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Kalle Koskinen: The Iceman

Kalle Koskinen Challenges The World Of Football In This Tale
Started on 23 April 2019 by Justice
Latest Reply on 7 December 2019 by Griffo
Justice's avatar Group Justice
11 monthsEdited

Cup Final Heartbreak For Peimari Again

SJK Scored A Stoppage Time Winner Against Peimari United In The Suomen Cup Final


Peimari United were left heartbroken by the final of the Suomen Cup for a second successive season as they suffered defeat at the hands of SJK. A Rafael Bilu wonder goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time did the damage as SJK lifted the trophy at their own stadium Seinäjoen jalkapallostadion. The result means that Peimari United have lost their second successive cup final, in as many seasons.

There was a party atmosphere before the game in Seinäjoki as Seinäjoen jalkapallostadion prepared for the Suomen Cup final. 3,960 people fitted into the stadium but Peimari United were left with few supporters, with only 244 of those making up the away crowd support. The away support sang louder than there numbers suggested, however, creating an atmosphere born of passion and pride.

The game was fueled on the passion demonstrated by the fans, with both sets of players putting on a high-intensity performance which captivated onlookers. It was a fiery affair, but with no malice, as play was stopped regularly for players showing too much excitement in some challenges. It was tough, tight and tense. It was a proper cup final.

Both teams lost a player to injury in the first half, however. SJK's midfield maestro Obed Malolo was the first to leave the action. The young midfielder came out badly from a duel with Sasha Popovitch, and was stretchered off the field of play while clutching his foot. Peimari United's teenage ace Jesper Santanen was next to leave, just before half time. The striker hit the ground hard following an aerial battle with SJK's Patrik Raitanen, and strained his knee ever-so-slightly, ending his game prematurely.

There may have been no goals in the first half but spectators were not disappointed in the second. It was the hosts who scored first, through Emile Tendeng, their Senegalese left-sided attacker. Rafael Bilu was proving to be the most creative player on the pitch, and the Brazilian created the goal with a low cross from the right wing. Tendeng was unmarked and made no mistake by flashing his shot across Peimari's goal to give SJK the lead.

Antti Pokela came on as a sub in the first half for the injured Jesper Santanen and, just like he has done all season, provided a goal scoring touch from the bench. Akseli Ollila has been Peimari United's standout attacker this season, and the youngster's exemplary long ball over the top of SJK's defence was taken down beautifully by Pokela, who feinted his way past SJK's goalkeeper Teppo Marttinen before rolling the ball into an empty net. It was simple, but so beautiful.

The game was always going to require a bit of magic to decide the outcome, and the world of football was not disappointed by the winner. With many stoppages throughout the second half due to fouls and minor injuries, six minutes had been added on as stoppage time. It was in the final minute of stoppage time when Rafael Bilu proved why he was Veikkausliiga's best player. The Brazilian attacker, on loan from Corinthians, picked up the ball on the edge of Peimari's D before swiveling on the spot to work his way away from Hyökyvirta. Bilu then showed incredible composure to slam a powerful drive into the bottom left corner of the goal, sending the SJK fans into euphoria. It was game over.

Rafael Bilu Scored A Wonder Goal To Settle The Game In Stoppage Time

There was jubilation for the SJK players as they lifted the Suomen Cup. It was another trophy for a team who had impressed Finnish football so often in recent times, as well as the chance to go on and compete in UEFA Europa League qualifiers. For Peimari United, it was heartbreak once more. It wasn't the end of the season for Peimari, who still had so much to play for, but it was a significant hurdle not cleared.

SJK 2-1 Peimari United

Player Ratings:
GK: Marttinen (6.8)
DR: Tikkanen (7.1)
DCR: Hatakka (6.9)
DCL: Raitanen (7.3)
DL: Sundman (7.5)
MCR: Laaksonen (6.9)
MCL: Malolo (6.9)
AMR: Bilu (6.8)
AMC: Raí (6.8)
AML: Tendeng (6.5)
ST: Tolonen (6.4)
Subs Used:
Sub 1: Kadio (6.6) [19']
Sub 2: Winchester (8.1) [60']
Sub 3: Manoel (N/A) [70']

Manager: Alexei Eremenko
Peimari United:
GK: Hakala (6.9)
DR: Rodrigues (6.6)
DCR: Mäkelä (6.7)
DCL: Holma (6.5)
DL: Virtanen (6.2)
DM: Hyökyvirta (6.9)
MCR: Popovitch (6.8)
MCL: Järvinen (6.6)
AMR: Larsson (6.8) [71']
AML: Ollila (6.9)
ST: Santanen (6.4) [42']
Subs Used:
Sub 1: Pokela (7.0) [42']
Sub 2: Kauppinen (6.6) [71']
Sub 3: N/A

Manager: Kalle Koskinen

Rafael Bilu's Stoppage Time Winner Won The Suomen Cup For SJK

Kalle Koskinen:
"It is a very tough result to take. It's never nice to lose a cup final, especially in the manner we have. By stoppage time, we were both physically and mentally drained, and their goal really hurt us. You could see by the reactions by our players and our fans when the goal went in that we were crushed by the outcome of the game. That makes it two years in a row now that we have reached the final and played well, but have come short in the end.

I think we have to give SJK a lot of credit. Their team is probably one of the best I've ever seen in Finnish football. Their star players turned on the style today and the fans got to see a very special team play some fantastic football. (Rafael) Bilu was unstoppable today, it has to be said. Alongside (Emile) Tendeng and (Maximo) Tolonen, that SJK team looked a real menace. They can become a true force, if they keep up their development.

We can take a lot from the game today. I've always said that games like this will prove important in our development on and off the pitch and we hit a major learning curve today. We lost today but we played very well and it was one of the first times we played in a game that was so fiery from start to finish. Our squad is a very young one and, even though we lost, we can take great pride in what we have achieved."

Comment Section

BigMaguire, yes he was
TheLFCFan, Snickers isn't everybody's cup of tea ;)
Jack, seems quite nuts if you think about it
ScottT, quite a sh*t way to go

Previous Update: #54 - Former UEFA Vice-President Found Dead In Home
Next Update: #56 - Friend Or Foe?
There's the disappointment of losing a cup final and there's losing a cup final in the manner Kalle and Peimari have just lost a cup final. Such a heartbreaking way to end what has been a terrific run to the final, once again. The support of Peimari is slowly improving, although some may have been lured to the game purely due to the occasion. It's not always important to have numbers, but rather supporters who are willing to give their team an extra boost - showing them support via encouragement, songs etc. They say three is the charm and I'm hoping that you are given the opportunity to return to the final for a third consecutive year and take that extra step. Otherwise, Kalle may have a while until he can shake off the tag of being a loser on the biggest stage, as harsh as that may be given his other successes.
Seems as though Kalle just can't win this competition. Once again playing a side in the Veikkausliiga was a massive challenge and Peimari were very unfortunate to lose it so late on to a magnificent goal. Hopefully that disappointment can be buried and the team can continue to learn lessons as a young squad should.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
11 monthsEdited

Friend Or Foe?

Kalle Koskinen Socialised With A Former Team Mate Of His


"I've never been that good a manager, in truth. You've got far more ability in that department than I do, Kalle!"

It was a statement of pure modesty, exemplifying the type of character that sat before me. Still clothed in his battle outfit, an FC Ilves tracksuit top and pants, he sipped on a cold pint and involved himself in a good-humoured conversation with myself. He embodied everything that was good about football; he was happy, charming, warm, friendly, and an air of true serenity exuded from him through the form of smiles, words and laughter. He was more than a friend. Sami Hyypiä was family.

We had been team mates for the Finnish national team for a short time. From the time of my international debut in November 2007 until early 2010, we had had played many games together. Sami was a far greater footballer than I but we were both regarded to be in the same inner circle of top-class footballers that Finland had at the time. We were among the nation's finest athletes and a mutual respect and friendship grew from our time together with our nation's colours adorned on our chests.

In more recent times, we had become enemies on the pitch. While I was managing Peimari United, Sami was the manager of FC Ilves. We were both gunning for top spot in Ykkönen. While it was the first time that Peimari United had been in the league, Sami was looking to guide FC Ilves back to Veikkausliiga, from where they were relegated from. Both of our teams had been performing well above expectation and we it looked set to be a two-horse race between us for the title. It set up a clash between the pair of us at the end of May at HakkisPaana, our home ground, quite nicely.

My Peimari side overcame Sami's Ilves side on the day, but only just. Antti Pokela had taken Jesper Santanen's place in the starting lineup, due to a mixture of injury and form, and Pokela was the man who scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win, thumping a half-volley in midway through the first half. It was a goal worthy of winning a clash between the league's top two teams, but both teams deserved the three points. It was an incredible display of skill and physicality from both sides.

I welcomed Sami to Paimio after the game for the pair of us to catch up over some food and a drink. To my pleasure, he duly obliged. We visited a local tavern and quenched our thirst and filled our stomachs, while recounting various tales from our playing days. Sami spoke at great length of his time at Liverpool, which I took keen interest in. He was fond of the club's support, particularly during European fixtures, and of his dream to one day lead the club as manager. He admitted that his prospects of becoming the king of Anfield were not great, but he held the club in high regard nonetheless.

With FC Ilves, Sami was based in Tampere, some 180 kilometers from Helsinki by car, and 190 kilometers from his hometown of Porvoo by car too. Sami admitted that he would be tempted by a move back to Finland's capital district, should one become available. His entire family lived in, or around, Helsinki and it was a place he had great affection for. At the age of forty-six, he wished to be closer to the place he called home.

Sami was aware that any move to Helsinki would spell the end of his time as manager of FC Ilves. While he admitted that he enjoyed being the gaffer of a very reputable club in Finland, he was equally adamant that Tampere was not the place for him to make any major step forward in his managerial career. FC Ilves was a club who's development had a distinct ceiling and reaching any higher would have been a feat worthy of the gods.

For Sami, his managerial career happened in the wrong order. He became involved in the Finnish national team managerial setup, albeit as an assistant manager, in 2011. In 2012, he became manager of Bundesliga giants FC Bayer Leverkusen 04. His time at the club was not a prosperous one, and he eventually parted with the German giants in 2014. Up next was a brief spell at Brighton & Hove Albion of England before spending time in Switzerland as manager of FC Zürich. It was 2018 when he began managing in Finland, becoming manager of Kemi Kings. Last year, he joined FC Ilves, his latest club, completing his career to date. It was a career which had been winding down from the highs of European football with a major club to clubs in the lower leagues of Finnish football. His managerial ability certainly did not fit his playing ability.

Sami was honest about his abilities and openly discussed, with the media, the mistakes he had made during his time as a manager. He earned a lot of respect from the public for his words, with many football fans finding it easy to identify with a figure they idolised dearly. Sami had become the public's best friend and had a major backing in Finland. Win, draw or loss, he was always able to rely on his club's fans, and the fans of other clubs, to support his decisions.

Despite being enemies in the league, Sami and I were close away from work. It was Sami who gave me the most important piece of advice I had ever received in my managerial career. He had taught me to compartmentalise my work.

"Football takes a toll on you like no other sport, Kalle. It may not be as intense here in Finland as it is in Europe but do not let that deceive you; football becomes your life and your life becomes football if you're not careful. Make sure that you have a life outside of football, or you shall have no life at all."

Comment Section

ScottT, it isn't a tag that Kalle wants to have, but one born out of being very good but not the best. Hopefully (one day) he'll shake that tag off.
TheLFCFan, hopefully next time Peimari United will be a Veikkausliiga team in the next final and win it then!
Jack, :(

Previous Update: #55 - Cup Final Heartbreak For Peimari Again
Next Update: #57 - Season 2020: May
As much as football is about winning, it is always good to have someone you can call a friend and receive important advice off. Sami is the perfect man to do that as he has made mistakes along the way but also been at the highest levels as a player and manager.
Sami's managerial career has certainly been an interesting one. His time at Brighton was one not remembered fondly by the supporters, I seem to recount. His honesty is refreshing and it's good to see him and Kalle enjoying time together, recalling on memories together. His final words are very ominous; something that Koskinen will no doubt ponder on.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
11 monthsEdited

Season 2020: May

An Overview Of Peimari United In May 2020

Kalle Koskinen:
"May was expected to be an incredibly busy month for the club. We were looking to lay down a marker in Ykkönen football and continue our march in the Suomen Cup. Despite only just earning promotion, we were quietly confident about our chances of winning another league title. We had a strong group of players who were all young and had plenty of room for improvement. We were ready for the challenges that lay ahead of us.


Peimari Played Nine Games In May Including A Suomen Cup Final

The league play so us compete in six fixtures during May. We proved to be strong enough to win all six. Kevin Larsson was inspirational against JJK, scoring a well-taken brace. Akseli Ollila scored four goals in a 5-1 thumping of KTP, just days after we defeated them in the Suomen Cup semi finals. Wins against AC Kajaani, Gnistan Helsinki and KPV Kokkola followed before a major victory over fellow title challengers FC Ilves, who were managed by Sami Hyypiä.

Suomen Cup
We continued our amazing adventure in the Suomen Cup. Two late goals helped us to victory away to TPS in the quarter finals before we then defeated KTP late on in the semi finals. SJK stood in our way in the final and, despite an impressive performance on our part, they scored in the sixth minute of stoppage time to claim the trophy and break our hearts.

Player of the Month

Antti Pokela Was Peimari United's Star Player During May 2020

Antti Pokela was our hero in May. The young striker was contesting a starting spot in the team with teenage wonderkid Jesper Santanen and, while both players performed extraordinarily, Pokela was incredible. Pokela scored in every game he played, finding the back of the net seven times, and also assisted two other goals.

Riku Sjöroos' Monthly Stats
Appearances: 7
Goals: 7
Assists: 2
PotM Awards: 1
Disciplinary Record
Fouls Committed: 4 (0.57 per game)
Fouls Against: 6 (0.86 per game)
Yellow Cards: 0
Red Cards: 0
Attacking Play
Shots On Target Ratio: 76.19% (16/21)
Dribbles Completed: 3 (0.43 per game)
Key Passes: 7 (1 per game)
General Play
Pass Completion Ratio: 81.58% (62/76)
Headers Won: 12 (1.71 per game)
Average Rating: 7.46
Defensive Play
Key Tackles: 0 (0 per game)
Tackles Won Ratio: 50% (1/2)
Interceptions: 2 (0.29 per game)

Assistant Manager's Report
Value: €425
Wage: €70 p/w
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:


Peimari United Topped Ykkönen With A 100% Win Record

So far, so perfect. Seven wins from seven had put us into a position of real ascendancy. Our magnificent goal scoring record was only matched by FC Ilves, who played two games more than us. Our defensive record was the best in the league. With only twenty games remaining in the league, we knew that a few more wins in a row would make us certain favourites to win the league.


Peimari United's Finances Were On The Way Down

A significant increase in wage expenditure this season meant that our balance was dropping rapidly. We were anticipating this but it was a risk worth taking for potential promotion. We knew that the only way to keep our spending sustainable was to earn promotion.

Upcoming Fixtures

Peimari United Had Seven Fixtures In June

Seven big games for us in June. We knew that another unbeaten month would put us in an enviable position on top of the league with a strong lead. That was our aim.

Comment Section

TheLFCFan, yes
ScottT, no

Previous Update: #56 - Friend Or Foe?
Next Update: #58 - Season 2020: June
A great set of results, especially those victories against KPV and, more impressively, Sami's Ilves. To recover from a heartbreaking loss in a cup final and collect six points from six is an impressive show of character. The stuff of champions!
Not a bad start at all there in the league. Almost reminds of a certain someone!
The perfect start. Quite literally could not ask for better. Let’s hope it stays the same.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
11 monthsEdited

Season 2020: June

An Overview Of Peimari United In June 2020

Kalle Koskinen:
"We had made an absolutely phenomenal start to the Ykkönen campaign, winning seven games out of seven. We had made ourselves early season favourites to lift the title, but talk was just talk and we needed to walk the walk. Following our heartbreak in the Suomen Cup final, we were hungry and we were angry. The message to the players was to channel their rage into playing at an unstoppable level. We weren't just going to roll over when the gauntlet had been thrown at us."


Peimari Remained Unbeaten In The League

It was just Ykkönen action for us in June, and for the remainder of the season. We started the month brightly, recording a comfortable win away to a very strong FC Haka side. This was followed up with a come-from-behind win over JJK at Harjun stadion. We forced victories against KPV Kokkola, MP Mikkeli and Kemi Kings. We dropped points in draws against MP Mikkeli and KTP, but they were results that could be seen as points rescued rather than points dropped. We knew it would have been difficult to record a 100% record throughout the entire season, so drawing games wasn't too much of a disappointment. For good measure, I had the players doing sprints for an entire 24 hours after each draw.

Player of the Month

Riku Sjöroos Was Peimari United's Star Player During June 2020

Riku Sjöroos was our hero in June. Akseli Ollila picked up a medium-term injury during June, leaving Riku as our only real AML. He produced the goods, scoring four times in June as he helped our team to another undefeated month. He was fast becoming a club hero.

Riku Sjöroos' Monthly Stats
Appearances: 6
Goals: 4
Assists: 0
PotM Awards: 1
Disciplinary Record
Fouls Committed: 4 (0.67 per game)
Fouls Against: 7 (1.17 per game)
Yellow Cards: 0
Red Cards: 0
Attacking Play
Shots On Target Ratio: 41.38% (12/29)
Dribbles Completed: 4 (0.67 per game)
Key Passes: 6 (1 per game)
General Play
Pass Completion Ratio: 89.36% (126/141)
Headers Won: 20 (3.33 per game)
Average Rating: 7.35
Defensive Play
Key Tackles: 0 (0 per game)
Tackles Won Ratio: 100% (4/4)
Interceptions: 5 (0.83 per game)

Assistant Manager's Report
Value: €39,500
Wage: €120 p/w
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:


Peimari United Were Clear At The Top Of The Table

Almost perfect. We were fourteen points clear after fourteen games. We scored more goals and conceded fewer than anybody else. Just over the halfway stage, we looked like winning the league comfortably. We knew that one more good month was going to be enough to all-but secure the title early.


Peimari United's Finances Were On The Way Down


Upcoming Fixtures

Peimari United Had Just Four Fixtures In July

Fixture congestion was over. We were back to playing one game per week, which allowed us ample time to prepare for each fixture. We were excited about having the opportunity to all-but wrap up the league title. The game against FC Ilves was an opportunity to knock them out of the race.

Comment Section

ScottT, we rebounded very well and I'm proud of the players. They've shown an appetite matched only by their performances.
Jack, who would that be? ;)
TheLFCFan, and stay the same it shall!

Previous Update: #57 - Season 2020: May
Next Update: #59 - Koskinen Rejects Germany Approach
Might as well just promote you now and get it over and done with.
I agree with Jack... this is too easy. :P
Justice's avatar Group Justice
11 monthsEdited

Koskinen Rejects Germany Approach

Kalle Koskinen Rejected The Opportunity To Become Manager Of The German National Team


Kalle Koskinen rejected advances made by the German FA as leaders of of the German national team made the former Finland and Bayern Munich midfielder their number one target for the vacant managerial position. Koskinen was offered the job a week after Germany lifted the UEFA European Championship with a 1-0 win over Holland in the final at Wembley. Former manager Joachim Löw resigned from the role, citing his desire to return to club management as his reason for departing from his role.

Kalle Koskinen had been selected as ideal candidate due to his profound philosophy of integrating younger players into his squad with minimal deterrence. Koskinen took charge of Finnish lower league side Peimari United in December 2018 and has pushed through promising youngsters Kevin Larsson, Rasmus Nielsen, Jukka Virtanen, Jesper Santanen, Akseli Ollila, and others, during his time at the club which has so far yielded a Kakkonen league title, a Kakkonen Cup title, two Suomen Cup finals, while Peimari currently lead the Ykkönen by an unassailable margin.

While Koskinen's managerial career has, to date, not yielded more than a couple of lower league trophies in Finland, it was perhaps his reputation as a player which enticed the German FA. Koskinen was an integral part of the Bayern Munich side which won the UEFA Champions League in 2013, having finished as runners-up in 2010 and 2012 too. Koskinen formed an ideal partnership with veteran midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, and his ideology of football on and off the pitch has put him in the public eye more often than not. The German public had grown fond of Koskinen during his time as a player in Munich.

According to Franz Beckenbauer, who was acting as a spokesperson for the German FA, Kalle Koskinen rejected the FA's approaches to continue on as Peimari United manager. Beckenbauer emphasised his admiration and respect for Koskinen, who is reportedly keen on 'continuing his project with Peimari United'. Beckenbauer insisted that the German FA had a number of other managers on their shortlist, but was not drawn into revealing any names of those who the organisation had contacted, or plan on contacting in the future.

Former Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster has been heavily linked to the role in recent days, with the German out of a job since leaving Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang in 2018. Schuster's managerial career began in 1997 with Fortuna Köln. Since then, Schuster has managed FC 1. Köln, Xerez, Shakhtar Donetsk, Levante, Getafe, Real Madrid, Beşiktaş, Málaga and Dalian Yifang. Schuster guided Real Madrid to La Liga success in 2008.

Franz Beckenbauer:
"I can confirm that we (German FA) offered the managerial position to Kalle Koskinen. We offered, what we considered to be, a very good wage salary and reasonable expectations. However, Kalle graciously turned down the opportunity to continue his project with Peimari United in the lower leagues of Finland. We wish him the best for the future and, perhaps, he may take up the reigns of Die Mannschaft one day.

While I cannot disclose who else is on our shortlist, I can ensure you that we are actively pursuing other targets to fill the void left by Joachim Löw. It is an incredibly important time for the national team. A lot of our key players have retired in recent years, or will retire soon, and we need somebody who would be able to push through the next stock of stars to lead the country to more international glory. We will work hard to ensure we appoint the appropriate candidate to do so."

The Job Offer From The German National Team For Kalle Koskinen

Comment Section

Jack & Scoot, I agree. I'll start losing games to make it fair.

Previous Update: #58 - Season 2020: June
Next Update: #60 - Broken Ankle Ends Sjöroos' Season Early

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