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.
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.
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
Veröffentlicht unter Fußballerisches
Verschlagwortet mit 2007-08, Defeat, Dismissal, Youth team