Football Season Review

№6: Viking

Viking started the season with high ambitions after winning the Cup last season and bringing in some real talents in Veton Berisha and Yann-Erick de Lanlay. But they had a really slow start and often lacked benefit of confidence and attacking momentum. Bjarne Berntsen seemed unable to find enough attacking edge in the team and they often looked far too easy to play against. Indeed, things looked pretty awful after the first eight games, winning just once and being hammered by Molde in a 5:0 defeat. But things started to click from that low point and successive wins and clean sheets breathed some fresh confidence into the ranks. Berisha started to improve greatly after a slow start and Zymer Bytyqi emerged as one of the top players in the league from his wide position, drifting inside and scoring some sensational goals. Kristoffer Løkberg had a really good impact from midfield as well while the emergence of young centre-back Henrik Heggeheim, just as Rudar Hove suffered a serious injury, was another big plus. The momentum generated in the midway point of the season was maintained and Viking became one of the most watchable and exciting teams in the league, going on a run of five wins in a row and scoring 15 goals in them. There was even talk of a late push for the European places but Viking ran out of steam a little bit by the end, even if they still got a very good win over Rosenborg. As a whole, it was a really positive and impressive campaign by the Stavanger side and this is what made the decision of relieving coach Bertnsen at the end of the campaign all the more baffling, given the way he has overcome a slow start and developed the team.

Player of the Season: Zymer Bytyqi