In the last episode, Hansa Rostock owner Rolf Elgeti brought back “The Swedish Mafia” in an attempt to get Hansa Rostock back to the Bundesliga. You can go back and read this episode here: https://vivalavidafm.com/2018/08/29/swedish-mafia-0-introduction/
“…great opportunity…a new era…beautiful…”
Even though Rolf Elgeti was talking into a microphone the two journalists from the Ostsee-Zeitung couldn’t make out more than the occasional word from the speech he was giving. As they moved closer to the temporary stage that had been built for the press conference they looked at each other.
“What is this?” one of them asked the other. “Why has he called us out to this windy IKEA parking lot?” They both shook their heads, not sure what to make out of this press conference or whether announcements of any value would be made. The only thing the both of them were certain of was that they were most likely in for yet another one of Rolf Elgeti‘s antics. As they approached the stage it started to drizzle. They were not amused at all, but when they saw the fire in the Hansa Rostock owner’s eyes, at last they became intrigued.
“We are entering a new era! You are all invited here to witness Hansa Rostock taking the first steps on a journey that will eventually lead us to the top of the Bundesliga!” As Rolf Elgeti paused for a second scattered applause was heard among the spectators. “You might be wondering why I’ve brought you here today. Why we are standing outside this warehouse instead of sitting in the familiar warmth of our press room”. Many of the journalists looked around at each other and nodded. “There are several reasons. The first is simply the fact that if you want to tread a new path you have to get off the main road”. The spectators looked at each other and scattered applause was heard once again.
“As you have all been made aware of in the last couple of weeks a lot of changes has been made to the club. We’ve brought in a completely new coaching staff with strong ties to the club and the town and with one thing in common. They are all Swedish”. As the screen behind him turned into a Swedish flag and the former players – now coaches – stepped onto the podium a couple of the spectators started cheering. A lot of the people who had come to watch Rolf Elgeti speak had grown up watching these players play Bundesliga football week in and week out and longed for the good old times to come back.
Capitalizing on the fact that he started to win the crowd over, Rolf Elgeti quickly continued. “Together with these men and our new exciting partner we are rebuilding Hansa Rostock from the ground up! That’s another reason why we are here. When the next person walks onto this stage you will witness something unique in Hansa Rostock history, a giant stepping stone on our journey towards the top!”
Now most of the spectators were either clapping or cheering or both. “What was he up to now? Was he going to reveal a major signing? Maybe a former player of the Swedish national team or perhaps even Die Mannschaft? Someone who would be certain to lead the team straight out of the third division?” An expectant murmur among the crowd started spreading.
The stage emptied and became dark. Music started playing as some sort of fire show started at the front of the stage. The spectators were now looking and behaving more like the crowd at a rock concert and expectations were running wild. The big screen lit up again and this time the Swedish flag had four big letters in front it. I. K. E. A. IKEA. The fire stopped and star players Amaury Bischoff, Fabian Holthaus and Oliver Hüsing stepped out on stage wearing blue jerseys and the crowd grew silent. This must surely be a joke? With a crazy build-up like that, was this all they were getting? Three players, none of them brand new spectacular signings? And were they really wearing blue IKEA bags instead of jerseys? Out of the silence, laughter started spreading.
Rolf Elgeti rushed back on stage with a familiar twitch under his left eye. “You fools!” he cried out. “You think this is a joke? We are as dead serious about this as we are about the bright future of Hansa Rostock!” Once again the crowd went silent and he continued. “You will not be seeing any spectacular signings, that is certainly not the way to go. We will work with the players we’ve got and use our excellent Academy to bring a new breed of players into the first team. And when we sign players they will also be of the same caliber. They will have the character of fighters and champions and they will be as calm and composed as a Swede! This will also characterize the way we play. We will call this new approach “The IKEA system””.
At least no one was laughing anymore. Some of the spectators were silent because they honestly had no idea what to think. Others were silent because they had been suspecting that Rolf Elgeti had grown a bit mad. Now they were certain.
Together with new partner IKEA, Rolf Elgeti and his staff have composed a rating system to better help them recruit the right kind of players and also get the most out of these players on the pitch. All of this is done in an attempt to reach the Bundesliga within the next five years. The new kit (thanks to CuevasRambles) that you see on the left will also be released to highlight this new co-operation. The “IKEA rating” is based on five key attributes:
- Decisions – The ability to make the right decisions with and without the ball
- Composure – The ability to stay calm enough to be able to make the right decisions
- Determination – The commitment to do one’s best on and off the pitch
- Teamwork – The ability to follow tactical instructions and work together with one’s teammates
- Work rate – The willingness to use one’s full capacity
These five attributes together will produce a number between 5 and 100, a percentage of how much IKEA a player really is, the higher the better of course. The dream is a player that is as close to 100% IKEA as possible. In the Academy the goal will be to give the players a good foundation in these attributes and at the same time develop them technically and physically. When signing players the aim will be to scout for players with as high a percentage as possible. No minimum requirements have been set yet, as it’s hard to predict what level of players that will be available. Building the team on players with high IKEA ratings will provide the club with sturdy and composed players, willing to put in a bit of extra work under a strict tactical system.
The tactics will be under development for at least the first few seasons. As the squad fills up with IKEA players Marcus Allbäck will develop a tactical system that will maximize the ability of these players. A pretty simple 4-2-3-1 will be used at the start of the 2017/18, but will surely change along the way.
This is what Marcus Allbäck has to work with going into the 2017/18 season. The squad seems well-rounded, but naturally lacks star quality. No position is of immediate need of strengthening and there are players for basically any tactics. Below we have the three players in the squad with a current ability of 4 stars.
Amaury Bischoff is the best passer on the team and therefore Marcus Allbäck‘s first pick as playmaker. Came in from 3rd division team Preussen Münster last season. Earlier in his career he’s tried a bit of top-flight football, playing 10 games in the Portuguese premier division between 2009-2011.
Fabian Holthaus is a pacey left back with solid defensive abilities and decent technicals. He started his career with 2nd division team Bochum (11 2nd division appearances in 4 years) but comes in ahead of this season from rivals Dynamo Dresden on a free transfer.
Oliver Hüsing is a tall central defender with good defensive abilities. He lacks a bit of acceleration, but paired with a quicker player he can certainly become a solid player for Hansa Rostock. He’s one of the most experienced players in the team, coming from a season of Hungarian top-flight football with Ferencvaros. Hüsing has also played three Bundesliga games for Bremen.
Finally, a quick glance at the players in the Academy shows that there are quite a few players with decent potential! There is an obvious lack of players aged 18 to 20 (the 2nd choice keeper Eric Gründemann being the only one) which means that the impact over the coming season will probably be minimal. Hopefully a couple of the players above will become good enough for the Hansa Rostock first team in a couple of seasons though!
In the next episode we’ll take a look at the first half of the 2017/18 season.
Until next time, auf Wiedersehen!
For more content by @MikaelinhoFM, do go and check out his Brommapojkarna save! Follow the link below to check out the series from the very beginning.
Thanks for reading!