Oscar Friberg and Ostersunds FK have progressed and developed together over the last nine seasons and it’s fair to say that the progress is clear to see. In this season nine review post, we see whether Ostersund could retain their Swedish Allsvenskan title, a feat they were unable to do three years before.
If you missed the previous post, do go back and give it a read – it was labelled as Ostersund’s best season to date and the Allsvenskan win wasn’t the only reason why!
This will be the first post related to season nine. The next post will look at our youth system so keep an eye out for that. But for now, let’s get into our season nine review.
Ostersunds FK | Quest for Domestic Dominance
Transfers – Out
There were a couple of sales worth mentioning before we get to our incoming signings. Goalkeeping star Milan Pridham left the club in a £24M deal to join Dortmund in Germany. I didn’t want Pridham to go, he was without doubt the best keeper we’ve had with Ostersund but he wanted to leave and had just one year left on his contract.
Graham Jones also left the club for a decent fee of £8.5M. He was a good defender for us in his only year at the club but he was by no means outstanding and there must be better options out there.
The final man to talk about is Jorge Martinez. He joined Ostersund in January 2025 (the beginning of our ninth season) but was left out of the squad for the Champions League. This upset him and he decided he wanted to leave.
He was offered out to clubs and then sold to Independiente for £4.2M. He left in July but the deal was arranged in February, meaning he was committed to Ostersund for just one month before being sold! One of the strangest but best transfer deals we have made in this save!
Transfers – In
Thanks to many sales that have brought in a lot of money over the last few seasons, our budgets far exceeded what we were actually spending. Our wage budget sits at £554K p/w yet we are only committed to spending £187K p/w. This meant that we could really start to look for ‘world class’ talent to drastically improve our squad.
And this is what we did.
Diego Garcia is a player that I spent a lot of time debating whether or not to sign. I even asked my Twitter followers whether I should sign him. For £9.25M he was far and away the most expensive transfer we have made and it’s fair to say that Twitter was right and we made the right decision to buy him!
I didn’t think that I would trump Garcia as our major signing but we certainly did in ex-Barcelona striker Fernandez. To sign him for just £1M is a brilliant bargain and he certainly proved to be a top player for us throughout the season.
For the first time in nine seasons, Ostersund failed to qualify from the group stage in the Swedish Cup. Despite remaining unbeaten, Orebro SK knocked out Ostersund due to their greater goal difference. A disappointing effort from the Swedish champions.
Champions League knockouts
New signing Diego Garcia scored on his debut to put Ostersund ahead in the first leg of their Champions League tie. But that was as good as it got for the Swedish side as Inter were too strong, scoring 6 goals without reply to win the two-legged tie 6-1.
A side note: The Ostersund kit in the screenshot was made by @requestakit over on Twitter. Do head over to his Twitter to see all of his kit designs, they are great!
Swedish Allsvenskan – Part 1
A rather dodgy start to the league season saw Ostersund lose three matches in their opening seven games. This even led to Oscar Friberg deliberating whether their successful 4-1-4-1 formation should be changed.
Friberg did, in fact, change up the tactic after three games without scoring, an unwanted record in his nine-year tenure. A 3 at the back formation was given a go and it seemed to work for the wins against Brommapojkarna and Malmo (an impressive 5-2 victory). But two back-to-back losses forced Friberg to switch back to the 4-1-4-1.
Due to the impressive performances from all Swedish sides in Europe, Sweden have risen up the European rankings and find themselves in 6th place, behind the traditional top 5 (England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany). This means that they will have 3 CL places and 3 EL places for the upcoming seasons.
Ostersund are now considered to be one of the top 25 teams in Europe. Their consistently good performances in Europe has helped them rise to 24th whilst several other Swedish clubs have enjoyed similar trajectories. Malmo sit in 34th, Norrkoping are 45th and Hammarby lie 53rd.
Champions League Group Stage
Thanks to Ostersund’s league win last season they were entered straight into the group stage of the Champions League. As the top-seeded side, they were drawn to play Inter Milan, Benfica and Nantes.
Realistically, Inter and Benfica would be challenging to beat. Regardless of our win against PSG last season, we still are not as good as some of the top European sides in terms of our depth. Yet we managed to beat both Inter and Benfica in the group and ended with 12 points – a total that is usually good enough to secure qualification.
But we fell foul of the confusing sorting rules that helped us greatly last season. Inter had a better record against Benfica – Benfica had a better record against Ostersund – Ostersund had a better record against Inter. So I’m not too sure why we didn’t progress, but sadly we finished in 3rd place and will drop down into the Europa League knockouts next year.
Swedish Allsvenskan – Part 2
Look at all that green! Ostersund have stormed their way to another league title after winning their remaining 11 matches.
When we look at our squad of players, so many of them averaged over 7.00 per game. Shown above are all of the players to do so. Leading the way is £1M signing Dario Fernandez. He scored 37 goals in the season to average 7.80 per game. What a signing he turned out to be!
Another great year!
Ostersund have enjoyed another good year domestically and continentally. This shows in Oscar Friberg’s managerial stats as he now boasts an impressive win percent of 64.2% for Ostersund.
|Overall (for Ostersund)||394||253||70||71||818||366||452||829||64.2|
The next post in this series will focus on our youth and how we develop our youngsters. We’ll look at our staff, facilities and training to show how we try to improve our yearly youth intakes. We’ll review our current youth players to see how they have developed since joining the club.
Follow our Twitter, Like our Facebook Page or Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Thank you very much for reading another instalment of our Football Manager 2018 story here on VivaLaVidaFM. A third title in our Ostersund save. The aim now is truly to solidify our domestic dominance and to continue to improve in Europe. What do you think of this post? Let me know in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, do leave a like or a comment, let me know what you think of our save so far. Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I will be posting many save updates there!
To make sure that you don’t miss any posts on this site, follow our blog to receive an email when we publish a post! Just add your email to the box as displayed either in the sidebar (pc or laptop) or below this post (mobile).