Saturday, December 15, 2012

The next of the dwarfs – Norway. From international standpoint, nothing new, nothing memorable, nothing impressive. Different from home perspective, though. One thing was the decline of best Norwegian club of the first half of the 1970s: Viking (Stavanger).

Viking finished 5th with 23 points, which in the small 12-club league means mid-table, far from any pretensions for the title.

A place above, worth a spot in the EUFA Cup as well, ended IK Start (Kristiansand).

This was one of their better years, for in their already 72-years long history Start never won anything. With 25 points, they were 2 points ahead of Viking, but also 2 points short of medals. If I remember correctly, Amundsen was the national goalkeeper at the time.

Bronze went FK Molde, and up and down club, fairly unpredictable, although not unusual in Norway.

Not bad at all – securing participation, however brief, in the UEFA Cup.

Second finished FK Bodo/Glimt – one of their best seasons so far, for to this moment the club won only one Cup. Real contenders they were not, though – they lagged 8 points behind the champions.

Which were familiar by now, for they won the title in 1976 as well – Lillestrom SK. 'The Canaries' reigned supreme, confidently winning their 3rd title. They lost only 2 games and received 11 goals during the season. That is one goal every second match on average, quite a defense even for a weak league. And this was not all.

The top two clubs met at the Cup final. It was fine – the best clubs on top of everybody else. Both clubs were eager contenders, for their trophy shelves were quite empty – Lillestrom had 2 titles to their credit, Bodo/Glimt even less – only one Cup from 1975.

One trophy for 70 years is really nothing and Bodo/Glimt tried hard to add one more, but it was not to be – they lost the final 0-1. 'The Canaries' confirmed their supremacy.

What a season for Lillestrom – a double! Their third title, their first Cup, their first double. Twice champions in two years, and getting higher still by adding a Cup as well. The finest ever year for Lillestrom. Then again, who else would be winners? Lillestrom had the only Norwegian player recognized as a star of European caliber – Tom Lund. Perhaps that was the whole difference, lifting the Canaries head and shoulders above anybody else. May be one player really makes the big difference?