Yes, finally the Magdeburg board hhave taken the step many had expected three weeks ago: Following the 1-2 defeat at the hands of Cottbus‘ reserves, manager Dirk Heyne was relieved of his post. The board were quick to declare that they would like Heyne to take on another task at the club, owing to his iconic status (408 competitive matches as goalkeeper for the club) with the fans.
Looking back, Heyne was the right manager for the club when he was first installed, back in 2003. Then Magdeburg had just escaped bankruptcy and were struggling to get out of tier IV football on a tight budget. Heyne had been managing the club’s Under 19 team and his high identification with the club in addition to his relatively low experience in management (he had been goalkeeper and youth coach at Borussia Mönchengladbach, buthad never had the responsibility of managing a senior side) made him a good solution for the club.
Over the next few years, Heyne formed a competent team that consistently played a decent game of football. As relatively few changes were made to the playing squad, the players got to know each other very well, thus compensating with teamwork for what they lacked in individual ability. In the past two seasons, Heyne’s tactic (strong defense with counter-attacking football rather than trying to dominate the opposition) yielded great results: the team was promoted from Oberliga Süd and finished 3rd in the first year in the Regionalliga.
This style of play was highly dependent on a working midfield, an attentive defense and forwards that converted the few chances they got during a match. For some reason, this did not work this season. The difficulty lies in analyzing why it did not. Of course, this season’s team differs from last season’s. Players have aged, and some have not aged well. Two forwards left and were not adequately replaced. And our best new player, midfielder Florian Müller, is to tied up in defense to effectively fulfill an attacking role.
As Dirk Heyne was incapable of solving the problems in Magdeburg’s play, his dismissal was inevitable. Now it will be interesting to see who the board present as his successor and whether they can attract helpful players in the winter break.
Oh yea, here are the Cottbus stats.
Energie Cottbus II: Männel – Bankert, Bittroff, Franke – Hackenberg, Schuppan, Thielemann, Küntzel, Bandrowski – Hensel, Ramaj (46′ Marrack)
1. FC Magdeburg: Unger – Grundmann, Kallnik, Probst – Neumann, Habryka (64′ Kukulies), Manai, Müller, Lindemann – Agyemang, Kullmann
26′ Schuppan 1-0
63′ Schuppan 2-0 (pen)
67′ Grundmann 2-1