Schlagwort-Archiv: Defeat

The final straw

Today, 1. FC Magdeburg, placed dangerously close to the relegation zone, faced league leaders Chemnitzer FC in the MDCC-Arena in Magdeburg. The game began with two shocks for the hosts. After Wolf almost scored in the opening minute, Chemnitz did better and took the lead after a bit of sleepiness in the home side defense. A few minutes later, right-back Rainer Müller limped off with what looked like an ankle injury.
Magdeburg were in shock, and if Eren Sen hadn’t headed a corner off the line, Chemnitz might have decided the game after just seven minutes. The way it was, Magdeburg were allowed to suffer a bit longer, until former Magdeburg forward Dobrý made it 2-0 after a horrendous pass to the opposition from Magdeburg’s Friebertshäuser. The game was lost then and there, considering both sides‘ quality, but Verkic offered some hope when he scored of a Wijks cross ten minutes before the break. Now came the moment of glory for the referee – who looked generally too lenient, with only two bookings in the entire match, despite plenty of opportunities to caution Chemnitz players for tactical fouls and the like – Verkic headed a long ball on to Wolf who scored the equalizer only to have it turned down for a Verkic foul that never was.

Magdeburg began the second half with new confidence, and put the pressure on Chemnitz. Early on, Wolf scored again, but this time Verkic was adjudged to have interfered with the goalkeeper in the six-yard box. Unjustly, in my humble opinion. As the match continued, Chemnitz were given more and more room by Magdeburg’s desire to equalize – and being the top team they are, they capitalized on the space they were given.
In the end, Magdeburg will feel harshly done by the 1-6 scoreline, the biggest home defeat in the club’s history (unless 0-5 seems worse), and might turn to the referee for a scapegoat, but in reality, a Chemnitz win accurately reflects the reality on the pitch.

The real question to be asked, however, is not if the team are unable to compete in the Regionalliga, or if manager Ruud Kaiser is unable to create a winning team. The question is the same that I have laid out in this blog time and time again: How much longer will the inept leadership of Volker Rehboldt and his cronies be allowed to lead the club down the road to disaster. As a Chemnitz supporter rightly observed in his match preview, Magdeburg have turned from a contender for promotion to the Second Bundesliga to a fourth division side with no hope of promotion at all. And all this within four years.
The problem, of course, is not limited to the board with its chairman Volker Rehboldt, but extends to the supervisory board, with its chairman Dr. Rüdiger Koch. Koch, responsible for sports and culture in the city of Magdeburg, is head of a group of people who are charged with overseeing the performance and actions of the club’s board – and to prevent the board from harming the club.
In the past years, the actions of the board have led to the club missing all season targets, losing the advantage of a 10,000+ spectator average, and to the club having to reduce its budget year after year. All these factors apparently do not constitute acts that would bring the club into danger, as the supervisory board has repeatedly proven by its inaction – and, in the last winter break, a 6-0 vote of confidence for Rehboldt’s board. This year, however, the club face the very real threat of relegation (what with three points between Magdeburg and the first relegation spot), so maybe now the club is in danger?

I’m not claiming everything will get better with a new chairman and a new board. But with a new chairman there is still the possibility that he is not some inept person. Rehboldt has proven that he is incapable of leading the club to a better future time and again. It is time for someone in the supervisory board to grow some balls and stop Rehboldt before it’s too late, before the club slip into division five and oblivion.

Déjà vu

Remember Kenneth Wolstenholme and his famous 1966 WC commentary?

„They think it’s all over“ – was what described Magdeburg’s fans after the 0-1 defeat in Oberneuland when the club’s deficit to the top spot had increased to 9 points. But then came the home game against TeBe Berlin who received a 7-0 thrashing a the hands of a rather listless FC Magdeburg side. Babelsberg’s draw against bottom-placed Goslar meant the deficit was reduced to 7 points, so there was a little hope glimmering there.

„It is now“ – describes what Magdeburg’s fans must be thinking since yesterday 1515 hrs. The club had lost away at Meuselwitz, after dominating the entire match, but without scoring. Then came a penalty in the dying minutes, because of a clumsy tackle by right back Stephan Neumann. At the end of the season’s first half, Magdeburg are ten points behind. Not exactly an improvement over the one-point deficit from last season – and we all know where the club ended up then.

So, do you plan for another Regionalliga season now, or do you believe you’re strong enough to actually get those ten points more than the teams placed before you? Unless the club spend money on the defense which has turned out to be the Achilles‘ heel this season, I don’t see how it would be possible to close that gap. I refuse to blame the offense for the way that some of our defeats were going, simply because 38 goals from 17 matches are good enough to win promotion, even though the distribution could be a bit more even. 18 goals conceded in 17 games, however, is unacceptable, if you want to finish first. And we all want that.

Apologies to Mr. Wolstenholme for using his quotes from a moment of triumph to describe yet another low point in the post-reunification history of 1. FC Magdeburg.

Meanwhile, the U23 team lead their league, and might actuall win promotion. Fat lot of good that will do.


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.

Ouch…that hurt

On Saturday, there was yet another home game that I’d rather not have witnessed, but what can you do…
Magdeburg met Halle, in the first league match in two years. And despite the improvement visible in parts in a Saxony Anhalt Cup match in Eisleben (FCM won 1-0) and even more visible in the actual match, Magdeburg lost and has now not won in 9 home games in a row (last victory was in March vs SC Verl).
The game itself got off to a good start, with Magdeburg taking the lead after 21 minutes. However, this did not exactly give them the confidence needed to secure the win. And when 15 minutes later Bundesliga referee Kempter incorrectly ruled Braham offside and thus his goal as well, Magdeburg became visibly confused. This confusion was jumped upon by the Halle offense who sliced Magdeburg wide open with two counter-attacks to score two goals, turning the game.
In the second half Magdeburg tried hard to come back, but their moves were too complicated and thus the result was unchanged at the end. A very disappointing the derby no. 60. Magdeburg slipped to a relegation spot and it is difficult to see things turning around soon, however, this time defeat did not come from playing badly as in the previous two league matches, but rather from an inefficacy and not quite so great refereeing.

1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Bankert, Zander, Grundmann (78′ Reimann), Neumann – Watzka, Rosin, Racanel, Dragusha (82′ Matthias)- Vujanovic, Braham

Hallescher FC: Horvat – Schubert, Lachheb, Kamalla, Benes – David, Görke, Kittler (88′ R.
Stark), Kanitz – Kunze (78′ Finke) – Hebestreit (93′ Beck)

Scoring summary:
21′ Braham 1-0
42′ David 1-1
44′ David 1-2

Attendance: 11981

The pain goes on…

Last sunday, 1. FC Magdeburg had its first home game of the season. Hopes were high that a win would be possible for the first time since March. These hopes couldn’t be dampened by thefact that the opposition was none other than former German champion (1912) Holstein Kiel, a team against whom Magdeburg had a less than favorable record of 1-1-2, although none of the home games had been lost. The way the team had presented itself versus Hannover hadn’t been too convincing, but it seemed to be good enough to see of the challenge of Kiel who had lost their first match.
Unfortunately though, things aren’t always what they seem and so in what was an abysmal performance, Magdeburg lost in front of about 11,000 infuriated spectators by an admittedly unlucky goal. Over the entire game, Magdeburg probably generated about 3 or 4 great opportunities, but none of them were converted. Next sunday the club play in Babelsberg, but I’m not exactly holding my breath…

1. FC Magdeburg: Beer – Bankert, Prest, Probst, Neumann – Rosin (61′ Reimann), Racanel (83′ Siga), Gewelke, Dragusha (59′ Watzka) – Vujanovic, Braham

Holstein Kiel: Frech – Boy, Jürgensen (74′ Brückner), Schyrba, Rohwer – Hummel, Vujcic (82′ Schulz), Lartey, Nouri – Wulff (72′ Guscinas), Hoffmann

Scoring summary
53′ Lartey 0-1



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

Score summary
26′ Schuppan 1-0
63′ Schuppan 2-0 (pen)
67′ Grundmann 2-1


Crisis – and no consequences?

On Monday evening, the FC Magdeburg held an emergency meeting. After defeat in Essen the distance to the magical 10th position had grown to 6 points and the club have now been now waiting for a win for 5 league games.
Many had expected manager Dirk Heyne to be sacked yesterday, but despite speculation as to his successor being rife, no decision has been reached yesterday, as has transpired now. The board still have not issued a statement.
It seems that despite knowing that FC Magdeburg will need to gather 34 points from the remaining 19 league games, the board believe that there is still ample time to allow for some more experimentation on the side of Dirk Heyne and the team.
I personally do believe this to be a very bad decision. From my perspective, Heyne has failed to deliver a convincing performance in the past twenty league matches. The one consistency in these matches has been the enormous lack of an attacking strategy. This lead to the team’s helplessness whenever an opponent took the lead in a game. Generally, FC Magdeburg were unable to control a game no matter who the opposition, and despite a ordinarily well-working defense, were hardly ever able to avoid conceding one or more goals. Due to the lack of offensive power, conceding a goal always meant losing two or all points.
In the past twenty league matches, Magdeburg have not turned around any game, and they also have not been able to retake the lead after an equaliser.
Of the past twenty matches, Magdeburg only won 5, drew 7 and lost 8. Six of the draws ended 1-all, and half the time Magdeburg lost a lead in these games (vs. Leverkusen II in May, Energie Cottbus II in August, and vs. Union Berlin in November). In their 8 losses, Magdeburg managed to only score 5 goals – and two of these were scored in the last season in the loss at Emden. And now let’s look at the 5 wins, shall we? In these 5 matches, Magdeburg didn’t concede a single goal, three wins were 1-0 affairs, one a 2-0 and the „biggest“ win a 3-0. Both these latter matches were against inept opposition, the three former were only won with a huge amount, especially the 1-0 against Dresden in August.
There is no improvement visible at all. Considering the rather long period (we’re talking 6 months here, remember) Heyne had to improve the situation, I do not see how he could possibly turn things round in the winter break. Especially considering the fact that the teams in the upper half of the table will most likely begin approaching the club’s better players, such as Florian Müller or Ivica Jarakovic.
In my mind, the board should have sacked Heyne on Monday.