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Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:51 pm
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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:02 am
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October 2016 - May 2018
FC FREDERICIA



Fritjof's managerial career began in the Danish second division with Fredericia. He took charge of a team in the relegation zone but steered them comfortably to safety. The following season initially seemed to promise serious promotion contention, but severe financial strains as well as injuries and poor form saw the club end in a mid-table position. With the financial future of the club looking ever bleaker, Fritjof resigned at the end of the season.

Honours: None.

Highest league finish: 6th, Danish second division (2016-17)

Best player: Andreas Oggesen (AM, RW, CM)


Highlight: That half a season where it seemed like we were getting promoted.

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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:05 am
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July 2018 - June 2020
FC FAKEL VORONEZH



Fritjof's next job was in the Russian second tier with Fakel. His initial aim was to get the side promoted to the top flight within two or three seasons.

However, the first season exceeded all expectations and Fakel claimed the FNL title in dramatic circumstances; Oleksandr Kasyan's 89th-minute goal on the final day of the season secured silverware and promotion to the Prem'er Liga.

Unfortunately promotion turned out to be too much of an overachievement too soon, with the squad not at the level expected of a top-flight side and with few resources to strengthen. The first half of the 2019/20 season was not made easier by a frankly ridiculous succession of injury crises, but our form once we were back at full-strength was, if anything, worse. We came very close to defying all odds and staying up, but ultimately penalty shootout defeat in the relegation playoff sent us back to the FNL.

Fritjof chose not to renew his contract, meaning his time with Fakel came to an end after two years.

Honours: Russian Football National League (2018-19)

Highest league finish: 13th, Russian Prem'er Liga (2019-20)

Best player: Aleksandr Likhachev (2018-20)


A very good young centre-back and one of my only players who you'd actually say was Prem'er Liga quality. Captained the side in 2019/20 at the age of 22.

Best signing: Amir Natkho from Lokomotiv-2-M Moscow, free (2018)


Natkho clearly has talent considering the clubs he's been on roll at - including Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA and, erm, Barcelona - but hadn't been given much of a chance anywhere before joining Fakel. He's an attack-minded central midfielder and, while he impressed in his first season, it was in the Prem'er Liga that he really came alive; he was our joint top scorer with seven goals and a further three assists in 24 games, despite the team's struggles and his own deep position.

Highlight: It has to be Kasyan's last-minute goal to win us the FNL title and automatic promotion. But gaining a greater understanding of 'FM logic' and how tactics work in the game was a good feeling too. I like to think that would have led to more success in the Prem'er Liga if we had a few more players who weren't so out of their depths.

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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:10 pm
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January 2021 - January 2023
CSKA MOSCOW



After a six-month absence from football, Fritjof returned to the Prem'er Liga with Russia's oldest club, CSKA Moscow. With the club struggling in mid-table halfway through the season, Fritjof was initially tasked with guiding them to a Europa League qualification place - a sizeable ask, but one he achieved, with the team winning 11 out of 14 games and finishing 3rd.

Fritjof's first full season in charge brought even greater success, as the team dominated the league and took the Prem'er Liga title. This ended a streak of five consecutive titles for runners-up Zenit, who finished 11 points behind CSKA. In securing the title, Fritjof secured both his first major trophy and his first taste of the Champions League.

Consistent form was harder to come by in 2022/23, and when the winter break arrived CSKA were sat in 3rd having dropped plenty of points through frustrating draws. The team finished 3rd in a tough Champions League group, giving them a chance to impress in the Europa League, but Fritjof would not be there to guide them - four-and-a-half years after arriving in Russia, he departed to test himself in a stronger league.

Honours: Russian Prem'er Liga (2021-22), Russian Super Cup (2022)

Highest league finish: 1st, Russian Prem'er Liga (2021-22)

Best player: Miloš Stojanović (2021-23)


Signed for a mere €325k before Fritjof arrived, Stojanovic was a quality centre-back and played a big part in the side conceding just 16 goals in the title-winning season.

Best signing: Juankar from Shakhtar Donetsk, €800k (2021)


Fritjof arrived at a side that had somehow got halfway through a season without a single recognised left-back in the squad. Juankar was therefore his first signing, to fill this gap. He was a revelation: a consistently excellent performer and a particular threat going forward.

Highlight: Developing 18-year-old Mikhail Rodionov, fresh out of the CSKA academy, into the team's first-choice striker. Rodionov won the 2022 Russian Young Player of the Year award and has a very bright future. I hope he has more to add to this save in future.

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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:29 pm
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January 2023 - February 2024
EVERTON






Fritjof's next move was a step up into the promised land of the Premier League. He took over a struggling Everton side mid-season but was able to steer them away from the relegation zone and into a comfortable mid-table finish.

However, the following season proved much tougher. Argumentative players, long-term injuries, unkind fixture lists and low morale all contributed but ultimately Fritjof found himself in a rut that he couldn't dig his way out of. With the club deep in a relegation battle and with the board having shown as much patience as could be reasonably expected, February 2024 saw Fritjof sacked for the first time in his career.

Honours: None.

Highest league finish: 12th, Premier League (2022-23)

Best player: Ross Barkley



In his 14th season with Everton at the time of Fritjof's departure, Barkley was a reliable and consistent source of both goals and assists from behind the striker.

Best signing: Victor Wanyama from Spurs, €4.5m (2023)


Fritjof signed Wanyama within a few weeks of taking over at Everton in order to add some resilience to the midfield. In all honesty Wanyama was better than I expected, apart from being a source of dressing room unrest and a frequent absentee through suspension (due to his incredible habit of getting booked almost every single game).

Highlight: 4-2 victory over an in-form Liverpool in Fritjof's first Merseyside derby.
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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:02 pm
July 2024 - July 2026
SVB VITESSE




Hoping to bounce back from the hit to his managerial reputation, Fritjof moved to another new country: the Netherlands. He took over a Vitesse side who had in fact just won their second Eredivisie title in five years but whose manager had been tempted away. Fritjof's primary aim was to ensure that the most successful period in the club's history would continue.

With that aim in mind, his first season in Holland couldn't have gone much better; Vitesse retained their Eredivisie title while also picking up the KNVB Beker and Johan Cruijff Schaal.

The second season saw greater success in Europe, with 4th-seeded Vitesse beating Leverkusen away in the final group game to clinch 2nd place and advance to the knockout rounds for the first time in the club's history. There they faced Bayern who were ultimately too strong. Fritjof was able to retain the Eredivisie title despite increased competition from PSV; a 5-0 win on the final day of the season secured the trophy in emphatic fashion. This would, as it turned out, be Fritjof's final game with Vitesse.

Honours: Eredvisie (2024-25, 2025-26), KNVB Beker (2024-25), Johan Cruiff Schaal (2024, 2025)

Highest league finish: 1st, Eredivisie (2024-25, 2025-26)

Best player: Luka Jovic (2024-26)


Our top scorer in the first season; top scorer and top assister in the second. In total for me he played 84 games, scoring 46 goals and assisting 25 times.

Best signing: Joel Natalino from €1.6m (2025)



26-year-old Brazilian keeper Natalino was plucked from relative obscurity for barely anything but was voted Eredivisie Keeper of the Season in his debut campaign.

Highlight: Qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages by beating Leverkusen in Leverkusen. Young striker Oliver Willems came off the bench with 12 minutes to go, the scores at 0-0 and Leverkusen holding on to 2nd place at our expense. Kraev put Willems through and Willems put it past the keeper to steal the win and the qualifying place. Time on the clock - 89:51.

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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:39 am
July 2026 - July 2030
NETHERLANDS



With Fritjof's Eredivisie successes endearing him to Dutch supporters, he was offered the Netherlands job following the nation's exit from the 2026 World Cup. Fritjof took the chance, and with it his first steps into international management.

Fritjof's first game in charge was a victory over rivals Germany, which really set the tone for what was to come. Fritjof's Oranje were formidable: a good blend of youth and experience, playing with the intelligent attack-minded swagger characteristic of the Dutch. This saw them triumph in the Nations League, beating World Champions Italy 3-0 in the final. An even greater achievement came a year later as Holland lifted the trophy at Euro 28, beating Germany on penalties in a dramatic final.

So well suited to international management was Fritjof that he chose to stay beyond his usual two years, guiding Holland through qualification to the 2030 World Cup Finals. The Finals itself were a slight disappointment as the team exited at the quarter-final stage, but this would not overshadow Fritjof's achievements. After four years he stepped down an honorary Dutch citizen, his global reputation at an all-time high.

Honours: UEFA Nations League (2026-27), UEFA European Championship (2028)

Highest FIFA World Ranking: 3rd (July 2028)

Best player: Erkan Bayindir, RB Leipzig/Man City (2026-30)


Bayindir is a left-winger with ruthless attacking instincts. In 51 games for Holland under Fritjof, Bayindir contributed 21 goals and 26 assists from the wing. He was the key attacking threat in the triumphant Euro 28 run, including the above goal against Portugal. He was equally effective at Italia 30, becoming only the second Dutchman in history to score a hat-trick at a World Cup Finals. This came against Romania as Erkan single-handedly turned defeat into victory to send his country through to the quarter-finals.


Highlight: Has to be the Euro 28 win for prestige, although the Nations League runs it close just on pure unexpectedness.

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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

on Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:53 am
July 2031 - Present
ARSENAL



After leaving his role with the Netherlands, Fritjof took a year off while he waited for the right job to bring him back into club management. I like to think he did some punditry in this time and probably took up a hobby like beekeeping. 

Fritjof's highly anticipated return finally came when Arsenal chose him to replace the outgoing Diego Simeone. This was a huge job and a real indicator of how high Fritjof's stock had risen - he was now one of the most revered managers in Europe.

Fritjof will be hoping for instant tangible success with Arsenal, not only to satisfy the board's demanding expectations, but also on a personal level - seven years after his sacking at Everton, he finally has the chance to prove to the last few remaining doubters that the Premier League is lucky to have him.

Honours:

Highest league finish:

Best player: 

Best signing: 

Highlight: 
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Re: Fritjof Mortensen Career History

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