Tagarchiv Paul Linz

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.
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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

Look at that, FA!

Within 48 hours of Dirk Heyne’s dismissal, FC Magdeburg have presented his successor as manager: Paul Linz.
Linz is a former forward and has played 33 Bundesliga matches and 233 matches in Bundesliga 2. Among others, he played for Werder Bremen and Waldhof Mannheim, scoring 115 career goals. After his playing days were over, he managed several clubs, most successfully Eintracht Trier which he guided back to Bundesliga 2 after a 21-year-absence.
At today’s press conference, Linz stated that while he’d have to see the team before deciding exactly what he’ll do, he wanted to put Magdeburg a lil more into the direction of attacking football. No surprise there, this coming from a former forward who, as he said, „always gets nervous when pushed back“. Linz added that there certainly was something to be done about the dismal performance of the attackers, in terms of winter transfers, he didn’t think the players were quite as bad as their statistics indicate. He indicated that he was not rushing the transfer issue, as he would want to sign quality players.
His contract runs till the end of the season, and if Magdeburg do qualify for the new tier III league, it will be automatically renewed for two more seasons. Thus, FC Magdeburg have solved one out of the three interesting issues in the winterbreak, the remaining two being the new players that have been promised.

Thursday sees a supporters meeting to discuss the new away kit. After the disastrous affair with this season’s orange away kit, the board had announced they’d listen to the fans‘ suggestions and wishes. Ought to be interesting.