"I don't feel that I have any reason to feel ashamed over last season. We did succeed in reaching the primary objectives: a new championship title, and qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League. At the same time, we started an important renewal process," Ola By Rise tells rosenborg.info.
"Naturally, there were different opinions on the quality of our gameplay, which varied a lot. We did for instance have a brilliant August and a lousy September. The differences were huge, and we did lose too many games. But we won the league, and as said earlier, to win the league shouldn't be viewed as bad even if our gameplay wasn't good."
Who gained the most from the 2004 championship? Ola By Rise or Rosenborg Ballklub?
BEATEN: Ola after the home defeat against Stabæk on Oct 16th 2004, that spelled the end for Ola's coaching period in the RBK direction's eyes. He was kicked out five days later.
"Both, I think. Everyone, both the head coach, the assistant coaches, the players, the club and - not least - the supporters; we all enjoyed it."
A championship and qualifying for the Champions League. This had given the status of Hero in any other club. You, however, got fired. Does RBK ask too much?
"To put it like this: The performances varied, with a poor period during the spring and one during the autumn. Noone were fully satisfied, included me. But there were things to build on, and there still is. Worse things can happen than winning the league and reaching the group stages of the Champions League. At the same time, we need to work hard on managing a difficult renewing of the team, with many old players soon to leave. This will be a major challenge for the club for a few years."
"The process of rejuvenating the team has barely started, and this might turn out to be the most critical for the club in the time ahead. And, one should have good acchievements, i.e. winning the league and playing in Europe, while going through this process."
"I don't want to be a besserwisser, nor being negative in hindsight. The club must simply go on without me. I hope for the best results possible, and that things are done the Rosenborg way, in long terms."
2004: Something to build on What would you have written yourself, in the review of last year?
"I think I would have started saying that we have some challenges ahead, but that it is fully possible to find a good road where we can do both: Gradually renewing the team, and further develop the RBK playing style."
"I would have been honest, and said that it is going to be more even and close in a period of time. We must remember that we've had maybe the best RBK generation ever. They are beginning to be pretty grown-up now. It is crucial now, to change players at the right moment; to see who still has a high level of performance, and who should be given a depart in honour."
Could you have done anything different?
"Yes, naturally, and I've said that all along. It is clear that everyone in the club could have done things even better. From day one I have seen things that I could have done different, but I also have seen things that others could have solved in another way."
"But we can't turn the time. The only thing I can say, is - what I did, I did with the best intentions for the club. Everything didn't succeed, but I have no bad consciousness for those intentions. There and then, I felt that what I was doing was the right thing to do."
"Naturally we've had discussions as we went. What new players should be bought, for one thing. The matter of getting the right types of players, how much to pay and all that, are discussions to be had between several persons."
"I had the intention of learning from the experiences I had in the 2004 season, and built from that. That opportunity I wasn't granted. But I hope and believe that the new team of coaches, who are now occupied, brings on the experiences. There is no reason to think that the whole of 2004 was black. Some things were ok, and some things could be done better."
The players vs. Ola As early as during the La Manga training camp in February, Erik Hoftun critizised the training sessions. Was RBK anno 2004 a ticking bomb from day one?
"That was a discussion concerning the referee practice on one single training session, when I wasn't there - I was watching Benfica, prior to that match. I think it was a result of 'barrack disease'. Afterwards, we agreed that the La Manga stay lasted too long."
"Rosenborg has had far, far bigger conflicts than this, but those have gone unnoticed. I have been part of the club for many years, and there has been noisy times earlier too. But that's easy to forget for many."
"At the same time this is about communication processes. These are important things, and at the same time difficult. Everyone must take this responsibility - managers, coaches and players."
Many has noted that the players seemingly didn't take their share of responsibility for the problems. Comments on that?
"Not other than this: a good team is dependant upon many taking the responsibility together, not least that many are direct in their communication - in all directions. Open, good communication where one talks with people, not to them, will be crucial for Rosenborg in the years to come."
Several people voiced their opinions when you were fired. I noted some words from [the actor] Henki Kolstad. He ment that it should be the players' problem, not yours, that they couldn't handle a 'cultivated' coach. Does he have a point?
"The established players were used to a full-fletched Nils Arne Eggen in his 60s, settled in Rosenborg after many years of trial and error. Him and I are definitely different as persons, and there is bound to be comparements between us. And then..., yes ..."
"There is no doubt that several players rather wanted an established Nils Arne type. I think it's easier to come as a new coach to clubs like Brann Bergen or Vålerenga Oslo, that doesn't have a long history of having Nils Arne in the vincinity. In Rosenborg, Nils Arne is present every day, and the demands are thus sky high."
"But this is just an observation, not meant as critizism of the players."
Thanks for the support You received lots of support from elsewhere. Now in January, the readers of [local Trondheim newspaper] Adresseavisa elected you as 'RBK person of the year'. What has this support meant to you?
"When you're fired in a club where you want to continue, it is of course much nicer when people support you than if you get yelled at from all directions. The support makes it so much better to leave the club."
INDEPENDENCE DAY: In 2004, a proud standard bearer could lead the club in the Citizen's Parade in Trondheim. Now, the two have separated.
RBK could finally celebrate another championship, but days later, you were 'fired' anew.The decision on ending it all after the match in Eindhoven, did you parttake in it?
"No. The direction, with Nils Arne and the directors in charge, asked me to withdraw. They wanted the new team of coaches to start right away, create new enthusiasm and better results."
Couldn't they have waited til after Christmas?
"The argument was that there was no use in going on with a coach that was on his way out. It was better to start with the new ones immediately. I don't think it would have been smart of me to say 'No, I won't.' It is important that people follow you. I accepted the decision that the club direction made."
The future of RBK - and Ola What can Perry give as head coach?
"Per Joar has many strengths. He has been in many clubs, and knows the business. He has been good at keeping low-resource clubs up. In all, a bright fellow."
What do you think about that one-year-contract business the new coaches have gotten? Doesn't this give an unneeded uncertainty, in a club that needs continuity after having had four coaches in four seasons?
"I can't say much to this. But they have said themselves that all parties involved wanted it. They'd like to go for this solution, rather than one where some might have had to leave early. Still, you have to ask the involved parties here. Since I got the message that they were taking over, I only have cleaned my desk and told people good-bye - in all, finished this chapter."
And then, the 10,000 Euro question: Would you have been anle to continue as RBK's main coach if the media hadn't pushed you so hard throughout the season?
"Hard to tell, and I'm not so sure. Really hard to guess. But I have no reason to feel mistreated by media. The mechanisms of the media follows certain rules, written and unwritten, and the pressure will be there. That's what it's like to be the head coach of Rosenborg."
As of February 1st, you were present at [National broadcaster] NRK at Tyholt. How does Ola By Rise do these days?
"I am great! I have started a new job that gives me very much, and I'm fully occupied."
What tasks have you been given in the NRK?
"I am Chief Editor for the news program "Her og nå" ["Here and now"] at P1 [Channel 1]. I work with very competent people, and it is all very exciting."
Will we be able to hear your voice on the radio?
"I don't know yet. At least I plan to get to know everything I need to fill most jobs in the staff of editors, both making news stories, and being in charge. But I haven't actually planned on manning the studio. My job is to be a leader and coach of this group."
But anyway, NRK's company football team has gotten a new great goalkeeper!
"Sola Jonsen of DumDum Boys [famous Norwegian rock group] works at Tyholt too, and wants me in. But I'm not so sure. We'll see."