Der Bär Wird Wieder Brüllen, The Fourth Season, Part One

Versprechen sind wie der Vollmond, wenn sie nicht sofort eingehalten werden, werden sie von Tag zu Tag weniger

“There’s talk.”

“There’s always talk. What are they saying now?” The restaurant was nowhere near full yet, but they had asked to be sat in the corner just for some additional privacy.

“You,” Dietrich said after swallowing a bite of food, “Are turning down some very good opportunities. At some point teams are going to stop asking you to interview.”

“Who was it this time?” Nikki asked, eating a bite of his own food.

“Beşiktaş.” Nikki stopped mid bite, then shrugged.

“I am happy where I am.”


“What sort of question is that?”

“The one I deserve an answer too?”

Nikki sat back, wiping his lips with with a napkin then taking a drink of wine.

“The new stadium is opening, ownership is behind me, we are building something for the future. I want to see it thru.”

“Even if costs you your career?”

“You think if I fail here other clubs will stop asking to interview me?”

“I think the quality of clubs interested in your service won’t be as good as -“

“Dynamo’s when I took over?” Nikki asked, eyebrow arched. Dietrich was silent for a few minutes, then took a drink of his own wine, then shrugged.

“You doing OK,” he asked a few moments of silence. Nikki nodded.

“Tired. But it’s part of the job. Last season was rough, this season will be just as bad. But that’s why I earn the big paycheck, right?”

“We screwed,” Sasha was sitting down, head on the table, arms over her head.

“What now?” Tobias asked, handing out the beers he had grabbed before sitting down at his own table.

“You haven’t seen today’s presser?” asked Hans.

“Meetings all day,” Tobias replied.

“Excited for the new season, excited for the new stadium, no transfer budget and the wage budget isn’t going up.”

“Ah,” Tobias said.

“What gives Eeyore?” Sasha said, sitting back up and grabbing her own beer.


“Eeyore. From Winnie the Pooh, the Children’s Book. Always doom and gloom. Everything that can go wrong will. We used to call you that behind your back-“

“Not all of us-” Hans said

“All of us…” Sasha replied staring at Hans until he rolled his eyes and nodded and looked away. “Three years ago you would have complained about three things before sitting down.”

“Well,” Tobias said, after taking another drink of his beer, “You’ve been so negative lately, and I figured our group dynamic can’t handle that much, so I am trying to be…less negative?”

Sasha stared at him, then snorted and drank half her beer in one go. Everyones phone beeped, and they all reached for them.

“He’s taking the Beşiktaş job…” Sasha said, not even looking at her phone.

“No, he’s staying,” Hans said after a few seconds reading. “And he signed a new contract. Two years at 138K a year.”

“Two years!” Sasha yelled, and everyone at the table jumped. “He should have signed for life.”

“Settle down Eeyore,” Tobias muttered, ignoring Hans as he spat his beer out.

Finances are…there. The new sponsorship certainly helps out, although if you asked me to swear the accountants weren’t doing something along the lines of an animal sacrifice or black magic, or both, to keep the finances on the right side of black, I couldn’t.


I think we got what we paid for. Nothing to ostentatious, quite serviceable, and I am pretty sure it will last a decent amount of time as well.

15,121 seats, room to expand, now it’s up to me and the club to put butts in said seats and help get us out of the hole our board dug for us.

With no money for transfers, not a lot of wiggle room in the wage budget, and a scouting department who’s budget and size could best be described in one word: Winzig, we instead relied on the General Manager and Screen Flow reports to help us find players we could target, and then try and sign.

Finding players was easy. Getting them to sign on the other hand…

It was the same thing we ran into last year. If they were listed for loan, the parent club wanted us to pay some pretty outrageous salaries. If the club did agree to let the player go out on loan, they didn’t want to come to Berlin.

And then I found it. The one regional bright spot in my quest for good young players willing to go almost anywhere for next to nothing in order to get some playing time.

The former Yugoslavian countries. All of them have goo teams with large rosters who are looking to get their youngsters playing time. Youngsters who in some cases are already better than any player you have on your squad, and who are also on ridiculously low contracts, so if the club asks you to pay a portion, you aren’t going to be out an arm and a leg when signing them. Maybe the tip of a pinky. Maybe.


We need a keeper, no other position really matters. The problem is the ones were willing to come wanted pay well beyond their capabilities, or their clubs thought we would pay a ransom for them. Karlsruher wanted 500K for Max Weiß, which we just didn’t have. I found one keeper I was willing to live with, but then I realized I had not started checking out players listed for loans on other teams.

I cannot find the original screenshots I took for these guys, so I had to reload the save and scout them again. I ran into a couple of issues with that, because at the time we were flat broke and didn’t have money to scout anyone, and it was mid June…

Dragan Pavlović

Quite the determined young man, isn’t he? Maybe not the best reactions or technique, but his distribution, tactical acumen, and agility are nice, and he’s bang average most everywhere else. That’s not a problem, really it isn’t. He’s here on loan with us paying nothing for him, which already makes him head and shoulder better than everyone else we looked at so far.

Lucas Lavallée

Until Pavlovic signed, Lavallée was going to be our starter. The former PSG players had an OK stint on loan at Bastia last season, but PSG let him leave because they have better options. He is one of those solid but unspectacular players who could be a lot better, or worse. His numbers on theis screenshot are from his season at Bastia.

Uroš Sremčević

Sremčević is a depth signing. We need all the help we can get, he was available for loan, we didn’t have to pay anything for him, they expect him to come off the bench. He probably isn’t a full time Bundesliga 2 starter, but I am not expecting him to be one either.

Marko Cvetković

A young M(C)/DM with a ton of upside, Cvetković is going to be part of the midfield rotation. Excellent technique, good first touch, decision making, work rate, decent agility and really only lacking in the jumping category, I suspect in a few years he will be a quality DLP. This year he just has to be good

Luca Belardinelli

There’s always one player you don’t think you are going to get. He’s wanted by bigger teams, your club may not be in the best place, and while their salaries demands aren’t onerous, you are always shocked when they do agree to sign for you/ This year, Luca Belardinelli is that player. The former Empoli player didn’t see the field all that often, but on paper he is easily the best midfielder we have, above average in almost every category without having any real weaknesses in his game. He is a strong Bundesliga 2 player, and getting him in on a free at €71.5K a year is a great deal.

We did manage do convince Union Berlin to let us keep Sanogo another season, but the club itself is in a precarious state. We have some younger players with a great deal of potential: Hamzic, Fuhrmann, Mehri and Ott; and several older players who if they get hurt, or leave, we cannot replace all to easily. At 32 Siebeck is still the best WB(L) I have, and if he goes down I may as well look for a new formation to run. Kircher is adequate on the WB(R) side, but he isn’t getting any younger, or better.

I fear I may not have done enough to keep us up. Again, 33 points in the goal. Again, some things are outside of our control, and if we do manage to get relegated, it may just be in Nikki’s interest to move on…

How will the season go?

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