Rumori di Spogliatoio

Magnus Pehrsson, the forgotten icon

Angelo PalmeriComment

The waiting time is over as soon (today, if you read on the 21st) we will know who will be the successor of Tarmo Rüütli at the helm of the Eesti Koondis. ‘Rumori di Spogliatoio’ in his ‘Extra Koondis’ section brings you a guest telling us more about Magnus Pehrsson.

Among all the many rumours running over the past days, just one thing is sure: Tarmo Rüütli will not be the Eesti Koondis coach for another term. His contract expires soon (30.11) and will not be renewed. Tarmo is by far one of the most successful Estonian coaches ever: he won 34% of the games played and he is the coach with more caps (74) and lasting longer (5 years, against 3 of a couple of his predecessors: Icelandic Teitur Thortharsson and Dutch Arno Pijpers).

It will be very hard for the next one to live up to the expectations set in the past five years.

As we analyzed a while ago, these have risen much since Estonia managed to reach the tip of their international football history, the EuroCup play-off tie against Ireland.

According to Swedish web portal ‘Fotbolltransfers.com‘ Magnus Pehrsson has already a 3-year contract in his pocket and it is only up to the Estonian FA to make it official.

He was spotted by Estonian journalist Andres Vaher (Delfi Sport) on Friday at his future workplace, the ‘A.LeCoq Arena’, in the VIP area as guest of the Estonian FA president, Aivar Pohlak. Later on another media published a picture of him before the FA had hidden his presence inside the VIP lodge.

Pehrsson is neither confirming nor denying, as he declared to Aftonbladet that he will not comment the speculation.

Speculation not confirmed by Aivar Pohlak either who, in the post-match interview, declared he was sure the press would have tied Pehrsson with the new job however, he had nothing else to add than saying there have always been guests of the FA at the stadium before.

Everyone denies and keeps the conspiracy of silence: usually it means something is happening in a certain direction.

Who is Magnus Pehrsson?

Thanks to RdS network we have reached a Swedish colleague who wishes to stay anonymous by signing himself as ‘GreNoLi‘, and has profiled the 37-year-old coach for us.

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He went from being one of the biggest icons for the club (Djurgården IF – RdS) to being as forgotten as a man can be. Though he’s been a sports pundit at Viasat, no one ever mention him as connected with Djurgården any longer.

Magnus Pehrsson was a typical player with no issues in gaining popularity among the fans. He was hard as as bone with a great left foot and a true supporter of the capital club. 

With number six on the back of his shirt and a captain’s armband on his left arm, Magnus was an example, a leader and an icon. 

His career started at the football club Lidingö on the island with the same name. From the talent factory Brommapojkarna he reached a contract with his favorite club: Djurgården IF. After two successful years as midfielder at the Blåränderna, he tried his luck at Bradford City (*), that year in the Football League First Division.

However, his spell at The Bantams didn’t become what he expected so returned to Sweden. After two years at IFK Göteborg he ended his career with a last spell at “his” Djurgården. His last season, in 2003, as well as his career, was largely ruined by injuries.

A couple of years after his playing career was over, many Djurgården supporters wanted him as a coach. He started his managerial career at the affiliated club, Åtvidaberg. After taking Sirius to Superettan (Sweden’s second highest division), he went to Danish club Aalborg after a short spell at Gais.

Nobody could look away from his tactical and analytical skills, but players talked a lot about his presence, or rather lack of his presence at the training ground. Maybe the manager role was too much for “MP”. He had no problems instructing players with his thoughts of football but did they get his message? He really couldn’t seem to get the most out of his team. Djurgården rarely made two good matches in a row and the rotation never really worked out. 

You can’t deny some of his successful signings, for example Daniel Amartey (though his talent was widely known). The main problem was most of his signings weren’t pretty good and they didn’t seem to develop in the way people desired.

Magnus Pehrsson and Tommy Jacobsson encountered a lot of controversy when they left Djurgården. The manager and the chairman resigned from their position after allegedly being threatened by hooligans. According to the club’s official supporter association, no threats were made by three supporters confronting the manager after a series of bad results. According to media, they fled because of the unsafe environment. Some supporters see them as traitors who took their chance to escape.

by GreNoLi

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Following the delusions and the heavy threatenings received by those same Djurgården fans, Pehrsson resigned from his position.
In order to give you an idea of the kind of hatred he ‘enjoyed’ among the fans, try to google his name: a photoshopped picture of him depicted as an ape comes up. More shockingly, this picture belongs to a blog named ‘Self-righteous and bitter’. A long rant attached to it ends with an awful wish to see him ‘sinking in the ice and drown’.

We thought such language and aggressiveness belonged to other countries, not the moderate Sweden. Sadly, our ‘the beautiful game’ can really wake up the most negative emotions.

The worst it might go for him in Estonia, fans might start shouting at him ‘mine pehrsson‘.

(*) On his experience at Bradford City, we have asked James Ramsden, Bantams fan and owner of the Pudel pub in Tallinn, a memory of his spell in UK: Magnus Pehrsson, a midfielder, played one match for City on 2nd November 1996. He only lasted about an hour before being substituted in a 0-3 defeat at home to Oldham. He was one of three players drafted in by Chris Kamara on that day as we struggled near the bottom of Division 2 having gone up via the play offs the previous season. Although Pehrsson soon left the other two had reasonable success as City eventually avoided relegation by one place and 2 points. The other two players were Ole Sundgot and Rob Steiner. Chris Kamara – who now is a legendary pundit for Sky Sports, was exicting as our manager, because he signed lots of foreign players. Ole Sundgot was from Norway and Steiner was from Sweden. But the best signing was an unknown Brazilan called “Edinho”. Imagine that, a Brazilan playing for Bradford in the mid nineties! He went on to be a club legend, scoring loads of goals. So I imagine when Pehrsson was signed – we all had this same sense of anticipation. Bradford is a dark and dull place, but players like Pehrsson etc made our Saturday afternoons exciting.

We obviously hope he might made our Tuesday-Friday nights at A.LeCoq Arena as much exiciting.