In a very literal sense, it’s been revealed that Valerenga coach Ronny Deila resorted to a drastic state of undress in order to motivate his players ahead of a recent crucial Norwegian top-flight clash.
Deila’s side were teetering just above the Eliteserien relegation zone going into the Bergen-Oslo derby against SK Brann, so the former Celtic boss decided that stripping down to the cobblers during his pre-match team meeting was the only sensible course of action.
Deila confirmed as much in a chat with Norwegian news outlet VG:
A lot of people have probably seen me nude already.
Clearly we have to give everything but also dare to have fun in all the seriousness.
Direct from the Louis van Gaal coaching manual.
As it happens, Valerenga went on to register a vital 2-1 win over Brann, who are riding high in fourth and chasing Europa League qualification.
Still evidently traumatised by what he saw beforehand, 22-year-old midfielder Herman Stengel had this to add:
I don’t know if it was pretty, but it worked well. It was important to offer ourselves.
It was what he was trying to say. We must dare to make fools of ourselves. It must be on the pitch as well.
We know we’re good footballers and we can cope with it all.’
Deila was then asked if he had any plans to repeat his ‘butcher’s shop window’ routine before any upcoming games, to which he replied:
I cannot do it every time. Then it loses the surprise effect.
That sound you hear is every member of staff at Valerenga breathing a collective sigh of relief.
Still, can’t argue with the results.