Wednesday, 4 July 2007



This blog is not needed at the moment, so I am taking an extended holiday. When Bajen in English wants to he or she can pass the job back ;)

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Not Dead Yet

Hey, so I have been insanely busy lately, sorry for the eerie silence.

What's new in Bajenland?

Briefly, we skid through to the next round of the cup after defeating minnows Carlstad United on penalties (welcome to the team Fadi Malke!!!), Jeffrey Aubynn seems to be set for Ålesund (congrats on a fat paycheck!), but also seems to not be done whining... Claiming to have bad things to say about someone but not divulging them now usually means that the bad things aren't so bad. And honestly, it seems like this situation has been resolved nicely for everyone. So I would let bygones be if I were him.

Today we face Gefle away. I expect a tough battle. Eguren is questionable due to a foot injury, David (who I thought would be back by now) is still out with thigh pains, and Mikkel is doing well in rehab.

I predict the following eleven:

José - Sulan - Traoré - Emil
Erkan - Chanko - Eguren - Petter
Charlie - Paulinho

Having been so close to being very very wrong last time I predicted an easy win, I won't hesitate to make the same prediction again. Today we'll be treated to Charlie's first goal, and the first really solid game with Emil and Petter on left wing. José and Erkan will dominate their wing and Eguren will score off a header off a cross from José.

If I'm wrong, we'll win like last time. I can live with that.

No travel today, but Jeff and Ben will join me on the couch.


Sunday, 13 May 2007

All's Well that Ends Well

I'm going to focus on the positives:

  • We managed to beat a team that defended with 14 players (counting the ref and linesmen).
  • Heidar scored.
  • Richard Kingson was absolutely fantastic today.
  • This win HAS to be good for morale.
  • Paulinho scored another goal (ok so it won't help us in the table, but it was a good goal).
Beyond that, I will mention the middle of the second half, which was the weakest football we've produced this season. I will mention how my post below was SO wrong about several things that happened.

But I left with a smile, and so did everyone else I saw. Thank god for undeserved victories, they are the stuff of champions!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Welcome to the Terrordome

I got so much trouble on my mind
I refuse to lose
Here's your ticket
Hear the drummer get wicked

Yeah, that's the other Chuck D...

Tomorrow, we welcome Örebro to what I believe will be a day of utter terror for them. And I say that knowing next to nothing about their team (all I know is if you pick Allsvenskan in FM2007 and don't buy Nedim Halilovic you're denying yourself success). I still feel confident that they have dim prospects tomorrow, for the following reasons:

  • Richard Kingson has been looking really sharp, and I think he has made our defense go from shaky to solid by structuring things around the penalty area. We go into this game having conceded the least goals in Allsvenskan, and nothing about Örebro's previous results makes me think this will be any different at full time.
  • Haris Laitinen looks like he's been jonesing for football big time. His sub appearances have been very promising. He looks like an entirely different player after being loaned to Norrköping: fast, strong, powerful, determined, and with a venomous passing game. I think he is going to make a serious bid for a first team spot tomorrow, and it would surprise me if he doesn't get a goal or an assist. He has been humble in interviews, but he really is unlucky to be competing for a spot on the team in our midfield. He would have played 5 games so far for any other team in Allsvenskan. Not that any other team deserves him...
  • It ought to suit Charlie to play with Haris and Petter on the wings as there should be less emphasis on crossing and more on through balls. I don't think any defense has really managed to contain our strikers (most apparent in terms of the amount of long distance goals as their defenders have collapsed into the penalty area), and if he keeps getting the chances like he did away to Malmö... eventually the press will have to pretend they believed in him all along...
  • Number 12 (yours truly and people like me) is in top form and really taking to the coach, the team and the season. It will be hard not to win with us cheering them on. Looks like the weather won't be too bad either, so we can expect a decent turnout (hell, my brother Jeff has even agreed to meet me in time for Kenta...). Sing for Bajen! Rattle ÖSK and break their resolve! Boo and hiss the ref!
  • Eguren and Chanko. I have no reason to believe their performance will drop from the last couple of games, so midfield will be ours, no matter who Örebro pick to start. Nuff said.
  • The defensive line is beginning to look like a really competitive part of the team, with some exciting things for Tony to ponder after Jose set the right wing on fire against Malmö. David may or may not be fit to start, but in any case we are in a very different situation compared to previous seasons where our defenders have been picked on the merit of being uninjured. I won't say I don't miss Max and Petur, but in a way I feel we have the makings of something every bit as good. And the transfer window is opening quite soon...
  • Tony has done very well at dismantling the teams he faced managing Degerfors last season (ahem, well, at least in competitive games...). Örebro are another one of those teams, and he seems to have his plan ready. I am developing a strong trust in the man, so things look good for tomorrow if you ask me.
I know it is not customarily seen as proper to walk through the gates at SÖS expecting a win, but I don't care. I can't see Örebro getting in our way this season, especially not at home. And we always win when Jeff gets there in time for Kenta (this is scientific fact).

And they're not Gefle.

Move as a team
Never move alone
Welcome to the Terrordome

Friday, 11 May 2007

Fair Weather Friends

Another big news issue in Bajenland lately is speculation on where Jeffrey Aubynn will be playing after the transfer window opens in June. I will decline commenting on the events that have led to his imminent transfer, because frankly, I don't think they are anywhere near as important as his agent and some Swedish journalists do (or did). Suffice it to say he and the club have failed to agree on a contract for next season, and things have gone a little sour.

The different possibilities have been narrowed down to Ålesund in Norway, IFK Göteborg in Sweden, an unnamed club in the Coca Cola Championship (England, although why anyone reading this would need that help I couldn't possibly fathom), and another unnamed club in Switzerland. I have a preference in this case, actually, and have tried to take into consideration my own interests as a Hammarby fan as well as those Jeff holds in furthering his career as a footballer.

I hope he will move to Ålesund. The money will be good (obviously this is one of his interests, and I am not being judgmental here, who wouldn't want more money?), and I think he could do well for that club. The Swiss league has been (it seems to me at least) a great way for Swedish footballers to go nowhere fast, and the Coke Championship is... how shall I put this... not, perhaps, the right environment for a footballer whose capacities are optimised for matches only 70 minutes long, who hates taking on pressing responsibility in defense, and whose temper is easily exploited by the opposition. I think he would not last long there. His qualities would come in handy for a team that has been struggling of late as his individual qualities, vision and great passing are very useful for a counter-attacking team (I don't know too much about Ålesund but considering the other Tippeliga teams have made them their bitches I assume they spend a lot of time defending and hoping to break away...). He also produces his best football when he stands out in the squad as one of the more creative and skilled players (like it or not, this is true of some players).

Considering his skill would make him stand out in IFK (subtle dig that, you're welcome...), how come I don't want him there? In fact, this would be my least favourite option. Why? Because Jeffrey Aubynn, while not my favourite Hammarby player, is a player I would absolutely hate to see in an opposing side. His ability to produce unexpected moments of brilliance would be a constant source of anxiety, and I have a feeling his emotional reaction to donning the blue and white stripes to hit the field and face Bajen in the aftermath of the events that have passed might GIVE HIM THE FOCUS AND STAMINA TO LAST AND PERFORM AT TOP CAPACITY FOR 90 MINUTES. I would not want any Allsvenskan side to have a player like that, unless it was Hammarby.

For these reasons, I wish Jeff the best of luck abroad, and hope he will find good employment. Being an "utlandsproffs" is also an unofficial (and ridiculous) prerequisite for being picked for the national side*, and he would make a great Sweden sub for the games where the dull defensive game Sweden often deploys for is not working out.

Incidentally, this post should hopefully reveal my "blogger ethos". I will try to be fair, if not entirely balanced (I am a fan after all), without holding back my opinions. This might make me a bully (hehe) in the eyes of some, but they would more likely than not be equally unbalanced in their pursuit of their own agendas. Simply put, I think it would be best for everyone if Aubynn found a different league to play in. Maybe he could do well for Twente (I know they have an opening they need a low budget solution for)?

*) There are exceptions, of course, but no relevant ones, as the players I am referring to here don't belong in the national side anyway...

Update: A million thanks to Nacka jr @ svenskafans for the banner image!!!!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Will Charlie Ever Score?

Since Tuesday's brave 1-1 draw away to Malmö, the main concern held by anyone who cares about Hammarby (whether it be caring for them or caring that they are proving their pre-season critics oh so wrong so far) is whether or not Charlie Davies will ever score...

I won't pretend to be psychic or even informed, but I do know one thing. His hair is improving gradually, and presumably his chances with the ladies are improving along with it. He's a young lad, and there is no point being rushed about these things.

Yeah, I'm being naughty, but so is anyone who is trying to imply that there must be some kind of problem when a 20-year old player in his first pro season has played for three and a half games and "only" done really well and created chances, goals and a penalty for his team. Of course his results and performance will improve gradually as he settles in at the club. And honestly, he's done enough already to earn my undying love. I enjoy seeing AIK defenders made to look that sluggish, and it's an enjoyment that hangs around and lasts a long time.

Some fans are discussing a coordinated display of faith in our new hot prospect at the next home game, but I think that would be a waste of everyone's time. Charlie, and the rest of our lads, won't need faith on Sunday. The guys in need of faith are the Örebro defense, because they will need divine intervention to keep from being run over completely. The fans' efforts will be better spent on coming up with a good chant or two to celebrate our goals, whoever scores them. I expect my voice to be busted up beyond recognition by halftime... how's that for faith?

Bajen in English

It seems the previous Bajen blog in English is now defunct, so I have decided to take it upon myself to bear this burden for a while. I have been told there is some interest out there (Stateside? Ghana? Fulham or Saints fans? "Utlandsproffs" who "klarar inte sprrrraket sa brar lengrrre"?) so I will try to offer good news reports and some of my own views and opinions.

A little background on me: I was taken to my first few games in 1982 at age six. My best friend's dad used to cycle for Hammarby and took us to the footie. The 1982 season is one of the most important seasons in the history of the club, and time permitting I will try to give an account of my experiences that year as the blog develops. I have been in and out of the stands in the years since, my most committed periods of fandom being in the early nineties and again since the fabulous 2001 season. I am bilingual, half-Swedish/half-English, and I will always be a Bajen fan. My UK home is in Southampton, so yeah, I'm a Saints fan too, but I would support Bajen against Saints any day.

I spend my two hours of cathartic yelling and mob mentality in section K accompanied by my younger brother Jeff and my comrade in arms Ben (when they can get their shit together that is). I go to the games to add some pzazz to my life, and that's why you'll see me smiling there more often than not (no matter how the god of footie treats us on the specific occasion). Fandom, to me, is about full support no matter what. My favourite memories from SÖS are always the times when the crowd cheers the team on to turn a game that started poorly around, and when things look grim I remember that they have to for this to happen. If this makes me a fool, pity me from your flimsy battlements of negativity, I won't care (I am simply too busy enjoying the game and coming up with sentences like this one).

Enough with the intro, time to get the show on the road!