Football Season Review

Champions: Malmo

Malmo had no trouble whatsoever in reclaiming their Allsvenskan crown this season and, despite a few hiccups here and there, Magnus Pehrsson's side was always on track. No other side showed the same levels of fire power, stability and consistency on the pitch through large spells of the season. It has to be said that Malmo's success also comes down to financial weight because, while rivals like Norrkoping failed to hang onto their best players who had taken them to the summit in the spring, Malmo were able to strengthen heavily in the summer to make sure the title didn't slip from their grasp. And in the end a seven point cushion down to their nearest title challenger is a strong statement and it will take something special for them to not repeat the feat when the 2018 season kicks off. They kicked off the season with a nine game unbeaten run before Norrkoping inflicted their first home defeat of the season at the end of May. And Malmo's knack of scoring late late goals in crucial tight games was a cornerstone for their success this season. When their opponents either ran out of steam or showed signs of nerves, Malmo were there to run that extra mile or exploit lapses in concentration. They hit Kalmar and Elfsborg both for six this autumn with their superiority well established by then, and the only real blemishes were shock defeats against relegated AFC Eskilstuna and mid-table Orebro. Finishing the season with only their second home defeat against Hacken wasn't too clever either. Markus Rosenberg is an obvious choice for player of the season, scoring seven in 24 games, but he will be disappointed not have scored more. Some of that is down to the suspension he received for an elbow incident which meant he missed three games. Norwegian Jo Inge Berget also had a solid campaign chipping in with 10 goals in 25 games. But it's hard to not give the player of the season award to midfielder Erdal Rakip who was the heartbeat of the champions for most of the campaign. Not only did Rakip chip in with eight goals in 27 games, he was at the very heart of everything Malmo did going forward. And at the age of just 21 he showed a maturity and skill level that will surely make him the one to hang on to for Pehrsson next season. There will be changes ahead of next year with defender Anton Tinnerholm and midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem both already announcing their departures when their contracts run out. But Pehrsson will have the financial tools to strengthen and fine tune his squad before next year for sure. They will take some stopping in the future, but for now they fully deserve to soak up the plaudits of another Allsvenskan season well done.

Player of the Season: Erdal Rakip