But you wouldn’t know that from reading FCM-related boards. Two draws from the first two matches of the new Regionalliga Nord season were enough to trigger the „this season’s over, we’ll never get promoted this way, sack the manager“ gene in a lot of people.
Looking at it a tad more rationally, nothing’s lost yet — obviously.
In Lübeck, Magdeburg took the lead with 15 minutes to go, despite being a man down, but 7 minutes before the final whistle, Lübeck equalised with a 45-yard screamer. No way any goalie would have saved that one. Hence, despite playing badly for most of the 90 minutes yet still dominating the match in terms of shots on goal, Magdeburg came away with just one point. That is exactly one more point than the team won in Lübeck in the past season, but two points less than the team had after the first matchday in the last season.
Last Friday then saw the home debut of the reformed team against the reserve team of Bundesliga side Hamburger SV. The first half, admittedly, was abysmal. Three major and one possible minor issue prevented a better performance.
First and foremost, there were only ten players in the pitch for most of the time, because Catalin Racanel was mentally absent for large parts of the first 45. Secondly, Baumgart had started with a so-called double-six, that is, two defensive midfielders, both of which stood too deep, creating a huge hole in central midfield. Which brings us to issue number three: Tüting who was supposed to play behind the only true forward Vujanovic, moved to a parallel position with him too quickly when Magdeburg gained possession, robbing his teammates of a pass option, so that the only way was to play using the wingers Watzka and Racanel…well, Watzka. This could have worked but for the minor issue I mentioned above, namely the wingbacks not moving forward quickly enough. Hence Watzka would have to face to opposing players on his own, a venture that could not possibly have any successful outcome.
For the second half, manager Baumgart took off Racanel and replaced him with a second forward, Siga. This meant that Tüting left the central position and moved to the left flank, with the team now playing a 4-2-2-2. The change – and most likely a very harsh appeal to the players – led to a dominant performance in the second half with Magdeburg generating scoring chance after scoring chance, Siga missing the most obvious when he kicked the ball past the goal from about four yards. In the end, Magdeburg were unlucky to draw as Hamburg had a mere two true opportunities, both of which were foiled by Magdeburg goalie Tischer.
Naturally, the level of contentness is limited, but especially the second half provided a glimpse of hope for the remaining season.
In other news, Denis Wolf will be out for another 6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery for a ligament issue. Magdeburg’s sporting director Michael Richter has declared the club will sign another forward.