Tagarchiv Baumgart

End of an Era

How I’d have loved to write about the end of Volker Rehboldt’s time as the chairman of the board at 1. FC Magdeburg. But alas, it is the end of Steffen Baumgart’s time with the club instead.
Yesterday, the board had a meeting and apparently determined to send Baumgart on gardening leave, but also told the media they would not confirm this, because they wanted to tell „the affected party personally„. (Emphasis mine)
Well, today, Baumgart confirmed he was sacked when asked by several media outlets. Via the telephone, apparently.

This is just the last straw in a long row of ineptitude and incompetence put on display by the current board. It all began way back in 2007, when the board decided that the 1. FC Magdeburg squad was strong enough to reach tenth place in the following season. This led to the club signing exactly zero new forwards, although one of the team’s top scorers had left for a 2nd Bundesliga side. Of course, Magdeburg finished 11th, outranked on goal deficit by a mere three goals. New manager Paul Linz was then signed to reach the top spot in the 2008-09 season, with a budget that was arguably the largest in the league. Naturally, he failed and the team he had constructed was then taken over by Steffen Baumgart. I suppose a club with a notoriously over-expectant audience is not the best place to start a managing career, but as Baumgart himself pointed out, it was his choice. Well, Baumgart finished the season decently, winning the regional cup and thus qualifying for the DFB-Pokal. The league performance was somewhat poor though.

His contract was extended nevertheless, and several players that his predecessor had signed were let go, claiming they were „Stinkstiefel“ who poisoned the atmosphere at the club. Baumgart was given a number of new players, with some decent signings such as Denis Wolf or Lars Fuchs. However, Denis Wolf has only played about ten minutes of competitive football due to injuries, and several players were outright disappointments.
At the winter break, Magdeburg were ten points behind the coveted top spot, but Baumgart – and the players – were radiating confidence that they still could turn things around. As the other teams‘ results have shown, Magdeburg could have significantly reduced the deficit with a decent start. But it couldn’t have happened any other way – Magdeburg gained one point from five matches in 2010.

Of course, sacking the manager is now the logical consequence, you say? It would be, but if the chairman of the board keeps stating publicly that the team is a bunch of lazy sods who do not deserve to wear the shirt…and that in the 1-4 defeat at Hannover 96’s reserves „a characterless team had failed a decent manager“…
Then one has to wonder why the consequence is sacking the manager and allowing the team to continue.

The club are now looking for a new manager to pick things up from July 1, until then assistant manager and youth center boss Carsten Müller will be responsible. As Magdeburg are forced to reduce their budget by half a million Euros, it appears that nothing ever changes: No professional football in my home town.

State of the Club

Since I last wrote, after match day 3, 1. FC Magdeburg have come through quite a development. New transfer Wolf is out until January, and the club signed Lars Fuchs from Jena as his replacement. This has turned out to be a good decision, as Fuchs has already scored 5 goals in the seven matches he has played in. As for the league position, Magdeburg have improved since day 3 when they were on 14. They are now on 8, but still with a 5 point deficit to the top spot, held by VfL Wolfsburg’s reserve team.
Most importantly, however, manager Baumgart changed his tactics. Instead of a defensive 4-2-3-1, Magdeburg now play a 4-1-3-2 that gives them more options in attack and is largely responsible for the 19 goals the team has scored so far. Unfortunately this change has also introduced some weakness in defense, so Magdeburg have conceded 13 goals so far.

The matches so far:
At home against Hansa Rostock II – 2–2
Magdeburg go one down after 38 minutes, then celebrate a late comeback with goals from Vujanovic and Watzka, only to concede a late equalizer off a free kick, after goalie Tischer and defender Prest miss the ball. The match is a glimmer of hope anyway after the abysmal performance against Türkiyemspor in the week before.

Away at VFC Plauen – 4–1
Magdeburg go one down again, after only 4 minutes, but this time the team manage a complete turnaround. By half-time the score is 3–1 to Magdeburg, another Vujanovic goal makes it 4–1 for the final whistle.

Home against SV Wilhelmshaven – 5–2
After this demonstration of strength, Magdeburg face Wilhelmshaven. They are third from the bottom and it only takes seconds for Magdeburg to take the lead. But within minutes Wilhelmshaven equalize and it looks like the match would turn into a nailbiter. Watzka scores to make it 2–1 at half-time, and in the second half Magdeburg get their act together, extending their lead to 4–1 before a defensive slip-up gives the guests their second goal. Marko Verkic scores in the final minute to make it a clear-cut 5–2.

Away at Babelsberg 03 – 2–3
In the following away match Magdeburg are punished for their defensive errors. Despite taking the lead twice, defensive slip-ups give Babelsberg three goals for the eventual win. The team had retreated too far, at times back to their own penalty area.

Home against Hannover 96 II – 4–2
The match against Hannover was a make-or-break affair. Hannover were in second place and a loss would surely have seen Magdeburg losing touch with the top teams. But despite their advantage in technique and table position, Magdeburg controlled the match from start to end. A furious first ten minutes saw both sides score off a penalty before the hosts took the lead with a Fuchs goal after thirty minutes. Until the 84th Magdeburg had extended their lead to 4–1, before another napping defender allowed Hannover to make it 4–2 for the final whistle.

Away at Hallescher FC – 1–1
Last week saw Magdeburg travel to their arch rivals in the south of Saxony-Anhalt. In front of more than 10,000 spectators the guests started well, but were reduced to ten in the 23rd after Daniel Bauer appeared to kick an opponent who had roughly tackled him. Bauer himself says he was unconscious following that tackle. Nevertheless he was given a two-match ban. After the red card hosts Hallescher FC attempted to control the match, but were largely unsuccessful. They took the lead with 30 minutes left on the clock, but around the 70th a firecracker landed right next to the linesman, thrown from the stands populated by Halle „fans“. It resulted in a five-minute break that brought Magdeburg some time to consider their options. Even though Magdeburg had largely contained Halle before the interruption, this became more obvious afterwards and eventually resulted in the well-deserved equalizer by a Watzka header off a Racanel corner-kick.
After nine matches Magdeburg still have every chance to win promotion, but good results from the next three games against dead-last Goslar, St. Pauli reservers and Hertha Berlin reserves are imperative before the matches against competitors Chemnitzer FC and VfL Wolfsburg reserves.

Crisis has come to Magdeburg

With Magdeburg as of yesterday having the third-worst start of the decade, the time has come to take a long hard look at the club in general, including management and the whole shebang.
Weiterlesen

The season has only just started

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.

Changes…

Since I last wrote, there have been some changes at 1. FC Magdeburg. Following the draw against Babelsberg, the team went into a steady decline, losing three out of four games, among them the important derby against Hallescher FC. Following a 0-3 defeat to Wolfsburg’s reserves at home, the 1. FC Magdeburg board decided to draw the line and sacked manager Paul Linz. The new manager would be former player Steffen Baumgart. this move was somewhat surprising, seeing as how Baumgart has no experience managing a team.

Nevertheless, the board are convinced he is the right man.
His first match was the 2nd round of the Saxony-Anhalt-Cup against Germania Halberstadt’s reserves – with all their players coming from the first team. Magdeburg won the match 2-0, but there was not much change visible in their play, aside from a marked improvement in attitude. On Thursday this week, Magdeburg play the cup quarter-final against fellow Magdeburg side MSV Preußen. Kick-off is at 6 pm, a time that necessitates a clear performance by the team, as dusk sets in around 8 and extra time could certainly not be completed before dark.

Phew, some weeks

Last time I wrote in here, we were 6 points behind non-relegation. That was just before the away match in Lübeck on March 15. Since then, Magdeburg have not lost a single game and have picked up 11 out of 15 points.
But first things first: in Lübeck, Linz put Steffen Baumgart up front with Najeh Braham, as Christian Reimann had failed to convince Linz in training. The game itself then became a memorable one, though not in a positive way from Magdeburg’s point of view. 36 minutes into the match, Lübeck’s Hirsch was sent off with a second yellow for a foul on Baumgart inside the box – but Gerster’s penalty went to the outside of the post and then wide. Luckily, a Braham shot from outside the box surprised Lübeck’s goalie Hollerieth and Magdeburg thus took the lead. After the break, hopes were high that Magdeburg could use their numerical advantage and do something for the goal differential, but alas, it was not to be.
In the 63rd, Magdeburg were given another penalty, and this time Baumgart took the ball, but Hollerieth saved. Things got more embarrassing for Magdeburg, when Lübeck’s Hollerieth picked up an injury with 15 minutes left on the clock – and then got another player sent off. As Lübeck had already used their three substitutes, Hollerieth had to be replaced by an outfield player, but Magdeburg couldn’t find a way past him and in the end even had to fear for their three points. When the final whistle was blown, Lübeck had won a morale victory – but Magdeburg took the three points.

Lineups

    VfB Lübeck: Hollerieth – Weber (75′ Oppermann), Rump, Wehrendt, Caruso – Altin, Hirsch, Sievers, Martens (46′ Dogan/ 73′ Canale) – Kadah, Hoffmann
    1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Otte, Prest, Kallnik, Neumann (72′ Wejsfelt) – Müller (84′ Kullmann), Gerster, Habryka, Lindemann – Braham, Baumgart (78′ Reimann)

Summary

    36′ Hirsch 2nd Yellow
    37′ Gerster misses penalty
    41′ Braham 1-0
    63′ Baumgart misses penalty
    75′ Hollerieth injured
    83′ Canale 2nd Yellow

    Attendance: 3,700

The week after this memorable embarrassment, Magdeburg faced then-league leaders Rot-Weiß Oberhausen at home. The game ended in a nil-all draw, a justified result, as the teams were on par most of the time, even though Oberhausen had had the better chances. Magdeburg’s best opportunity came after a lob from Jarakovic, but unfortunately it went wide of the left post. In the end, Magdeburg were content with the point won, as they were still on par with Linz’s master plan.

Lineups

    1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Otte (46′ Jarakovic), Prest, Wejsfelt, Kallnik – Habryka (85′ Agyemang), Neumann, Zander, Müller – Baumgart, Braham
    Rot-Weiß Oberhausen: Semmler – Embers, Pappas, Schlieter, Kruse – Reichert, Terranova, D. Müller (67′ Schäper), Landers (90′ Landers) – Lüttmann (67′ Aksoy), Kaya

Summary

    Attendance: 12,562

Before the next away match at Düsseldorf, Magdeburg fans weren’t sure what to expect. Düsseldorf were placed well above Magdeburg in the table and were still hoping to gain promotion to 2nd Bundesliga. Magdeburg on the other hand still had the second-worst away record in the entire league. But when Probst slid into a Gerster free kick to take the lead, Magdeburg fans (approximately 1,400 had travelled to Düsseldorf) were getting their hopes up. But Düsseldorf dominated the game and in the 44th had the bst opportunity to equalise, when the referee pointed to the spot in a ridiculous decision. Fortuna’s Lawaree obviously felt the same and Beer could save his penalty kick quite easily. In the second half of the game, Düsseldorf tried desperately for the equaliser, but were denied again and again by Christian Beer – and in the 92nd, Jarakovic scored off a counter-attack that was beautifully executed by Florian Müller and himself, clinching the three points for Magdeburg. During the game, Magdeburg manager Linz was sent into the stands for leaving his zone, but the Düsseldorf player that tried to take Linz’s glasses off in the incident went strangely unpunished.

Lineups

    Fortuna Düsseldorf: Melka – Heeren (63′ Hergesell), Langeneke (56′ Palikuca), Krecidlo (72′ Erwig), Cakir – Anfang, Cebe, Lambertz, Caillas – Lawarée, Sahin
    1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Prest, Kallnik, Probst, Neumann – Gerster, Lindemann (46′ Wejsfelt), Habryka, Müller – Reimann (68′ Jarakovic), Braham

Summary

    8′ Probst 0-1
    41′ Lawaree misses penalty
    90′ Jarakovic 0-2

    Attendance: 12,049

Sportschau highlight video

After this unexpected victory, Magdeburg faced a difficult home game. RW Ahlen came to town, and they had the best away record – not in terms of points (3rd-best in that respect), but in terms of goals scored: Almost 2 per away game. Now Magdeburg had merely conceded one goal since Linz took over, and none of the top teams had been able to beat FCM in their own stadium. But when Ahlen took the lead after just 9 minutes – Kallnik had been nice enough to pass the ball to an Ahlen winger instead of clearing it – and doubled that lead just four minutes later off a corner, many in the stadium doubted the ability of the team to turn this around. Thankfully, Kallnik scored a spot kick after Reimann had been fouled in the box, marking the first successful penalty from a Magdeburg player since Jarakovic’s equalizer against Babelsberg in October. In the remaining time of the first half, Magdeburg began to dominate the match, but could not produce any clear-cut opportunities.
In the second half, it was once more Najeh Braham who fired in a shot from three yards out. The equalizer was met with cheers as loud as at several points in the last season, but this cheering didn’t help push the team far enough: They just couldn’t score a winning goal. In the end, manager Linz wasn’t sure whether to be happy or angry with the performance. Unfortunately, Dresden managed to turn an impending home loss against Emden into a win with just 5 minutes left on the clock, leaving Magdeburg 4 points behind that ominous line between places 10 and 11.
The game also saw wht some speculate will have been Lindemann’s last stint in the first team for a long time. After repeatedly ignoring his manager’s instructions and a dismal performance he was subbed in the 34th – not a tactical change at all.

Lineups

    1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Probst, Prest, Kallnik, Neumann – Müller, Gerster, Habryka (46′ Manai), Lindemann (34′ Baumgart) – Braham, Reimann
    Rot-Weiss Ahlen: Lenz – Busch, di Gregorio, Maul, Miletic – Thioune (63′ Wiemann), Bäumer – Großkreutz (62′ Stahlberg), Heithoelter, Chitsulo (76′ Reus) – Toborg

Summary

    9′ Toborg 0-1
    13′ Di Gregorio 0-2
    17′ Kallnik 1-2 (penalty)
    56′ Braham 2-2

    Attendance: 10,800

Sportschau highlights video

Yesterday, Magdeburg were involved in the first of two so-called six-point-matches. The team faced Borussia Dortmund’s reserves at Stadion Rote Erde. Dortmund were on #10 in the table, 6 points ahead of Magdeburg, but Magdeburg still have a game in hand. In a tight game, Christian Reimann scored the winning goal with a beautiful volley after Dortmund had attempted to clear a Gerster corner. The rest of the game was mainly Dortmund attacking furiously and Magdeburg defending, certainly not what Linz would have liked to see – and almost with a bad ending for Magdeburg, when Beer miscalculated a corner and a Dortmund player headed home, almost, that is, as Neumann was able to clear the ball.
Magdeburg now are three points behind the non-relegation zone and play Kickers Emden next Friday – wonder what the welcome for Dennis Tornieporth will be like. Another thing to watch out for is whether VfB Lübeck can finish the season: Last week the club went into receivership and if they cannot finish the season, their matches will be annulled, meaning that FC Magdeburg will lose their 6 points and would move further down in the table.

Lineups

    Borussia Dortmund II: Höttecke – Brzenska, Hillenbrand (76′ Oscislawski), Njambe, Hünemeier – Großkreutz (61′ Öztekin), Omerbegovic, Schmelzer, Eggert (72′ Boztepe) – Nöthe, Senesie
    1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Probst, Prest, Kallnik, Neumann – Baumgart (61′ Manai), F. Müller (61′ Kullmann), Wejsfelt, Gerster – Reimann (89′ Zander), Braham

Summary

    29′ Reimann 0-1

    Attendance: 1,200

A good start is not a great start

And actually, it is not a start at all. If it is anything start-ish, it is a restart when the German leagues slowly get back into action after the winterbreak. The winterbreak is a sensible thing…bah, who am I kidding? This winterbreak had one great advantage for FC Magdeburg: New manager Paul Linz had 6 weeks of practice with his new team, and winter signings had some time to gel with their new team mates as well.
Today was the big day of the first league match, and the opponent was Hamburger SV, well, their U23 team anyway.
Magdeburg began with a new, untried back four, at least with regard to the right defender – Baumgart was moved back, Müller (there’s only one Müller now) took his place as right midfielder. The centerbacks were a reason to worry to all who assumed HSV would play quick attacking football: Kallnik and Prest started, neither of which with much reputation for fast running. Along with new signing Baumgart, the other two new players started as well, Braham and Reimann played up front in Linz’s 4-4-2.
Magdeburg got off to a good start, dominating the game for the first ten minutes, and almost took the lead when a Hamburg defender tried very hard to put ball in his own net. Alas, his goalkeeper had other plans…
After about twenty minutes HSV finally with some ideas of their own, none of which was real dangerous. One thing that is memorable about today’s match is the amount of times the ball was put into touch because of some real or imagined injury to a HSV player. I wonder what that was about. Didn’t exactly help the game. Football-wise, Magdeburg took the lead when Braham hammered home a Gerster freekick, with a beautiful volley into the far corner. For the first game under new management, this wasn’t too bad, Magdeburg went into the halftime break one goal up. At the beginning of the second half, however, the players seemed to have forgotten a valuable lesson Linz tries to teach them: Just because you’re one up doesn’t mean you can stop playing. For the first 15 minutes of the second half, Magdeburg were dominated by HSV, but no serious danger was emanating from their attacks. Their dominance ended, however, when midfielder Keita was sent off for violent conduct in the 62nd. It still took Magdeburg until the 71st to put away another goal (Baumgart off a Gerster corner), but there really wasn’t any danger of a Hamburg equaliser.
Why then is it not a grea start? Magdeburg have to win a lot of their games, and there were quite a few things wrong with today’s performance. On the left, Lindemann was ineffectual, often lacking vision and sometimes he seemed to lack skill too. Müller on the right didn’t get enough support from the rest of the team, after a great start to the match, his teammates had apparently all but forgotten about him. In defense, Kallnik and Prest, and even Wejsfelt made several mistakes that went unpunished, but are still a reason to worry. Most worrying of all things is the inexplicable desire to sit back and watch that the team displayed jus after the break. These phases are simply unaffordable against better opposition, like next week’s, Dynamo Dresden, and were the reason of much of Paul Linz’s frustration. All in all, Magdeburg are now 4 points behind a non-relegation spot, that’s two less than before the game, so there’s no reason to fret, really.

mdr has a video report of the game here (WMV).

Lineups
FCM: Beer – Baumgart, Prest, Kallnik, Neumann – Gerster (78. Habryka), Zander, Müller, Lindemann (46. Wejsfelt)- Reimann (73. Kullmann), Braham

Hamburger SV II : Höcker – Schmidt, Gouhari, Gorka, Franz – Huber, Keita, Kunert, Wimmer (24. Torun) – Chrisantus, Cannizzaro

Score summary
44′ Braham 1-0
62′ Keita (HSV) sent off
71′ Baumgart 2-0

Attendance
9,436