‘Players can expect calm, bold Hallgrimmson’

September 21, 2022
Hallgrimsson
Hallgrimsson

When members of the national senior team meet their new head coach, Heimir Hallgrimsson, they can expect a calm personality but a man not afraid to take risks or make bold decisions if players are not playing up to the stand he expects, according to Icelandic journalists Gudmundur Asgeirsson and Runolfur Thorhallsson.

The team will get the chance to see how he operates as they prepare for their international friendly against Argentina next Tuesday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

Hallgrimsson who was introduced last Friday said that he wanted to have a clean slate with the players, which he said made him more optimistic about this project than the Icelandic one where he helped them to a quarterfinal run at Euro 2016 and qualifying for the 2018 World Cup as head coach.

Thorhallssonn says the players will be pleased with his honesty and man management but says that he is someone who will be able to make bold decisions when necessary.

"That in part is a part of his allure I would say, what a calm operator he is. But don't let that fool you, behind that smile is a man who is ready to make bold decisions and take risks. He will probably bring that togetherness, although I do realise that is harder to do when you are not born and raised in said country. But for us that was one of his biggest traits," Thorhallssonn told STAR Sports.

However, Thorhallssonn said that there will be consequences for standards not being met.

"He respects his players. He is by no means one of those coaches who we might class as a "dictator" but he will put the hammer down when needed. If players are betraying his trust he will not hesitate to make big decisions about their future," Thorhallssonn warned.

With the Reggae Boyz constantly navigating turbulence on and off the field Asgeirsson said that he has the ability to bring a culture of togetherness similar to his time in Iceland, in order to harness the potential of a team targeting a 2026 World Cup finals berth.

"Everybody (in the Iceland squad) was willing to fight for each other and that was a huge part of our success: the incredible spirit of the team. From what I've read and heard there have been a lot of problems within the Jamaican team," Asgeirsson noted. "So for that reason, I think Heimir is the perfect coach to come in and fix things - to create unity and a spirit that can take you far."

- D.W.

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