Starting Over with MFF
To say I was inspired by Malmö FF’s 0-0 draw with FK Ventspils, while technically correct, seems like an overstatement. MFF was uninspiring. In fact, their were boos. I’m not a fan of booing the home team, but if ever was a time, this seemed like a good one. It wasn’t until late that MFF even looked like they wanted to win the game. Taking a 0-0 to Latvia next week is better than giving up a goal, but it was the performance, more than the result that did not inspire confidence. On the other hand, MFF dominated the game, even if there was no invention in the final third. In fact, had finishing been better, MFF could have had several goals. It was, however, FK Ventspils that had the best chance – off the post.
The abject performance in some ways might be explained by the amount of movement at MFF this year (sourced from Wikipedia):
In (7.3 M SEK)
Out (29.9 M SEK)
|10||MF||SWE||Jiloan Hamad||23||1899 Hoffenheim||End of contract||Winter||Free||mff.se|
|17||MF||SWE||Ivo Pękalski||23||BK Häcken||End of contract||Winter||Free||mff.se|
|27||GK||SWE||Johan Dahlin||27||Gençlerbirliği||Transfer||Winter||(~ 5.0M SEK)||mff.se|
|9||FW||SWE||Dardan Rexhepi||22||IF Brommapojkarna||Transfer||Winter||(~ 0.4M SEK)||mff.se|
|8||MF||SWE||Erik Friberg||27||Bologna||Transfer||Winter||(~ 5.0M SEK)||mff.se|
|28||FW||SWE||Alexander Nilsson||21||Trelleborgs FF||Loan||Winter||—||mff.se|
|32||DF||SWE||Pa Konate||19||Östers IF||Loan||Winter||—||mff.se|
|19||FW||GHA||Benjamin Fadi||18||IFK Värnamo||Loan||Winter||—||mff.se|
|26||FW||SWE||Petter Thelin||19||Skellefteå FF||Loan||Winter||—||mff.se|
|29||DF||SWE||Tobias Malm||22||Östersunds FK||Loan||Winter||—||mff.se|
|24||DF||SWE||Mahmut Özen||25||Kayseri Erciyesspor||Loan||Summer||—||mff.se|
|5||DF||SWE||Pontus Jansson||23||Torino||Transfer||Summer||(~ 4.5M SEK)||mff.se|
|3||DF||CHI||Miiko Albornoz||23||Hannover 96||Transfer||Summer||(~ 15.0M SEK)||mff.se|
The losses of Jansson (23), Albornoz (23), and Hamad (23) are undenibly huge, as is getting Mehmeti (24) back. The loss of Dahlin (27) would be huge if there wasn’t an adequate back, but there is. Bringing Tinnerholm (23) in will help with the loss of Albornoz, but he’s not a player that is going to help them qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. All you have to do is look at the price differential to see that a lot of quality was lost. 22.6 M SEK worth of talent has gone out. Some of that money can go toward wages to keep talent longer, and some can go toward the youth academy. I understand planning for the long term, but I’d also like to see MFF qualify for the group stages, and after being thumped last year by Swansea, and the dismal display against FK Ventspils yesterday, I just don’t see that happening for at least a couple of years. Of course, they need to keep winning the league to even have a shot at the group stage. Of course, a run in the Europa League would be nice, but I can’t see MFF challenging for the title with English and Italian teams starting to take the competition more seriously.
Not all of the transfers have made it to FIFA14. In fact, many have not. After the first transfer window, I was not able to get Mehmeti or Adu, because the game still has him on loan. I was not able to get rid of Albornoz (I could have cut him, but that seemed silly). I was able to get Tinnerholm and Thelin. I’m hoping to finish off making MFF look like the real life team in the winter transfer window. Perhaps I’ll have that ready by next week when I’m reporting on whether MFF has made it through to the next qualification round.
MFF next plays in the Champions League in Latvia, on Tuesday, July 22 at noon US ET.