World Dominance the FCK way..part 1

It may have escaped your notice this season but the Premier League is one of the most open we have seen for decades.  The situation is not the same across Europe though.  Head 600 miles east from London and you will land pretty much in the centre of Copenhagen, home to FCK, or FC Kobenhavn to give them their full name.  Half way through the season and they are 19 points clear, with a goal difference of plus 33.  They have made it through to the knock out phases of the Champions League where they will play Chelsea in late February.

So why have they become so dominant?  We sat down with three FCK fans, all long term fans of The Ball is Round to discuss the situation.  We provided the Carlsberg, they provided the insight.

Have FCK just better in past 2 years or have the rest got worse?

Ivar Petersen – Mainly FCK have gone better for reasons listed below which then make the other teams, relatively speaking, seem worse.

Charlie Anderson – Ominously, it’s mostly been improvement from FCK. The last two seasons have seen Copenhagen, OB and Brøndby finish first, second and third respectively, so the challengers – such as they are – have been pretty consistent. The mid- and lower-placed teams have got worse, though, which has had an effect on FCK’s margin of victory. In 2008-09 they won the league by five points, and last season that gap increased to nine. Halfway through this campaign, FCK are nineteen points clear and haven’t lost a game. A marked improvement is also indicated by their results in Europe. In 2006, an FCK team containing Brede Hangeland, Marcus Allbäck and Lars Jacobsen finished fourth with seven points in their Champions League group. This year under the same coach, Ståle Solbakken, the club qualified for the knockout stages, taking a point from FC Barcelona on the way to finishing second with ten points. Continue reading

All the bases are loaded

Does what it says on the tin

Essex Park. Try finding that one on the map of grounds in Europe and I bet your efforts at locating it will end in frustration after you have trawled through the English Non Leagues. You see it isn’t on these shores at all. It’s in Denmark, in the city of Randers to be precise and is home to Superliga Randers FC. Quite why it is called such I do not know, but when someone recently asked me I vowed to find out and that is why at 6.30am on a freezing cold Sunday morning I was boarding a Ryanair flight to the even colder area of Denmark known as Jutland. Continue reading

Unsung Heroes Part 4: Remember you’re a Womble

Mascots – those big things that come in a variety of shapes and sizes that no major sporting events would today be without.  Us English can lay claim to this worldwide phenomenon when in 1966 World Cup Willie became the first “human” mascot.

But did you know the word mascot comes from the French word “mascoto” which means a piece of witchcraft ?  And based on the conduct of some of the most famous characters, such as Cyril the Swan who famously drop kicked the head of Millwall’s Zampa the Lion into the crowd, or Deepdale Duck at Preston who has a habit of annoying linesmen they do more than just amuse the crowd – they are an icon. Continue reading

Football in Denmark weekly round up

You would have been mistaken to think that you were sitting in a living room somewhere in England this week, picking up the Danish newspapers or turning on the sports news.  The two big stories this week have been the whole sorry mess at Anfield plus the failure of England to beat the “minnows” of Montenegro, a result that one paper compared to Faroe Islands beating Austria back in September 1990.  In fact the Faroe Islands also featured heavily as part of the Kingdom of Denmark they are seen in the same light as us English see Northern Ireland, the team that they earnt a 1-1 draw with.

Despite the national team’s 2-0 against Cyprus in a half full Parken, the press focused more on the injury problems that the positive result.  Daniel Agger lasted just 30 minutes before “kicking a pole and falling down” – as you can see my Danish isn’t quite yet perfect, although I do love my literal translation of events from the 20th minute which appear to say that Leon Jenssen completed a “jerk” on the verge of the penalty area.  Interesting!  Still a win is a win at this stage in the qualifying competition. Continue reading