The former Aalesund coach is open about what he could have done differently in his time at the club.
It has been almost two weeks since Lars Bohinen was fired as coach of Aalesund.
In a press release, the board of the club wrote that they had chosen to end the collaboration with the 50-year-old who has played 49 international matches for Norway.
– After the promotion to the Eliteserien last year, the club has this year delivered weak results over time. We are at the bottom of the table after a half-played series, and see a need to make changes to further develop AaFK as a top club, they wrote in the press release at the end of August.
Bohinen himself has said little after it became clear that he had finished his job, but on Thursday he appeared in the podcast Chivadze.
There he opened up about the time in the Sunnmøre club. The podcast is run by former Josimar editor, Frode Lia and former sports director in, among others, Start, Tor Kristian Karlsen.
– If you buy OBOS players, you get an OBOS team
The trio talks in the episode about a lot of topics from the world of football. Eventually, they also enter the Aalesund period, which ended with the dismissal of Bohinen.
– We had a very well balanced team and players who could do things on their own in 2019. Players like Pape Habib Gueye and Aron Thrandarson, we had key players available most of the time and when we did not have it we were good at getting new , Bohinen explains about the superb promotion season.
Bohinen says that the club moved up with a belief that the season would be very good, but that the economy was much worse than the sports management had thought.
– We talked about bringing Gustav Valsvik from Rosenborg and looked at that level, because we thought we would get more finances than what became the reality in the end. We looked at players on a completely different shelf than what we ended up with in the end.
The players Aalesund finally got hold of believe Bohinen were types with potential, but they held in the coach’s opinion no more than OBOS quality as of today.
– I have always said that if you buy OBOS players, you get an OBOS team. Not to disparage anyone, but Simen Bolkan Nordli came from the OBOS league and was very good for HamKam. We brought in a midfielder from Finland and the Finnish top division is OBOS level. We picked up a Dutchman from level two in the Netherlands who was free.
The former Sandefjord coach elaborates that finances play a significant part in putting together a strong team. He also has experience as sports director in both Vålerenga and Stabæk.
– What we ended up with was a stable where 58 percent of the players did not have Elite Series experience and the remaining had a little here and a little there, plus some who had a lot. Then came the corona as part of it, with layoffs and stuff. When the series began, key players were injured all the time. We let in terrible goals and it became so brutal. The opposing teams scored on every single attack and it is almost as if I can not comprehend it yet, he sums up further.
When Bohinen was fired after the 1-3 loss against Haugesund, the team had scraped together a total of seven points in 15 games and was definitely last on the table.
Comes with sticks for the general manager
When the corona hit Norway in full force, Aalesund laid off players and employees. The players were apart and did not conduct contact training for two months. When the team was reunited, Bohinen and the rest of the coaching staff quickly saw that something was missing.
– We already saw in training the first week that we are outside and it had been too long. The timing was gone, a tenth here and a tenth there. The balance and tackles and such. Bodø / Glimt who had trained throughout the period has probably not lost so many relationships and what I call ball feeling throughout that period.
It did not get better when Aalesund started the season with two points in the first five games and a horrible 7-17 goal difference.
The pressure on the club then quickly became great from the surroundings.
– What often happens is that the board and general manager get so much pressure and thin that they are unable to resist. Then there is often only one way out. Those who have been with it for a while at least tolerate it better than those who experience this for the first or second time, a bit like it is in AaFK now, says Bohinen.
On Friday, the online newspaper was in contact with the general manager of Aalesund, Geir S. Vik, and he presented the former coach’s statements.
– I have no comment on that. He will be responsible for his statements, Vik tells Nettavisen.
Aalesund leader: – Chooses not to comment
Host Lia shoots in an observation about club operations and goals in football.
– I register that Aalesund, like several other clubs, has a board with very little sporting background. Is it expected that one should conjure here mtp goal and realism?
– The player logistics are of course what is important in this here, which I think I may not have been clear enough about before this year’s season. It is the clarification of expectations, that we have the same view of things and that I am clear on what I think and mean. Then the club must have a goal that we will be in the top six in three years, but this year it is in many ways about staying, he answers.
– There we were not clear enough, nor was I clear enough that I thought that the team we started the season with was worse than what we had last year. We have a general manager who thought that the team we had was better than what we had last year. Andrea and I (assistant coach editor’s note) thought it was worse. Then we start to lose it a bit, an honest Bohinen continues.
When asked by Nettavisen if Vik has any thoughts about what Bohinen says about his opinion that “the team was better this year than last year”, the Aalesund leader is ready.
– I have, but I choose not to comment. We have ended our employment, he answers.
– Have you had contact with Bohinen after he was fired in August?
– It has not been natural. Aalesund has chosen to terminate the employment. I have no comments beyond that, it is a chapter gone, he continues.
Back in the podcast studio, Tor Kristian Karlsen wonders if a general manager at all should think anything about the team being better athletically compared to last year.
– Internally he can do it well, but he said it externally. Then I think if it was me who was not clear enough, or if people do not see it. Are there other mechanisms that come into play here? I think it may be the last, but it is not the case that everyone has the opportunity to win a medal. Clubs must to a greater extent see their place in the hierarchy.
– I think I have better conditions to think about the strengths of the team this year compared to last year, than what many others have, including the general manager, who comes from the tourism industry. I can agree that I was not clear enough on the clarification of expectations towards the coming season. It may be that we were flattered by the results from last year, the now retired coach concludes.