th ROUND
1800 – Vålerenga – Molde
2030 – Sarpsborg – Mjøndalen
1800: Brann – Bodø / Glimt, Viking – Aalesund, Sandefjord – Strømsgodset, Rosenborg Haugesund, Start – Kristiansund.
2030: Odd – Stabæk
IN ADDITIONAL MEETINGS meet the top two teams after heavy midweek matches in Europe. It also helps.
This Saturday, it is Molde that comes straight from a power test of 120 minutes against Qarabag in Nicosia.
Next Sunday it is Bodø / Glimt at Aspmyra, who on Thursday already played against Zlatan and company on natural grass in Milan.
TO MOLD IN addition will probably do as Sarpsborg in 2018, to prioritize Europe ahead of the Elite Series which already seems to be lost, is another factor in Vålerenga’s favor. It makes the timing to meet the two best teams even better.
It is not now or never for Dag-Eilev Fagermo, but it may soon be now or at the earliest in 2021.
He takes on that challenge without fences and safety nets, he is not in Vålerenga to explain away fifth places.