Alex Meier Hat Trick Powers Grim Day for 1. FC Köln

Now that we’ve gotten some distance in time from 1. FC Köln’s 6:2 rout at the feet of Alextracht Frankmeier . . . er Eintracht Frankfurt . . . a quick collection of throughts from the game:

How We Got There 

At what point in a 6:2 game would you realistically say, “It’s all over!”? Surely not 1:0 or even 2:0, but maybe the 3:0? What if the 3:0 was scored in the 23rd minute, though? Do you assume that it’s just going to snowball from there, or do you believe at all that the amount of time remaining leaves some chance of salvaging a point?

Yeah, I'm with you, Schmaddi

Yeah, I’m with you, Schmaddi

At 3:0, I wasn’t feeling good, but when Anthony Modeste made it 3:1, I have to admit that I let myself have a bit of optimism. Fortunately, Luc Castaignos waited not two minutes to kill even that little glimmer of hope, making it 4:1 just half-an-hour into the first Effzeh match in two weeks and hence rendering the last hour a miserable drag.

When Dominique Heintz scored Köln’s second goal at the 81st minute to make the score 5:2, the commentator for FC-TV tried to rustle up some enthusiasm for playing Frankfurt to a draw in the second half.

If you are even a little okay with math, you realize this didn’t happen. Alex Meier finished his hat trick six minutes after the Heintz score and made sure our Saturday was completely ruined.

Takeaways

The game was so bad that it was hard to take any more joy from Borussia Mönchengladbach’s sitting on zero points after four match days . . . well, for a few hours, at least, it was hard. I’m pretty much back to enjoying it.

Sure, it was a bad loss and, sure, it dropped the Effzeh from fourth to eighth in the table, but if we’re just starting the second season of bid to reestablish the 1. FC Köln as a first-division permanent resident, then we can’t really overreact to any single result, especially in mid-September, no matter how bad it looked.

That said, getting so thoroughly outplayed definitely casts the two wins on the season in a different light. I don’t like the word “lucky” to describe how the FC took three from Stuttgart and Hamburg, but I do think we were fortunate considering the general run of play in each match. In both wins, Köln came away with all the points due to, at least in part, the opposition inability to make good shots.

Not only did Eintracht Frankfurt take their shots and finish them, they seemed to be playing a different game than was our FC. This was not a matter of Eintracht having hit on some shots-from-distance, the likes of which wouldn’t go for the VfB or the HSV. Rather, Frankfurt’s attackers were getting into great scoring position with alarming frequency, while Peter Stöger’s crew looked at a complete loss for how it could be happening.

Safe to say we’d not seen the 1. FC Köln so badly overwhelmed in a game since Stöger arrived, so we also don’t know what to respect from his team in response, but with the derby against pointless Mönchengladbach coming Saturday, we’ll see whether the third-year coach can help his guys both recover mentally from the beat-down and get them again at full throttle to have a great game against the club’s biggest rival.

Stock Watch

Falling -The Sørensen-Heintz central-defense tandem

And falling HARD!

It’s somewhat Stöger’s way to let players keep their spots in the team until they’ve had some bit of a game-day failing, so it was never a surprise that Dominic Maroh wasn’t given a starting role for the Eintracht game.

What is surprising is that both Frederik Sørensen and Dominique Heintz played so poorly knowing that Maroh was returning to health. You’d expect for both players to have been trying to show why neither of them should be moved to the bench in favor of  the effzeh veteran returning. Instead, Stöger is faced with trying to determine which of the two will move aside for Maroh to make his first start of the campaign, as both were plenty culpable in Frankfurt amassing half-a-dozen goals.

For the first time since the two new guys took over in the middle of the defensive row, Köln fans really can’t be faulted for dreaming of having Maroh and Kevin Wimmer back there again.

Falling – Matthias Lehmann

If I’m honest, many of Lehmann’s worst moments came as he sprinted at Matze-speed to try to help deal with Frankfurt players who weren’t being dealt with by Sørensen and Heintz while in Sørensen-Heintz territory.

And then, on the ball that was taken off him deep in FC territory for the Haris Seferovic goal, he clearly was fouled by Stefan Reinartz, which should have negated the play.

All in all, though, Lehmann looked like the wrong guy for the job Saturday.

Man of the Match

I hesitate to praise the performance of anyone in white and red for this particular match, but because a “player of the game” situation is relative in nature, I’m taking Kevin Vogt.

A little on-field fire from Vogt Saturday.

A little on-field fire from Vogt Saturday.

It wasn’t so much that Vogt had an outstanding overall match, but he did leave an impression of a man determined to do his part to turn the match around by making plays. There was a stretch of the game when Vogt seemed to be the only Effzeh familiar with the importance of ball security.

And, unlike his defensive-mid partner Lehmann, Vogt’s most-visible moment tracking back to cover the ample space available in the penalty area to attacking Frankfurters was when he successfully swept into the scene to take a ball off Seferovic in a dangerous spot. Before the ensuing corner, Vogt unleashed his frustration at his teammates.

While everyone else looked really unhappy about how the game was rolling, Vogt seemed generally angry and determined to make something happen.

That gets my vote every time.

Next?

Is a derby without visiting fans a derby? How about also without vocal support from the home fan groups?

It might look and sound a bit tame in the stands for a 1. FC Köln – Borussia Mönchengladbach match, but between the Effzeh needing to shake-off the Frankfurt result and die Fohlen desperate for its first Bundesliga points, it’s bound to be a tight contest Saturday.

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