Malmö FF finished seventh in allsvenskan last year and was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Swedish Cup. As a result, MFF will not qualify for the European Games for the first time in seven years. Already there, Malmö's new head coach, Henrik Rydström, has a difficult challenge in keeping a star-studded squad happy with playing time.
- This is a "blessing in disguise" if we use it correctly. Malmö has been very successful, it is a natural process that there is sometimes a slight decline. But it does provide the opportunity to take a new approach, says Henrik Rydström to SVT Sport at the all-Swedish kick-off meeting.
"I know Kalmar"
Malmö recruited Rydström from Kalmar. The club he played over 800 games for and where he was team captain in 2008, and in two years with Rydström as coach, Kalmar went from qualifying to a sensational fourth place. And in the all-Swedish premiere, of course, Malmö is pitted against Kalmar.
"I had similar when I took over Sirius, then we had Kalmar in the premiere, in Kalmar. It was probably even more special. It's going to be fun, but above all, it's great to meet our home crowd. I know Kalmar, then it's a tough nut to crack.
"Malmöite cockiness suits me"
Rydström thinks so far that his time in Malmö has been stimulating.
"There will be challenges with an experienced squad. I have also tried to use that experience and develop myself together with the players. In Kalmar, I could have said to the players: "we stand on our heads and we do this". By then, they'd probably have bought into it. Now I also need to justify to myself why we play like this.
Your daughter has painted your nails sky blue, how sky blue do you feel?
"I have to thank those around me in Malmö, because it's been a very warm welcome and I can come to terms with this Malmöite and half-hearted cockiness. Finally, I've tried to be like that, it fits my personality. It has not always fallen into good soil when it has been done in Kalmar.