Football Season Review

Champions: Rosenborg

Rosenborg kicked the campaign off with the clear expectation that they are massive title favourites again and would have few issues on the way to defending their crown. Yet it soon transpired that they are not in the best of shape both in terms of form and mentally and a few early setbacks indicates that a rocky season could be in line. An injury to Samuel Adegbenro at the start of the season, the lack of cover at the back and the emergency signing of Even Hovland after the start of the season, and the struggles up front of Nicklas Bendtner, were some of the issues that hampered the champions as they played some extremely pedestrian football in the opening weeks, dropping points on a number of occasions, and only impressing in a 4:0 hammering of main rivals Molde. The team did stabilise and get into a good rhythm as the season went on but struggled to impress and got the points in the bag with the minimum required. Seven wins and a draw in a stretch of eight games moved them close to pace-setters Brann but then two costly losses in a row once again sent the team into a tailspin and eventually the decision was made to sack three-time champion coach Kåre Ingebrigtsen during the summer break. Rino Coolen took over as an interim boss until the end of the season and actually did a good job in allowing the squad to settle down and find a more effective way of playing. The results improved as the season entered into its latter stage and eventually the Trondheim side leapfrogged their main rivals from Bergen, mostly due to their own loss of form. Yet it was rare to see a genuinely good showing from the champions as they remained too reliant on talent and often played in unseemly and boring football. They held their nerve late in the season despite a few bad results and eventually a key 2:1 win away at Brann got them on the verge of winning the title with a few games left. They completed the season with a storming 4:1 win against Strømsgodset in the NM Cup final at the league season ended and claimed a domestic double. Yet that triumphs papers over a lot of cracks in what is an ageing squad that needs reinvigoration and it will be intriguing to see who will be the new permanent boss of the RBK.

Player of the Season: Andre Hansen