Nils Arne Eggen

Nils Arne Eggen (born 17 September 1941) is a Norwegian former footballer, manager and teacher from Orkdal. Eggen is closely tied to Rosenborg, the club he managed for 23 years between 1970 and 2010. He is Norway’s most successful club manager, having won the Norwegian Premier League fifteen times and the Norwegian Football Cup six times as a manager.

His football philosophy is for offensive football in 4-3-3 formation inspired by total football.

Eggen’s philosophy is a complex phenomenon, and he can be seen as a deep thinker within football. He has mentioned the inspiration of Dutch total football and Rinus Michels for his own work. A fundamental point was the subordination of individuals (the parts) to the whole, so that the whole could outperform the sum of talents of all its players. Often he has used the metaphor of the Rosenborg rhythm to get his message across. He has had a focus on quick and massive counter-attacks and the building of an offensive attitude in the team. The 4-3-3 system played vital parts in Eggen’s philosophy as a coach.

Photo Johnny Leo Johansen(c)

In 1971, Eggen became manager of Rosenborg, winning the league in his inaugural season. He left to take over Norway U21 in 1973. He then became national team manager for Norway jointly with Kjell Schou-Andreassen until 1977. He then returned to Rosenborg where he remained until 1982. He then coached Orkdal until 1985. In 1986, he was hired as manager for Moss, where he won the Second Division in the first season and then the top league the following. During this period he was also manager of Norway U23. He started managing Rosenborg in 1988, where he remained until 2002, except for a sabbatical in 1998. This is the team’s golden age, resulting in 11 consecutive league titles and the participation in eight consecutive seasons in Champions League. Eggen returned a manager for the single 2010 season, again winning the league.

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