Uwe Rösler’s longest stay in football management up to this point was at Stavanger in Norway.
He coached local club Viking for three seasons, starting in November 2006, following a short spell as coach at Lillestrøm.
Stavanger is a beautiful port town in the south west of Norway, where the climate is moderated the Gulf Stream. Although much less snowy compared with other parts of the country, its average annual rainfall exceeds that of Manchester by around 50%.
Viking is Norway’s most established club, having been formed in 1899.
We reached out to a Viking Stavanger fanatic, Wim Keeremen, to get a view on Rösler’s time there. Thanks to Wim for the interesting article that follows.
In his first season Uwe Rösler built on the foundations laid by Tom Nordlie. In the previous season Nordlie had come in late and he and striker Ijeh saved the team from relegation in the final games of the season, coming down to the last game.
Under Rösler Viking ended third, their best position in the previous twelve seasons.
People liked Rösler both as a coach and person. They liked his direct approach, delivered in a mixture of Norwegian, English and German.
Norwegian football fans are lovers of English football, and anyone having played over there, is likely to get a lot of credit here. But people were questioning whether the third place finish was down to Rösler, or from Nordlie’s legacy
In the next two seasons Viking finished sixth and tenth . In the press, Rösler was often called ‘very German’, the implication being that he was very direct and methodic, always to the point, if a little abrupt.
A friend commented that: ‘The last year showed his lack of experience. He had issues with the reporters and went rather grumpy. He was clearly affected by the rainy days in Stavanger.’
By the time Rösler left Stavanger, relations with the press had turned rather sour. At the press conference he gave after resigning his ob, he bitterly criticized the local media – the ‘Stavanger Aftenblad ‘and ‘Rogalands Avis’ – for having crossed a line. He said they had spread lies, gossip and downright bullied him and his family to the point where his kids felt uncomfortable in Stavanger.
Strangely enough journalists were rather fond of him, as a character. He has an excellent sense of humour, and it became a sport to look for the ultimate ‘Rösler quote’ – in English or Norwegian.
These things having been said, it is clear that Rösler is an intelligent man, and he is building his career step by step.
Today, he is a better coach than when he was here. He has much more experience now.
He has been showing recently that he is a better coach than several of the Premier League managers.
Rösler is a self-made man, who has been through adversity and dealt with it. He has learned from experience. He has gone through so much, starting his coaching career in Norway, then in the English League 1 , now on to the English Championship Division.
We in Stavanger will be watching Uwe Rösler’s progress with great interest.