Wie weit können uns zwei 34-jährige Beine bringen?
I don’t know what it is with the saves I’ve picked this season. They have all been interesting teams, they have all been fun to play, but they all have one thing in common: The finances are…suboptimal. I knew this when I was looking at BFC Dynamo and it’s background, but stil:
If those are OK finances, then I’ll take it, because I’d hate to see the alternative.
This is something I think a lot of managers will overlook when they get to a club. They’ll look at the roster, look at the transfer budget, look at the coaching, and the “Mutually Terminate” the contract of every coach/scout/Manager/Director that doesn’t meet their standards.
Then, 1 of 3 things will happen when you go to hire new staff. The new staff members who are better than your old staff members aren’t going to sign with you because:
- Your Club Reputation isn’t good enough, or
- If you club reputation is good enough you can’t afford their salary
- Which result in you spending 10 minutes terminating the contracts of everyone, then spending eight hours finding replacements who are no better than the ones you fired, and in some cases more expensive salary wise.
I had a bit of wiggle room. As a Semi-Pro team, I didn’t need a huge scouting budget, in fact, I took it to the league only level. My Chief Scout is going to look at the next opponent, and I’ll hire another scout to look at those player who crop up in the market.
We are also up against it with the team payroll, and with no transfer budget, the only way we are lowering that is selling players, and unfortunately the Regionalliga is not exactly a “Seller’s Market.”
Ein fliegender Start
“They can’t keep this up,” Tobias said around a mouthful of food.
“Why are you such a pessimist?” Sasha asked, glaring at him. The bar was quieter now that most of the rowdier folks had left. They had claimed their table in the back, and were going over the details of the game against Erfurt.
“It’s not pessimism, it’s realism. Beck had 23 goals for us last season. He’s got 12 in 9 already. He can’t keep that up.”
“Suljić can pick up the slack,” Hans said.
Tobias sighed and sat back, finishing the bite of food he had taken before he started speaking. “He’s had 15 goals in 3 seasons at Schweinfurt . There’s a reason they let him go.”
“He’s got 11 now,” Sasha said. “He’s beaten Chemnitz, they made Cottbus earn that victory. These guys are playing harder than I have seen them play the past few seasons. They keep winning the way they are, I don’t care who’s scoring.”
“How far you think they’ll go in the Landspokal?” Klaus asked.
“Not that far,” sighed Tobias. Hans grabbed Sasha around the waist as she leaned over the table to smack him. Tobias didn’t move, he was used to such outbursts by now.
The only loss was to a very good Cottbus team. Chemnitz, Lokomotiva Leipzig, Carl Zeiss Jena and Cottbus are all former Oberliga teams, so there’s history there. And as a club we want to make history by getting promoted to the Bundesliga before they do.
I really wish I could take all the credit for the wins, but I would be lying. I literally set the team for the game, hit start, make a tweak every once and awhile, make substitutions when required, and let the game run it’s course. I am not of a meddler tactically, being in the school of “If it’s working well Tinkering is only going to make it worse”, and it’s a lesson I have learned well. But to say I was surprised at the teams performance would be an understatement, it wasn’t that we were winning games, it’s that we were doing so by large margins for the most part. The game against Erfurt though, that hurt:
I wasn’t too upset about Beck missing the penalty kick, the keeper made a very nice save. The two extra time goals though, the last of which came on a stupid penalty…Reher somehow jumping up in the scrum during a corner kick and getting a hand on the ball for the penalty.
Lass die guten Zeiten ruhen
“I swear by all that is holy Tobias, you even try to pour water on my mood I am going to kick your teeth in!” Sasha barely came up to his chest, but the finger she wagged in front of his face had a pretty wicked looking nail on it, and he had the good sense to be quiet.
“You said they couldn’t keep it up after Babelsburg, then it was doom and gloom after Hertha II, then when we lost to the idiots from Leipzig I couldn’t tell if you were more upset we lost, or happy we finally did. What gives?”
“You mean other than spending the night in lockup because you started a fight with the Leipzig Ultras.” He sighed as he took his seat, and motioned to the barmaid, who nodded and smiled at him.
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa,” Hans said, putting his own beer down hard enough to make it spill some. “She did not not start anything with those Ultras. She congratulated them for a good win and a well played game.”
“And what did I get for being nice? Insults. Verdammte sächsische Idioten. Thanks Elise,” Sascha smiled at the barmaid, who brought a whole tray of drinks out.
“Well, to be fair, you did say you hoped they liked third place,” Hans said.
“To be fair they said I’d come in fourth place in a three lady beauty contest,” Sascha replied.
“You called him a Hasslehoff wannabe.”
“He called me a whore!”
“You said his mom counted with her hoof!”
“Can you prove she doesn’t? Besides, I reimbursed you for the fines.”
“You should have been there with us.”
“Look, I have always maintained that if there is trouble, I don’t have too run fast to get out of it, I just have to run faster than you…”
For a job well done, so far, we were rewarded:
It’s not a bad deal really, but even I am starting to channel my “Inner Tobias” and am wondering when the wheels may fall off, or slow down. For the moment, it’s a three team race to the top, and we have our work cut out for us.
The one blemish in a remarkable run of games was the Leipzig game. 3/4’s of the team decided that this game would be the one they wanted to take of, and Beck’s legs can only take the team so far, it’s up to the other players to help as well, and this game, they didn’t. It was the first time I yelled at the all season. They responded quite well.
Our Youth Intake preview was quite promising as well. Yes you have to take this with a huge gran of salt considering where we our, our facilities, and the level of competition, but this is not a bad preview:
Neues Jahr, gleiche Ergebnisse
Cottbus is the one team we cannot shake. And the one team we cannot beat apparently. Also teams from Leipzig have been giving us trouble as well, but for the most part the teams has been performing very well. I don’t want to say we are on cruise control, one slip up and we find ourselves behind Cottbus looking for a playoff spot, but I remain confident in the guys. They’ve taken us this far.
The Youth Intake
The preview was actually not too far of the mark, we have a decent youth intake, ands a couple of them have some potential as well.
Our best prospect, an already “Above Average” player in many areas: Pace, Fitness, Technique, Flair, Finishing. Sure, he has some holes in his game, but there is plenty of time to improve them, and his Resolute personality and 16 Determination will go a long way in getting those lower numbers up. The game says he’s a winger, I am going to retrain him as a Striker.
He’s got potential. The question is how am I going to get him the playing time to improve, and if I do get him the playing time, how much is his unambitious personality going to affect those improvements. As much as there are some things to like, the Reflexes, Decision making, Handling, Agility and Fitness, everything else is way too low, and most likely won’t improve without some luck. Which is about par for the course for a lot of newgens at this level.
I think Ott could be better than advertised. His aggression worries me, as does his strength, but with those Fitness, Determination, Dribbling, Technique, Passing, Flair and Finishing attributes (which if they don’t go up are still very good for this level of football), he will be a very solid player in the years to come, and if the opportunities work out for him, he could be better in the long run than Hamzic.
Eine Trophäe in der ersten Saison heben
The Berliner Landespokal is a regional competition, in this case the region being the city of Berlin, with the Berlin Football Association running it. There’s no money for winning it, instead you get a spot in the following years DFB-Pokal. While it’s possible, likely really, you are going to be a minnow in the first round, the appearance money is 183K, which is not an insignificant sum for a team that wins. And if you do make it to the Second Round, the money there is another 366K.
The good news is, we kept up our winning ways, and made it to the Landespokal final.
VSG Altglienicke on paper was not a team as strong as we were, but they caught us at the right time, tired, coming of some niggling injuries, and they had lost in the finals the two previous years, and we definitely putting their best feet forward. We however, played out game, and despite Pollasch going down with an injury in the 43rd minute, a Suljić goal in the 33rd minute, and a great keep away defense ensured we won, and put a new trophy in the display case.
The last two games of the season were key. Cottbus was well within reach off us, Lok Leipzig had fallen behind Four points was what we needed to ensure a first place finish in the League, and we got it, by beating the aforementioned Saxons 4-0 in the final game of the season. It was off to the playoffs.
The bar was crowded, to the point Hans was questioning whether or not the fire marshal stop by and force a few people out. It was loud, it was raucous, songs were sung, beers were spilled, everyone was having a good time.
Hans saw Tobias force his way thru the crowd, work had kept him late and he couldn’t make the game, but as he sat down between Hans and Ulrich, the look on his face didn’t change. He was dejected.
“Someone kick your dog, Tobias?” Ulrich asked, passing him a beer. Tobias looked at it briefly, then drank it all in one chug, wiping his mouth.
“Last of the Regionalliga games was played today.”
“We know,” said Sasha, her words a bit slurred.
“We’re playing Bayern II in the final.” Tobias said, sitting back and slouching.
“Bayern II?” Sasha all but shouted. Tobias nodded.
“Wanner, Ranos, Demirican, Pavlovic, Buchmann, Schenk,” Tobias replied. “That Bayern II Squad.”
“Well, Scheisse,” Ulrich said to noone in particular.
“Yeah,” Tobias said.
Coming up in a couple of days, the result of the Promotion Playoff, a look back at the season and some of the players who made it possible, awards, statistics, and plans for the offseason. If you don’t see it in a couple of days, feel free to remind me about it on twitter.