Defender takes offence after being named among 'Flops of the Year'


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The Independent Football

Articles with headlines like 'worst summer buys' are as prevalent as awards for outstanding performers, but one Norwegian international has taken offence at media criticism and challenged the editor of a football magazine to sit down and watch video tapes of his performances after he was included in a team of 'flops'.

Kjetil Waehler, who has 31 caps for Norway and once played for Wimbledon, was included in a 'Flops of the Year' team produced by the football magazine Offside, which looked at the worst performers in the Swedish top flight.

The IFK Gothenburg centre-back's inclusion in the team was justified by Offside editor Anders Bengtsson who wrote: "He was to be the leader that steered the defensive play. Instead he became the player that symbolised IFK Gothenburg's bluntness."

Waehler took offense at his inclusion and questioned the editor's judgement.

"I offered him the chance to watch some of the matches with me, where we could go through some of the situations and get the bigger picture," Waelher told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, adding that he had sent a strongly worded letter to the magazine.

"I know this is a fight I can never win. It's difficult for individuals to defend themselves against such attacks, but at least I've had my say."

Bengtsson in turn responded, setting out the criteria for his selections by writing on the magazine's Twitter account: "Our starting point was salary, expectations, experience, status in the team, and then how they have performed and contributed."

IFK Gothenburg currently sit eighth in the Swedish league table, 17 points behind leaders Haecken.