Match day again. The beauty of being a football player by profession is that it does not go long between each game, and wouldn’t you know, game again. And today we play at Ireland’s new playground, Aviva Stadium. It’s a fantastic stadium, and should you be unsure of where you were, the whole green stadium remove all doubts and confirm that Ireland was the place. Today has been a very quiet day. All players have their own procedures on how they prepare befor a game. Some are in the hotel room watching a movie, or play some cards. I and some of the boys have had a light workout session so our bodies keeps going. This was just a light workout for about 30 minutes where we were cyckling and had some simple and light core exercises. At the same time Frode Grodås was running like crazy on the treadmill, and he must be one of Norway’s fittest pensioners. Grodås was one of the last men who drove the vikings to the door and he still remembers last ice age. But he still runs as if he was well below 40 years After training we went for a walk in the city and got some fresh air so we can get other ideas and thoughts besides just football. It is important to be able to relax and let the body, mind and thoughts have a little freedom so that we are ready to keep the focus when the time comes. At the team meeting today Drillo will give us three things that we should concentrate on during the match. It can be anything from the press level, mood, set pieces, markers, counter attacks, players to watch out for and players we can exploit the weaknesses of, etc. etc. The three things will be our red line during the game, or “game plan.” Then I will just wish all of you at home in the thousands of Norwegian homes, good luck to night, and hope that we can end the national team year with a good game and a win.
Morten Gamst Pedersen