Foda is being criticized
It’s not easy being Franco Foda right now. The 55-year-old Foda has been Austria’s national coach for four years, during which he scored 1.83 points per game. He led Austria to the Euros in the summer, where the national team won a game in the European Championship final for the first time and Italy were on the verge of defeat in the round of 16.
It was good three months ago, now there is no trace of excitement and there is lively speculation about the future of Phoda. Foda is still the coach of the Austrians, he will also be in the game against the Faroe Islands. At least that much is certain. Foda says: “As long as I’m a coach, I’ll give everything until the last day. Everything else is out of my hands.”
Now against the Faroe Islands, who fits the mood
The flight was not in the hands of Foda, even his critics would not accuse him. On Thursday, when Captain Alaba’s warning was only 24 hours, the Austrian national players gathered at the Vienna airport. He waited two and a half hours, then his flight to the Faroe Islands was canceled – weather.
“Of course it’s not ideal if it doesn’t work that way, but it’s the fault of the weather”Sports director Peter Schottel said. As it may be from time to time, flights to small archipelagos in the North Atlantic are an unsafe thing to do in autumn. In Austria, however, it can be interpreted slightly differently than a bad sign.
Almost thirteen years ago to the present day, Austria was a guest at Torsvolur, as the Faroe Islands’ national stadium is called, for World Cup qualification. Finally had a poor 1:1 – and a restless night. The return flight to Austria was canceled due to the storm.
Austria’s Nightmare – Knudsen, the man with the pointy hat
This was certainly not a high point in Austrian football history, but the low point was a distinct one. On a September evening in 1990, Austria traveled to Landskrona, Sweden, to play against the Faroe Islands. Then he is introduced to Jens Martin Knudsen – he is reluctant to remember the man in Austria with the white pointy hat.
Knudsen worked in a fish factory back in the day, but he was also a successful athlete. Knudsen became a two-time national gymnastics champion, was a handball goalkeeper, and loved football. It was his parade that made the Austrians go crazy for Tony Polster and Andy Herzog. Austria lost 0–1, the Faroe Islands’ first ever competitive game, the win was a sensation. Austrian coach Josef Hickersberger resigned two days after the game.
Amateur goalkeeper Knudsen later turned professional, he was the first player in the archipelago to go abroad to Scotland and Iceland, and at some point he returned to the Faroe Islands. Only the hat, he always wore.
Nudsense – like father like son
Meanwhile, some of the national players of the Faroe Islands are professionals, one of them being John Frederickson. Fredriksson, 25, has been playing in the second division for Austrian club SKU Amstetten since this summer. He recently gave an interview to “Standard” and of course also talked about the international match. You’re certainly an obvious outsider, Frederickson said, but whoever made history can. “Make history a second time.”
Fredriksson would certainly like to help, but usually others are allowed to play. One of his competitors in the attack is called Knudsen by surname and Petur by first name, he is a professional in Denmark – and the son of a former goalkeeper.
In Austria they now hope that there will be no parallel events, that this time no Knudsen will write the story of the game. That the result of Saturday evening (October 8, 2021) will be different from the result of 31 years ago. This would certainly be beneficial to Coach Phoda’s job security.
Stand: 08.10.2021, 16:35
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