Best Nordic players in English Premier League
I was listening to the last episode of the brilliant podcast The Reserves during the Christmas holidays. The Reserves is a podcast where English Premier League (EPL) is discussed in depth (in Swedish). Listen to it!
In the last couple of episodes they discussed Nordic (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland) players in EPL. Here is their starting eleven (of course 4-4-2):
Roland Nilsson – Saami Hypiää – Henning Berg – John Arne Riise
Anders Limpar – Lars Bohinen – Thomas Gravesen – Fredrik Ljungberg
Eiður Guðjohnsen – Ole Gunnar Solskjær
I can’t complain at all, but still want to make a few changes. My starting eleven is (changes from the above are underlined):
Roland Nilsson – Saami Hypiää – Olof Mellberg – Hermann Hreiðarsson
Anders Limpar – Stefan Schwarz – Thomas Gravesen – Fredrik Ljungberg
Tore André Flo – Ole Gunnar Solskjær
The goalkeeper is obvious, there simply can’t be anyone with another suggestion. Roland Nilsson is, for me, one of greatest full backs in all time. Hermann Hreiðarsson is a personal favourite, he was a ruthless player and strong in both penalty areas. I choose Olof Mellberg instead of Henning Berg, but that was a close call.
In midfield I agree with three selections. Limpar and Ljungberg were both offensive threats for Arsenal for several seasons. Thomas Gravesen was absolutely brilliant for Everton before he moved to Real Madrid. He combined a strong attitude and hard tackles with a good passing game. The other central midfielder was the hardest one to choose for me. I first thought of Anders Svensson, but he played for the wrong club at the wrong time in Southampton and did not show his full potential in England. Lars Bohinen is not a bad pick, but I do not have strong memories from him in EPL. I also thought of Ronny Johnsen, who played as a defensive central midfielder at occasions, and did it well. With him I think Gravesen, Ljungberg, and Limpar could focus more on their offensive play. Johnsen is mainly a central defender however. I finally went for Stefan Schwarz who did not play many seasons in EPL, but he did well in Arsenal for a season, OK in Sunderland at the end of his career, and was a very good player overall.
In atttack there are plenty of Norwegians to choose from, Steffen Iversen, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and Tore André Flo, are three examples. I also consider Henrik Larsson after his short, but successful, spell at Manchester United. Eiður Guðjohnsen is not a bad pick, but I finally went for Solskjær together with Flo, who was a personal favourite at Chelsea.
You are very welcome to comment on this eleven. Anyone forgotten? Anyone that should be taken out of the team?
You can find another interesting eleven here.