Showing posts with label Sami Hyypiä. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sami Hyypiä. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Licences, cold money and Christmas

It's been an eventful December for a nation with a summer league system. The rarity of a Finnish team still in European competition, the sorting out of league licences for 2015 and some ups and downs for the Finns spread across Europe. In the absence of the usual weekly reviews, I've decided to do a recap of what has gone on recently.

Santa is an HJK fan?!

The 2015 season

Last week, Honka were denied a licence to play in Veikkausliiga in 2015. I've made several mentions over the last year or so relating to the money problems which have plagued the club. Despite new owners taking control of the club, they also assumed the debts, issues and promises. In a roundabout way to appease reformists, the eleventh-placed team was replaced by the club that came second in Ykkönen - FC KTP, who only formed a year ago in their current form due to a merger between KTP and FC KooTeePee.

In a less expected twist, MYPA have been given a deadline of January 8th to prove themselves worthy of a place in the top flight next season. They too have been cutting back on their finances, while they're looking to make up an estimated shortfall of 200k Euros, or else their place in the 2015 season will be taken by either TPS or Ilves, who have been asked to submit potential applications. MYPA are also in danger of potentially missing out on the Europa League - they were the highest eligible side in the Fair Play table, which could mean a spot for KuPS... Banzai!

Mixed fortunes

The most widely told story is that of Sami Hyypiä resigning as Brighton manager on Monday. It had been predicted for a number of weeks in lieu of their form over the season, but still a shame to see a young manager fail for a second time - his spell at Leverkusen was very much a case of Jekyll and Hyde.

In other news, Finland U21 midfielder Glen Kamara made the bench for Arsenal (but didn't come on) in the Champions League match against Galatasaray and spent a fair bit of time training with the first team ahead of the Liverpool league match. Lauri Dalla Valle returned to his former club Crewe Alexandra on a free transfer. Tim Väyrynen received an E grade in In Bed With Maradona's review of their 100 young players in 2014.

HJK finished third in their Europa League group, ending in a 2-1 defeat to Club Brugge. Niklas Moisander (Ajax), Markus Halsti (Malmö) and Roman Eremenko (CSKA Moscow) were eliminated from the Champions League.


As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year... So FC Santa Claus come out to play, Saint Nick visits pretty much every club in the country, while things tend to shut down a little bit. I've been a little guilty of over-promoting FC Santa Claus, I'll certainly cut that down. To be honest, if they ever replied to their emails, I'd be feeling a bit more festive.

If I don't blog again, hyvää joulua!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Escape To Suomi 2013 - A Year In Review

At the end of last year, I put together a top five list of the most popular posts on this site throughout 2012. Well, I'm off work and thought I'd do the same - hopefully this will be helpful for some of my recent followers (hello!), and a chance to reminisce over the past twelve months.

Pretty much a beginners guide to the league, the purpose to help new fans into which clubs were involved, the European place allocations, and the best (legal) ways to watch games. It was posted on the league's official Twitter and Facebook, and a few other forums that I could see. Fortunately I didn't make too many predictions, other than HJK being favourites as they won the league by twelve points. Will put together a 2014 guide in due course - the season begins April 6th.

Ahead of Carl's debut for England U21s in October, Press Association journalist Simon Peach generously allowed me to host his interview with Arsenal right-back Jenkinson on the site. Needless to say, Carl's switch from Finland to England is still a discussion point, after he'd represented Finland's younger age group teams on a number of occasions (Carl has a Finnish mother). Carl did play against Finland U21s in November, where he was quite soundly booed by the small Finnish away section!

Another season preview, but this time looking at the threads each side would be wearing. Most sides had new kits, while the main highlight was Lahti's Tommi Kari looking FABULOUS. The Jaro kit pictured was in fact a training kit, but hey ho. Several clubs have already signed with new kit suppliers for next year, so look forward to another repeat.

On Monday January 14th 2013, the superb Football Weekly podcast featured Gregg Bakowski talking about how he met former Liverpool legend Sami Hyypiä in a Merseyside sauna... The conversation moved onto whether Finnish women were heavy-set, something Mrs ETS took great exception to! Anyway, it appears that putting pictures of an attractive woman on the site works, so here is the current Mrs Hyypiä, Susanna Rissanen.

Number 1 - Arsenal v Manchester City aka "Super Match"

One of the more controversial football matches in Finland this year was between two big English clubs - should Helsinki have been used as a stage, or could a Finnish side have been involved? Some people made a lot of money from the game, and some of it was pretty cringey - both sides walked out to the theme tune from the Superman movies. But Arsenal won, and had a huge majority in the crowd. Another post, with my photos from the day, is here.

Anyway, that was 2013 - 2014 will be more of the same. Stay tuned, we'll be looking to get bigger and better, feedback is welcome as always.