Der Bär Wird Wieder Brüllen, The Second Season, Part Two

Unsere Berichterstattung übertreffen

The season started of well, you beat a team like Magdeburg like that in their own home, you try not to get to excited, and the fact we lost by one to Dynamo Dresden (das Schweine) was a quick dose of reality. Beating 1. FC Köln in the Pokal, in extra time, was more luck than coaching, as much as it pains me to write that, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

I’d like to think if we hadn’t gone a man down against BMG II in the 32 minute, we would have held them to a draw, which is what we did against the BVB II squad about 4 weeks later. The one piece of not so great news was that Suljić twisted his ankle badly right before the FC Viktoria Köln game, he was going to be out a minimum of 4-6 weeks, which meant Hirtlreiter was my primary striker for the time being. I wasn’t to enamored with my depth at Advanced Midfielder to mover either Geurts or Ogbaidze up, in fact the first few times I played Ogbaidze he didn’t exactly light the world on fire. So I dropped to a 4-3-3 system because it was the next best formation I could put a player in and have them do a respectable to good job.

We won 2 and drew 1, and I thought we were doing well, but back to back losses against Verl and Freiburg were frustrating. Suljić announced his return from injury with a hat trciks worth of goals against TSV 1860 München, and I thought the formation was working, why mess with a good thing? Oldenburg was a match we dominated in almost every statistical category, but it took a 79th minute goal to win. Bochum was in the Relegation Zone when we played them in the Pokal, but they had more than enough to send us out of the tournament, mostly because injuries and fatigue forced me to play a squad that wasn’t my strongest up top.

November and December were decent months, the two losses we had we both on goals after the 75th minute, and while we were doing well from a statistical point of view, we were failing in the one area it counted: Scoring.

The bar was a bit quieter, most of the supporters had already left, excerpt for the usual crowd in the back. While it was the Christmas season, it didn’t go all out with the decorations, there was a small tree on the corner of the bartop, and someone had strung some lights, and that was about it.

“We need another attacker,” said Ulrich.

“Two would be better,” replied Hans.

“You think Bayern would send us Copado? Or Demircan?” asked Hans.

Tobias shook his head. “Probably not. They’ll pull the ‘We want them to play with better quality player team mates.'”

Sasha snorted, then sighed. “You have to admit, they are doing good this season. There’s a decent chance we won’t get relegated.”

“I would be quite OK with that,” replied Fritz.

“How many fans you think are going to ask Santa to help keep the team up this year?” Sasha asked after finishing her beer.

“I’m not,” Hans said. Everyone looked at him with varying degrees of shock or surprise.

“I am going to ask him for the same thing I have asked him for the past ten years: The opportunity to be Santa for a day.”

“Christmas Day?” Fritz asked.

“Maybe?” Hans said.

“Why?” Tobias asked. He had a look on his face that conveyed more than a little confusion and wariness, as if he was afraid of asking the question for fear of getting an answer.”

“Look at this logically,” Hans said, sitting back and smiling. “One: He only works one day a year. Two: He has a workforce that does most of the heavy lifting for him, pun intended. Three, he’s loved all over the world. But that’s not the best part.” The table was silent, until Ulrich finally sighed and asked.

“What’s the best part about being Santa?”

“Are you kidding me?” replied Hans with feigned shock on his face. He smiled and took a drink of his beer, aware the table was watching him.

“Santa has a list of where all the naughty women live. What young man wouldn’t want that information?”

The twinkle in his eyes lasted for just a few brief seconds, Sasha had leapt out of her seat and started to chase him around the bar while he ran away trying not to spill his beer.

Treten auf den Boden rennen

I spent almost all of January looking for some help up top, and one of three things happened when I made an offer to a club for a player:

  1. The club didn’t want to loan him to us for “reasons”
  2. The club accepted our inquiry, then wanted some very outrageous fees in addition to some salary demands agrred to before even considering accepting the offer
  3. We f found a player whose club wasn’t demanding a Kings Ransom for the player, and they player turned the loan offer down.

Finally, right near deadline day, we found a couple of players who I think are going to help us out:

Mihailo Ivanović didn’t cost me anything. I promised Vojvodina he could have all the first team playing time he wanted, and they said “Sure.” But to be honest until he agreed to come I was a bit wary of it ever happening. He doesn’t have any real weaknesses in his attributes, and at only 19 years old I suspect by the times he’s 23 he will be quite a bit better in some area’s, but for the level of football we are playing at right now, he’s at least as good as most of the strikers we will be facing, and that’s all I can ask for.

Damion Downs comes to us from 1. FC Köln, and while I like his Ball Control, Movement, and Physicals, I’d be lying if I said his Positioning, Bravery, and Vision weren’t a bit troubling. But at 6′ 4″, I am expecting him to dominate many a smaller DC, receive a pass/cross and put it away. He’s also here on a ‘free’ loan.

On the out’s not a lot of activity, Dominic Duncan went to El Paso for a small sum of money, Robin Fuhrman and Erlind Zogjani both went out on loan. Those two I could have kept at the club, but they needed more consistent playing time, and they weren’t going to get that here.

Ein Neuanfang im neuen Jahr

As you can see, January was OK, because I (and other coach out there) will definitely take draws over losses.

With the transfer window closed and everyone registered, it was apparent that while Ivanović and Downs were not World Beater’s, they were definitely game changers, and that’s what we needed.

Ivanović in particular had the ability to pull at least one, and in some case more, defenders out of position to cover him, leaving whomever he was teamed up with that day up top to try and exploit the gap. While the number of goals we scored wasn’t increasing, our overall shots and shots on target were, with the rare exception that we laid the proverbial egg against the opposing team, like against Furth.

When the whistle blew at Mannheim, we were undefeated since the year began. 11 Wins, 7 Draws, no losses. We were challenging for promotion.

I have no idea how.

I don’t tinker, I don’t “experiment”, I set the formation, set the roster, click start game, and I’ll make some in game adjustments, but that’s it. Maybe change a PI every now and then to take care of an opening, but we were doing great on the pitch. I didn’t want to touch anything and jinx it.

But there were some behind the scenes things happening that gave me pause:

I’ve cut scouting to the bare minimum. I didn’t even do my usual January Scouting boost, where you go big/bigger for the month to get a larger pool of who might be available in six months time.

I’ve turned down the creation of the Dynamo II squad. And yet we’re still losing money, to loan payments.

We had our Youth Intake, and it was…middling:

Die Bank des Haufens

Fuchs is…intriguing. Where he’s lacking he’s really lacking, but where he’s good he’s above average. If his position, strength, balance and vision get anywhere near double digits while the other area’s improve as well, he won’t be a full time starter, but could be a solid contributor.

Simões has the potential to be better than Fuchs, I think he will be, it’s just a matter of what attributes improve the most, and which stay the same. It’s one of the frustrating things to see when you get a good youth player with potential, and after five years of training and games his Balance goes from 4 to 7…I don’t think Simões is in that boat, but…

For every good attribute Najem has, there are two bad ones. I think in a perfect world he could be a very good DLP type of player. But with so many low attributes, it’s hard to see him ever getting a start for the club.

It’s May, last month of the season. We’ve made it to the Berliner Landspokal again, and we play Weiche, Rott Weiss Essen, and Offenbach. The best we can finish is 2nd place, but BMG II squad is in first, and they can’t get promoted. A Win or draw again Weiche and we win, a loss and we still have a chance, another loss after that and we could be looking at 3rd place.

This season has been a rollercoaster, and I would hate it if it all came off the rails at the end…

“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am,” Sasha said, looking around. “A 12000 seat stadium, and we can’t get 1500 people here, and we could be promoted?”

“I can’t explain it either,” Hans said. “As active as the forums have been, the supporters club and all of that, you think there would be more.”

“Well, that just means we will have to yell louder, right?” Sasha said, checking her face paint in her makeup mirror once more before putting it back in her clutch. Then she she stuck her fingers in her mouth and whistled, loud and long. “LETS GO DYNAMO!” she yelled when she was done.

“Sasha!” Ulrich said, putting a finger in his ear and wiggling it theatrically. “It’s a half hour before kickoff.”


“Pace yourself,” Ulrich replied.

Sasha looked ready to argue, but Ulrich’s raised eyebrow stopped her short.

“Fine,” she said “But when we win first round is on you.”

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