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Brøndby back in pole position

Published: Tuesday 23 August 2005, 7.00CET
Monthly review: One Danish coach forced his players to read press criticism after European disappointment as Brøndby IF stumbled to the summit.
by Peter Bruun
from Frederikshavn

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Published: Tuesday 23 August 2005, 7.00CET

Brøndby back in pole position

Monthly review: One Danish coach forced his players to read press criticism after European disappointment as Brøndby IF stumbled to the summit.
A coach forcing his players to read the papers after a defeat; the end to Viborg FF's adventure; a Brøndby IF team having to keep their focus between UEFA Champions League qualifiers; and a side some say would be better off being relegated. Those were some of the stories of the last month in Denmark.

Negativity accusations
Danish coaches and directors are not typically known for their love of the local media, often accusing them of negativity. However, after the first legs of the recent UEFA Cup second qualifying round, even the clubs concurred with the critical opinions in the press.

UEFA Cup disappointments
While Brøndby´s 2-2 Champions League home draw against AFC Ajax was considered acceptable, this was not case with FC København's narrow 2-0 win at home to Welsh side Carmarthen Town AFC, FC Midtjylland's even narrower 2-1 victory against Faroese visitors B36 Tórshavn, and Esbjerg fB's 1-0 home defeat by relegation-threatened Norwegian team Tromsø IL.

Pedersen's punishment
EfB coach Ove Pedersen went so far as to say: "The morning after the Tromsø game I practically forced the players to read the newspapers, to make them realise how poorly they had performed!"

Viborg falter
Brøndby stumbled after the draw with the 1995 European champions, perhaps having an eye on their Amsterdam return tonight. They drew 0-0 at promoted AC Horsens and had to come from behind to beat FC Nordsjælland 2-1. However, those results took them joint-top of the Superliga, ending Viborg's month-long supremacy after Sunday's 2-1 defeat at København, who are level with Brøndby on 16 points.

AGF disappointment
Still, Viborg are better off than AGF Århus. Denmark's second largest municipality likes to call itself 'The City of Smile', but the 295,000-strong population have found little cheer from their club. When Søren Åkeby became AGF coach in autumn 2003, he said they would be champions by 2006. With two points from six matches so far, that looks unlikely.

Press criticism
Ole Bruun, sports editor of the newspaper JydskeVestkysten, even wrote: "Maybe AGF will be better off being relegated. It is often better to tear down an old ramshackle building instead of going on repairing and patching up - and then build something new and strong instead."

Last updated: 23/08/05 19.52CET

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