55-year-old Norwegian Kjetil Knutsen has been Bodø/Glimt manager since 2018. In their first season back in Norway’s top flight they finished 11th. Then Knutsen worked his magic and managed to get guide them to 2nd place in 2019.
After that, it was two consecutive titles before falling well behind Molde last term. They current sit top of the Eliteserien by one point with seven games remaining.
He was the favourite to take the Ajax job in the summer but talks fell through. Could Rangers take advantage of this and get him in at Ibrox?
Managerial Career So Far
As previously mentioned, Knutsen took Bodø from 11th, to 2nd to two titles on the bounce. They fell behind Molde last season, by 18 points, but look to be back on form this term.
He also famously took the Norwegian side to their first European Group Stage. Where they, very famously, beat Roma 6-1, the first time a José Mourinho side had conceded six in a match.
In 2022 he also lead Bodø to a famous 5-1 aggregate victory over Celtic where the Norwegians absolutely blew them away.
Here’s his managerial record so far;
- 432 Matches
- 240 Wins
- 91 Draws
- 101 Losses
- 55.56% Win Rate
Considering Bodø weren’t one of the big clubs in Norway when he took over, he’s done incredibly well. They are now a powerhouse in Norway and competitive in Europe.
As well as two league titles in 2020 and 2021, he won the league manager of the year three consecutive times from 2019-2021.
Does any of that information make Kjetil Knutsen a good choice for you?
Knutsen mostly sets up his Bodø side in a 433/4231. They press high and relentlessly, looking to win the ball back as soon as they’ve turned it over.
They look to consistently put pressure on the opposition defence by holding position in attacking areas of the pitch. Knutsen heavily relies on his wingers to help create in the attack. He’s another who is a fan of inverted wingers with overlapping fullbacks who help to cause overloads.
Domestically this season they have averaged 2.6 goals per game, from 18.4 shots with 7.1 on target. This gives them an impressive 14% goal conversion rate for the whole team.
Possession wise, Knutsen likes his team to dominate the ball, averaging 61.5% possession in the Eliteserien. Passing well is also key in his system with his team averaging an incredible 88.5% pass accuracy over the season.
Defensively, they’ve only kept 7 clean sheets and concede 1.3 goals per game over 23 matches. Numbers that definitely wouldn’t be accepted at Ibrox.
He always gets the best out of his players, even if they don’t continue the form when they leave. Looking at the likes of Patrick Berg (now back at Bodø), Ole Solbakken and Nikita Haikin (also returned to the club).
Youth players would also likely be given a chance with his squads average age being just over 25.
Do you like the sound of persistent pressing and possession while looking to cause overloads to create chances and score lots of goals? I know I do.
Kjetil Knutsen was previously linked to replace Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst. However, nothing was ever confirmed in those reports.
Details around his Ajax move falling through suggest it’s because he gets a % of players sales at Bodø, something Ajax weren’t willing to offer. Something I also doubt the Rangers board would offer.
He’s never been tested outside of Norway but has continually managed to punch above their weight in Europe. His team play how he wants them to, no matter who the opponent is. After watching Rangers give too much respect to opposition recently, this would be a breath of fresh air.
Player development is a huge plus for the Norwegian also. With the latest talents he’s bought and developed being Albert Grønbæk, Tobias Gulliksen and Faris Moumbagna. He has an eye for a player and extensive knowledge of the Scandinavian markets, an area Rangers have neglected recently.
If he’s willing to come, I think Rangers should push for this one. What do you think? Do you like the sound of Kjetil Knutsen?
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