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Utterance, Viking | Looks more and more like a goalkeeper problem at Viking

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Utterance, Viking |  Looks more and more like a goalkeeper problem at Viking

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COMMENT: The Icelandic national team member is not a bad goalkeeper on the line. Unfortunately, both wrong choices and shortcomings with the legs are becoming too visible. He doesn’t seem to have taken the steps one should have expected over the last few seasons. In the big match against Brann, he made the blue part of the 15,900 spectators feel the taste of heart in their throats a little too many times.

On the 1-1 goal, his mess was also directly decisive for Viking not actually stealing what had been three undeserved points. Sondre Langås tried to shield the ball for Gunnarson to come out. Instead, the goalkeeper hesitated. When he first came for the ball, he boxed it straight at Ole Didrik Blomberg – who poked it in from an angle.

Even before this, he could easily have cost Viking a couple of late goals. After seven minutes, he served a horrible wrong pass which resulted in a finish in the crossbar. He messed it up with the ball at his feet several times beyond that, including together with a pressed Djibril Diop after 65 minutes.

Gunnarsson’s main problem, apart from the fact that he is not as confident with the ball at his feet as his competitor Arild Østbø, often seems to be about his judgment. Although the Vikings’ coaches encourage the goalkeepers to play out, rather than wedge the ball far up the pitch, there is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes it’s about minimizing risk. Don’t play off pressure to be able to get more free rent going forward. This is missed too often.

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Gunnarsson has also previously cost Viking points in decisive situations. For example, he has a long way to go to take on his mantle that Viking did not go to a lucrative group stage in Europe in the 2022 season. The duel between Arild Østbø and Gunnarsson has been closer than most people might realize this winter. There would not have been much to say if the former had been chosen for the series premiere if one exclusively looks at the performances in matches and in training.

At the same time, there are many indications that politics around the choice of goalkeeper at Viking play a role – although the club will certainly deny exactly that externally. Gunnarsson is at an age that makes him very marketable. He is also a national team player. That showcase further increases the attractiveness. The club has also invested a significant sum for him when he was bought from English side Brentford. Arild Østbø starts in many ways at 0-1 in the match against Gunnarsson. The local veteran should have every reason to be a little irritated by the situation.

It will be very exciting to see what the Vikings’ coaches now do in the run-up to the next series round. Østbø is probably in the cup, but at one point or another almost weak play must have consequences for Gunnarsson as well.

The dark blues can’t count on staying in the top fight if they don’t steal points a few times. This applies both against the best teams, such as Brann, but also on bad days. Then a good goalkeeper is absolutely essential to have at the back.

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Having said all this, Viking did not deserve more than a maximum of one point against Brann. The away team created far more chances. Especially in the second half, Viking was hanging on by the ropes. The home team also did not create a single scoring chance even after the break. On one point, they should be well satisfied with how the match turned out.

Brann blew several chances they normally score on. Viking was also saved by VAR on one occasion.

It is of course too early to draw conclusions after three series rounds, but Brann exposed the Vikings a long way.

The crew of Bjarte Lunde Aarsheim and Morten Jensen still has a way to go before it plays as well as it does with teams like Brann and Bodø/Glimt.

Combat acts:

Football, Eliteserien: Viking-Brann 1-1 (1-0)

SR Bank Arena, 15,900 spectators

Goals: 1-0 Lars-Jørgen Salvesen (22), 1-1 Ole Didrik Blomberg (70).

Yellow cards: Joe Bell, Sondre Langås, Viking. Emil Kornvig,

Fire. Viking (4-3-3): Patrik Gunarsson – Viljar Vevatne, Sondre Langås, Djibril Diop, Jost Urbancic – Patrick Yazbek (Gianni Stensness for 5 min., Joe Bell (Sondre Auklend for 15 min.), Harald Nilsen Tangen (Yann – Erik de Lanlay in 29 min.) – Sander Svendsen (Peter Christiansen in 29 min.), Lars-Jørgen Salvesen, Nicholas D’Agostino (Zlatko Tripic in 29 min.). Fire (4-3-3): Mathias Dyngeland – Ruben Kristiansen, Japhet Sery Larsen, Fredrik Pallesen Knudsen, Svenn Hagmann Crone – Emil Nestved Kornvig, Sivert Heltne Nilsen, Niklas Jensen Wassberg (Sander Kartum in 47 min.)- Magnus Warming (Ulrik Mathisen in 18 min. (Niklas Castro in 1 min.), Bård Finne, Ole Didrik Blomberg.

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Judge: Tore Hansen

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