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

Nun, das ist passiert

Suljić’s goal took the like out of Weiche. They played what can only be called “lackluster” football the rest of the game, and Ogbaidze’s goal in the 91st minute was the final nail.


Back to Back Promotions.

Winning the Berliner Landepokal again was lost in the excitement and joy of beating everyone’s odd’s and expectations for the season, including my own.

Well, Scheisse.

I was not prepared for this, I was not expecting this. I am certainly not upset, but it just made the next season harder.

There were two types of being drunk. One was the happy drunk, celebrating to your hearts content, lving it up with friends, family, and strangers.

The other type of drunk was the one where you were sitting on the floor next to the commode thanking it for being cold.

The line between the two was often blurry.

“I don’t mean to sound sexist,” Tobias said, watching as Sasha sat down against the wall, holding her head, “But we need to get another woman in the group.”
“Why?” Hans asked, handing Sasha a glass of water. She thanked him weakly and took a sip, then a couple of seconds later lurched back to the toilet. Tobias leapt forward as well.

“Because,” he replied, looking over his shoulder as he crouched down behind her, “I’m getting tired of holding her hair everytime she gets this way.”

“Have I told you how much I love you guys,” Sasha said, flushing the toilet and then standing up on shaky feet. Eventually her hand found Tobias’s arm, and she held onto it tightly.

“Yes, but not as much as you love the club, right?” Hans said. As Tobias moved away, Sasha on his arm, he checked to make sure there wasn’t a mess on the floor, then followed them out. The bar wasn’t nearly as packed as it had been, but it was still crowded. Sasha was jostled hard enough a couple of times Hans thought for sure she was going to throw up over Tobias, but she held it together.

“I need a drink,” she said.

“You need food, Hans replied, grabbing her coat and her clutch. “Come one, down the street, I’ll buy you something there.”

“In a few, in a few,” Sasha said. “I want to sit her for a minute.” Hans sighed and sat down, Tobias had already moved to his own chair, the others were up and mingling with the crowd.

“I just may name my first born Shalva,” Sasha said.

“How many names is this kid going to have?” replied Tobias. “Nicholas Andreas Damion Shalva-” he stopped talking to dodge the pretzels thrown in his direction.

“Keep that up and I’m not holding your hair again the rest of the night,” he said.

The initial budgets weren’t too bad. I see a lot of loans in our future. We’re going to fight like hell to stay up next season, but I would not be surprised if we ran into a relegation battle.

The fans were ecstatic, the board was happy, I was happy, I had some very good players turn in some very good performances, some of which I was not expecting:

Max Weiß:

No Max Weiß, no promotion. It’s as easy as that. The loan player from Karlsruher FC was easily the best keeper in the league, with 27 goals allowed in 36 appearances, 14 Shutouts, a 7.24 rating, a 4 Player’s of the Match awards. Your keeper usually gets a PoM when he “plays out of his boots”, stops an incredible number of shots and makes some incredible saves. Getting 1 in a season is hard enough, but getting 4?

Alexander Siebeck:

He lost a step over the course of the season, but his contributions to the club as a whole cannot be denied. Usually playing the midfielder role, his accurate passes and decision making were critical to the team. The question now is the next level going to be beyond his capabilities?

Joey Breitfeld:

He wasn’t a scoring threat, he was more of a facilitator than anything else, and it was his ability to push forward and draw the double team from the opposing side that let other players exploit the holes he created. Players like Breitfeld are often unnoticed and underappreciated by many, because they don’t score a a lot of goals, or assist in a lot of them either, but with out players like him on your squad, it’s going nowhere fast.

Chris Reher:

Every squad has a defensive rock, this season Chris Dreher was ours. I had the wrong analytics chosen when I took the screenshot, because defensively, he was top notch, and offensively he was very productive, and made few mistakes, and he did a solid job of occupying and frustrating the attacking side. Was he beaten from time to time: Of course, but over the totality of the season, easily our best D(C).

Marvin Kleihs:

Marvin is never going to be a goal scorer. What his is though is a quick agile wingback who is capable on the defense and a decent passer, and working hand in glove with Breitfeld, gave the opposing teams fits. Creatively speaking, he was the best WB(R) in 3.Liga.

Justin Janitzek:

Easily the best overall defender we had this season, out loan player from Bayern was everything I wanted him to be, and more. Safe to say he was a “Boy amongst men” this season, starting almost every single game for us and easily finishing as one of the 3. Liga’s best defenders. He didn’t score from set pieces though, and while that’s worrying, the bigger problem is that I may not be able to get him back next season, he did such a good job for us other teams are already trying to get his services for next year.

Amar Suljić:

I have mixed feelings about Amar. His attributes tell me he should be a very good on the cusp of great player at the 3. Liga level. 14 goals and 1 assist in 25(4) games isn’t topo bad, but I will admit my judgment is clouded by the fact he missed quite a few games due to injury. Were my expectations of him too high? Maybe, but I know I was frustrated enough with his lack of performance on the field I brought in help in the January window.

Darryl Geurts:

Until injured he was having the best all around season on the squad. A versatile player that is quite useful for a team like us at the lower levels, he was a very good player on the field for us. Teams were looking at him at the end of the season, and keeping him is going to be a tough choice.

Tim Meyer, Andreas Hirtlreiter, Shalva Ogbaidze :

Tim Meyer got more starts than I had originally intended, and he did not disappoint. Tall and lanky for a wingback, he gave smaller player’s fits, and was very good started the teams offensive movement up the field.

Andreas Hirtlreiter I had wanted to be a “Jack of All Trades”, and it turned out he was a “Master of None”. He started the season next to Suljić up top, but was constantly flummoxed by opposing defenders. When I moved him back to AM(R), the drop off between him and Geurts was noticeable. At the end of the day, he was a roleplayer and came of the bench, and that was a role that suited me more than him. You need a few of these players on your roster, because when you don’t have them that’s when you will need them the most. In the back of my mind though, I am thinking if he wasn’t good enough at the 3. Liga level, can he compete at the next level? Is that something I am willing to find out?

Shalva is one of those players who’s just good enough to make you believe he’s capable of doing more. And maybe he is, but somehow I don’t think if he had 34(0) instead of 17(17), he would not have 18 goals and 6 assists. He’s a solid player, but when you aren’t looking for a solid player…

Andreas Pollasch, Phillip Schulz:

The 4-2-4 I play requires two good players in the midfield, as they are the pivots going forward and backwards. Alexander Siebeck had a lock on the DLP role, Andreas and Phillip rotated thruout the season, and they did a very capable job. Andreas was one of the best defending midfielders in the 3. Liga this season, and Schulz was one of the most creative going forward with the ball.

Mihailo Ivanović, Damion Downs:

At the winter break, we were sitting near the top of the league. While I was unsure of being promoted, I knew we wouldn’t make the playoffs unless we strengthened our attack up top. I needed a supporting Forward who could do a credible job of occupying a defender or two, and an attacking forward who could take advantage of the opportunities created for him. Mihailo filled the TF/DLF role quite well, and Damion showed me what he could do in half a season I am going to try and get him on loan next year to see if he can replicate it in the next level. I did a fair amount of scouting and research before bringing these two in, and they weren’t my first choices, but sometimes everything aligns and it all works out. And it did so here.

I cannot be happier with how the season went. I wasn’t thinking we would get promoted until the very end, and even then I kept doublechecking to make sure.

2. Bundesliga, here we come.

“Nikki, it’s Jakob Mueller. Call me as soon as you get this message, day or night.”

“Nikki, it’s Jakob. Call me soonest.”

“Nikki, call me, please, its urgent.”

“Niiki, it’s Jakob, there’s been a decision made, I can’t stop it. I’ve tried, but they are going to do it anyways. You need to get back to Berlin now.”

“Nikki, there’s no time left. 24 hours, tops. Where are you?”

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