Meet Iraq's new soccer coach

The Norwegian Egil Roger Olsen will be the Iraqi soccer team's new coach. He's an experienced coach who, as coach of Norway, has beaten Brazil and taken Norway to the #2 ranking in the world by playing boring football (long balls, defensive and counterattacking, etc.). He has a three year contract, meaning unless he is fired for poor results, he'll be coaching Iraq through the Confederations Cup, World Cup qualifying, and hopefully the World Cup itself. Iraq is training in Kurdistan for security reasons - I guess in Kurdistan there is less of a risk of being assassinated for the crime of being an athlete.

This is good news for Younis Mahmoud, captain of the Iraqi team and scorer of the winning goal in Iraq's Asian Cup triumph. Younis is a big target-forward who can hold up the ball or turn and run and score. He will fit well with Olsen's philosophy of long balls over the top to a lone striker.

Reidar Vasser, a Norwegian historian, has some interesting thoughts on Olsen's appointment.

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