Hege Riise: the quiet Norwegian legend temporarily entrusted with English women


But what type of coach has the Football Federation hired? Those who know her describe her as a “quiet” leader.

“She’s not the type of person who dominates taking a room and being the loudest,” Stoere said. “She’s a humble person, but when she wants something she’s as clear as glass. In the areas where things are working, she’ll probably let them be, but if she can find places where she can make small adjustments, she will.

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“I think you will see a very technical and straightforward game. She is well prepared and she wants to be efficient.

Speaking to the English press for the first time this month, after choosing her first team, a composed and courteous Riise spoke for almost an hour in fluent English, presenting herself as polite, honest and professional.

Obviously, unlike many managers, she showed no ego.

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She answered questions directly, especially when asked why Arsenal striker Beth Mead missed the squad, replying: ‘His player report hasn’t been that good’.

Likewise, when asked whether overseas-based players other than Nikita Parris, whose club Lyon had not released her due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, would have been in the team under normal circumstances, like Toni Duggan of Atletico Madrid, Riise just says no, “we didn’t choose her”.

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These responses, written as quotes, may sound brutal, but Riise’s tone of voice was not dismissive of Mead or Duggan. Instead, she was just a head coach giving very literal and honest answers to questions, as if she was an expert witness in a courtroom.



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