Swedish weapon in the European Championships: “It is inconceivable” · Best since Bengan Boys

Sweden has its widest squad since the Bengan Boys.

Properly used, it should take Blue Yellow all the way.

– If we can roll on two line-ups, we have incredible strength at the end of the tournament, says Martin Boquist, assistant national team captain.

A year ago, Sweden went to the World Cup final.

– In my opinion, the team is stronger now than in the World Cup, says team captain Andreas Palicka before today’s European Championship premiere.

Federation captain Glenn Solberg does not want to say that the team is better now, but instead highlights “the fantastic breadth”.

He is not alone in thinking so.

– It is an unimaginable width and depth in this team of nine meters and the edges, says Viasat’s expert Martin Frändesjö and continues:

– Then you are definitely thinner on the goalkeeper side, but where you have the height with Palicka when he is in his best mood. And we can only hope that mid-sex will be a little better offensively than in the Olympics.

“Do exceptional things”

But back to the nine-meter players:

– I do not know if we have had such a good crew on the left nine at any time, says Frändesjö.

Jonathan Carlsbogård, who got his breakthrough in the World Cup and is ready for Barcelona (after opting out of Kiel) this summer, is accompanied by young championship debutant Eric Johansson and Karl Wallinius, who both play in the Champions League on a daily basis.

– Eric and Karl do exceptional things, says Palicka.

Jonathan Carlsbogård pays tribute.

Then we should know that a number of high-caliber left-wing nines are not even in the squad (see list below).

In the middle nine, Sweden has two of 2021’s best players in the world, Jim Gottfridsson and Felix Claar, and to the right is the experienced Albin Lagergren and the extremely strong Lukas Sandell.

“Had become good internal matches”

In fact, in the second line-up of nine meters (Johansson – Claar – Sandell) everyone has heavy roles in their Champions League teams.

– These are terrible lineups, says assistant league captain Martin Boquist and continues:

– All seven nine-meters also play second or third back as well. We have two complete teams. It had been good internal matches.

Has Sweden ever had such a width of nine meters?

– If you take into account that they can play defense as well, it has probably never been wider. Not what I know anyway, says Boquist.

So there are plenty of alternatives and it is important to choose the right one among them.

– We are convinced that if we can roll on two lineups, and manage to get both to perform, we have incredible strength at the end of the tournament. Then you have to get there too. It’s a gamble. You should not stare blindly at the width either. You have to find lineups and leaders who win matches, says Boquist.

Sweden’s incredible breadth on the left nine

I EM-TRUPPEN

Jonathan Carlsbogård, 26, Lemgo

Number one in the position. “Late bloomer” who got his breakthrough in the World Cup debut last year. High-class central defender. Chose between Barcelona and Kiel for next season. Tog Barça.

Eric Johansson, 21, Elverum

Championship debutant who is predicted to be the next big, Swedish handball star. After dominating the Handball League last year, he left Guif for Norwegian Elverum where he made his breakthrough in the Champions League this autumn. Developed his defensive game a lot lately.

Karl Wallinius, 22, Montpellier

Left Lugi for Montpellier this summer and has had an incredible development in the French league and Champions League. Physical two-way player with a heavy shot who made his first international appearance in November after being called in as a reserve. Probably third in the position at present.

OUTSIDE THE EC TEAM

Alfred Jönsson, 23, Skjern

Super talent as a young man and took part in the World Cup silver in Egypt, where he made some strong efforts. Has since lost his national team place as he barely plays defense in the club team and thus does not develop there.

Simon Jeppsson, 26, Erlangen

Super shooter who made four straight championships in 2017–2020 but who did not gain Solberg’s confidence as he also barely plays defense. Tops the list of most goals + assists this season in the world’s best league (Bundesliga).

Oskar Sunnefeldt, 23, Leipzig

Participated in both the World Cup and the Olympics, albeit in very small roles and mostly for his all-roundness forwards and backwards. Won the Champions League and Bundesliga during the scarce season he was in Kiel last year. Have had it pretty heavy in Leipzig this season.

Lukas Nilsson, 25, Rhein-Neckar Löwen

Wonder child who played six straight championships before he turned 24 years old. Went to Kiel as a 19-year-old but has been playing in a Rhein-Neckar Löwen on dekis for two years. Declined the World Cup last year due to the pandemic and has since been rejected by Solberg. Also has its limitations in the defense.

Ellliot Stenmalm, 19, Redbergslid

Sweden’s new super talent. Goes to the Polish super club Kielce this summer. Solberg believes in Stenmalm and let him be an extra player during the European Championship recharging.

Adam Lönn, 30, Stuttgart

Two-way player who is fifth on the list of most goals and assists in the entire Bundesliga. But he is never mentioned in the national team discussions due to the murderous competition.

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Swedish weapon in the European Championships: “It is inconceivable” · Best since Bengan Boys

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