Well, last Saturday I finally was able to catch some live outdoor football. In the first game since that disappointing outing versus Werder Bremen’s reserves in December, Magdeburg only managed a draw. But in contrast to the abysmal 1-all draw against Bremen, this one saw a new and improved FC Magdeburg team. Not only did Magdeburg field two new players, Christian Reimann (formerly at Sachsen Leipzig) and Najeh Braham (formerly at Siegen), but the new manager Paul Linz seems to also have instilled some desire to play attacking football in a formerly timid squad.
The other reason why this match was somewhat superior to the Werder slump was the atmosphere the 20,000 spectators created – and maybe the opponent being Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 helped a bit too. In all, Magdeburg’s 1-all draw was a deserved one, even though the Magdeburg goal was an own goal by a Schalke defender who put a Neumann cross behind his goalie.
This winter break has been a big joke. No snow, hardly any frost. This season, matches could have continued all winter. But I’m sure, come the end of the break in mid-February (at least for tier III and IV leagues), we will have wonderful frosty and snow-rich days…
On an unrelated note, Magdeburg have signed former Bundesliga pro Steffen Baumgart on a free transfer yesterday. Baumgart has played more than 300 matches in Bundesliga 1 and 2. He had been out of contract since January 3, when his contract at Cottbus was dissolved. Baumgart is a leader the team has been lacking, at least according to Linz. We’ll see…Saturday, the team will play Hertha BSC’s reserves in another test match.
Last Saturday, the NOFV held its annual Indoor Championship at Riesa in Saxony. This is indoor footy, not futsal, of course. All Regionalliga teams from the NOFV territory were „invited“ to participate (there’s not really a way not to take part…) and so six teams competed in two groups of three: Cottbus II, Rot-Weiß-Erfurt and 1. FC Magdeburg in one, SV Babelsberg 03, Union Berlin and Dynamo Dresden in the other group. To add some spice to it, Magdeburg had lost to both Erfurt and Cottbus only recently.
In the first match, Magdeburg struggled, but was able to come away 4-3 winners over Cottbus‘ reserves. Yet a 0-2 loss to Erfurt meant that all hinged on the Cottbus-Erfurt match, and Magdeburg fans were treated to quite some drama, as Cottbus took a quick 2-0 lead. Erfurt, however, managed to equalize and eventually even win the game 4-2. This meant Magdeburg would face Union Berlin in the semi-final, while Erfurt met Dynamo Dresden.
The semifinal was a close call that had to be decided by spot kicks from 9 meters. Here Magdeburg’s goalkeeper saved some spot kicks and Magdeburg were through to the final where they once more met Erfurt. This time, Magdeburg didn’t go down easily and the match went to spot kicks as well. Again Marian Unger came to the rescue and for the first time Magdeburg were crowned NOFV Indoor Champions. Of course, indoor football is not a very good indicator for the quality of any team, as evidenced by the fact that Magdeburg’s Danny Kukulies became best goalscorer of the tournament, a player who couldn’t do anything in the open air season.
Impressions from training show that since the arrival of Paul Linz the team has trained with more concentration and also with increased intensity. Understandable, as with a new manager nobody can rely on previous merits so everyone has to prove his worth. Beginning in January, Magdeburg will play several friendlies, the highlight being the match against Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 (January 19). Other opponents include Sachsen Leipzig (January 13) , Hessen Kassel (January 16) and Czech first flight team FK SIAD Most (not fixed yet, probably February 2).As training restarts on January 7, there are only a small number of days of training before the first match, but with the intensity of training shown so far, they should suffice.
In terms of transfer news it looks like Danny Kukulies will leave for tier IV side Tennis Borussia Berlin, and Tornieporth looks to be out of the door as well, despite hopes of getting a fresh start after Heyne had taken him out of the team for disciplinary reasons. No news regarding incoming players as of yet, only a plain denial of interest in Erfurt’s Kumbela who has been suspended by his club for disciplinary reasons (hitting his pregnant girlfriend in a nightclub, apparently).
Magdeburg played Bremen’s reserves last Saturday, and it was a step backwards, compared to the match against Wuppertal the weekend before. The referee wasn’t exactly helpful, as he called a number of fouls that would have been considered regular challenges by most other people. As Bremen were the superior side, technique-wise, Magdeburg was hurt more by this style of refereeing. They picked up a number of yellow cards in the first half, some of which appeared extraordinarily harsh. FCM were unable to string even as few as two passes together, especiall Andy Müller (as expected) and Björn Lindemann (surprisingly) excelled in losing the ball. In all, Magdeburg’s players seemed nervous and this in addition to the refereeing led to a first half that was without any actual highlight. Bremen added their incompetence in scoring to complete the picture.
In the second half, Magdeburg put up somewhat more pressure and this was rewarded with a goal in the 57th: Manai hit a freekick towards the 6-yard-line where Gerster put his head to it and the ball went in. Magdeburg’s yellow cards came back to haunt them within miutes of the goal as Gerster was sent off with his second yellow (this one well-justified). The send-off brought massive agitation as both Magdeburg players and fans were not exactly happy with that decision. During the ensuing freekick Magdeburg’s captain Kallnik sort of forgot himself in all that excitement, and Werder seized the opportunity. Amidst a disordered Magdeburg defense, they equalised with a fine long shot from Kruse. No more goals were to follow, but overall Magdeburg were lucky to come away with a point.
As feared the Wuppertal match seems to have been a fluke. It needs to be pointed out that Magdeburg were unable to adapt to the style of refereeing, although that style shouldn’t have been a surprise to them. The statistics are there for everyone to see and interpret. The ref also didn’t let the Bremen players take their freekick unhindered…
Yet, with all due respect, the standard of refereeing was extremely poor, as the actions of the referee attained more importance than those of the players. The only positive thing is that the distance to the magic #10 spot is still unchanged at 5 points.
The winterbreak better be used to attract helpful players, and maybe manager Heyne should think about why he had to answer questions as to why the team doesn’t perform with „I do not know“…
On Janaury 19th, Magdeburg play a friendly against FC Schalke 04…a good opportunity to show off any improvement…
1. FC Magdeburg: Unger – A. Müller, Grundmann, Kallnik, Probst – Lindemann, Gerster, F. Müller – Manai – Agyemang (88th Kukulies), Jarakovic (76th Kullmann)
SV Werder Bremen II: Mielitz – Holsing, Erdem, Mohr, Peitz – Heider (50th Grundt), Kruse, Löning, Artmann – Stallbaum, Schindler
57′ Gerster 1-0
59′ Kruse 1-1
59′ Gerster 2nd Yellow
Veröffentlicht unter Fußballerisches
Verschlagwortet mit 2007-08, Friendly, Idiocy, Schalke 04
Today was the official season opening at 1. FC Magdeburg.
Thanks in part to some rain showers early in the day, the crowd wasn’t all that great, but around 7,000 people wanted to see the friendly against 2nd Bundesliga outfit FC Carl Zeiss Jena.
After Magdeburg narrowly missed out on the promotion to 2nd Bundesliga last season, a number of players have left the club, and not all of them could be properly replaced, as it seems today. Nonetheless, the club has signed a number of players with potential:
Florian Müller joined Magdeburg from Bayern Munich’s reserve team. He is a very talented midfielder who was awarded the Fritz Walter Honorary Medal in 2005, an award bestowed on the best young player of a season. He is also a former Germany international at the U19 and U20-level.
Dennis Tornieporth joined Magdeburg from Kickers Emden and is nother midfielder. Unlike Müller he can also play as a forward. In the last season, however, he managed a mere 3 goals in 33 matches.
Eric Agyemang came to us from Regionalliga Süd club SC Pfullendorf where he is rumored to have run into trouble with the manager on several occasions. His meagre 9 goals in the past season are somewhat mollified by the fact that in his 27 matches he only played a total of 1,585 minutes, an average of 60 minutes per game. Agyemang is a replacement for Aleksandar Kotuljac who has joined Greuther Fürth. If he can manage to do that remains to be seen…
Marian Unger replaces Daniel Rothe. The goalkeeper comes from VfL Osnabrück and is hoping to be number one in goal in this season.
In addition to these four new faces, Martin Zander has been promoted from the reserve team.
Whether this team is strong enough to finish 10th or better remains to be seen, but there is some doubt, as the forwards are currently not in their best form.
This was proved by today’s friendly against Jena, where the guests pulled off a 2-1 victory, scoring two from free kicks, while Magdeburg only managed to put one away after Kullmann stole the ball from a Jena defender. Taken together, this was a scary performance.
Ah well, meaningless friendly™.
1. FC Magdeburg 1-2 FC Carl Zeiss Jena (friendly)
Ziegner 1-1, 1-2
Attendance: about 7,000 spectators
Veröffentlicht unter Fußballerisches
Verschlagwortet mit 2007-08, Defeat, Friendly