That was most of my weekend. From all the photos and video I saw, it sure looked like plenty of fun was had at Südstadion on Saturday and at Müngersdorfer on Sunday. with pleasant weather to accompany all of it.
I admittedly lost interest completely in the test match against RCD Mallorca. That’s not to say I’d not have gladly shelled out the ten Euro to attend had I been in the neighborhood, but I think my excitement for the season to begin had finally shifted test matches from thirst-quenching alternatives to annoying things in the way of battles over points. I’m simply too anxious for the season to get rolling to be placated with meaningless friendlies.
Plus, word was that Geromel could be held out of the match due to a potential transfer to a Brazilian club. While that would ultimately land more money in the Effzeh coffers, the most-interesting thing about the match-up was Geromel on the pitch against his former club. Sure, you want to see Anthony Ujah in his return and Daniel Halfar in his club debut, but, really…BRING ME DRESDEN!
Despite the lack of interest, overall, I of course watched the highlights late Saturday night once they were posted. It was hard to get much of a sense of the match from the highlights themselves. I did find it interesting that, according to the voice-over, the team was presented in a 4-1-4-1, which I’d seen Stöger mention as a possibility, but wondered whether he’d actually deploy it. Now that he has, I wonder how things look Saturday. Nobody was less-dangerous offensively than Dynamo Dresden last season, including SV Sandhausen and SSV Jahn Regensburg, so you’d think Stöger would be happy to risk playing a little more forward, especially as Dynamo keeper Benjamin Kirsten is probably the best chance Dresden have of taking points. Though, Dresden does get a boost from their home atmosphere, so you couldn’t fault the new coach to play somewhat conservatively in his debut.
No need for conjecture, though, we’ll know in…how many days Dom?
What I meant to say about the highlights, however, was that hearing “Viva Colonia” after a goal was scored anchored that song in my head in the most-pervasive way I could imagine. I could NOT stop hearing it. What that translated into was me teaching it to my three-year-old son, Owen, for his front-yard goal-scoring celebrations. He picked it up pretty quickly, which thrilled me to no end. I kept trying to capture his yelling “Viva Colonia!” on a Vine video, but couldn’t quite get it, especially since too much video or photo while playing soccer usually gets me the Owen version of a yellow card, “PUT your phone down, Daddy!”
Guiltily, I generally do.
The Missus told me she couldn’t believe I “taught Owen a Köln song,” to which I responded, “Can you really not believe it, though?” She admitted it was not really unbelievable.
Of course, I’m not ashamed to say I also utilized my son’s appreciation for animals to expose him to Hennes via a few videos, which got him excited about watching the billy goat play soccer, even if I explained to him a dozen times that Hennes does not actually play.
How could Owen believe me, though, after he proved me wrong on something else I told him didn’t actually transpire.
Generally, I am showing my son highlights packages of matches from last year when he says he wants to watch soccer. At the top of every video, he asks, “do those children play soccer with the men?” To which I respond in the negative, which always launches a series of “Why?”
When we landed on the DFB-Cup match against SpVgg Unterhaching, we went through the process of clarifying that the children would watch, while the men played. Early in the package, however, Sascha Bigalke was in the center of the action, to which my son exclaimed, “Look Daddy! That boy is playing soccer with the men. You were wrong!”
With apologies to Sascha, I was unable to stop laughing long enough to correct my son’s perception of Bigalke’s age. You can see how that’s funny though, yeah?
Later, I streamed some videos about the “jeckste Karnevalslieder” to the television, which I’m certain is making my wife think I’m insane, as I continue to coddle this obsession with all things Effzeh which is necessarily tied to Köln itself in ways not completely dissimilar to how Detroit sports fans feel about Detroit and/or Michigan, especially those who’ve moved away from their home state.
I’m certainly no Kölner, other than via aspiration, nor am I an echte Kölsche Jung, yet, I’m filled with that Gefühl.
It’ s probably not just a little weird, yet, I don’t think I can help it!
Shall we move along then? I think we should.
- A piece in Kicker.de today said that Thomas Bröker has earned a starting role in Peter Stögers team, calling him a “super player” whom “every fan must love (for) the way he battles.” I know Bröker is one of the players on which fans often disagree, but I am in Stöger’s camp as far as his being game for the fight; he always seems to play hard.
Of course, effectiveness is another matter entirely. If Bröker is unable to convert his aggressive style into goal-scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates up front, it becomes a lot less interesting, as we learned the first several matches last year when it seemed the Billy Goats were allergic to the goal.
The other position battle discussed in the article was that at the crucial defensive midfielder spot. It appeared early that, to the great befuddlement of Effzeh fans everywhere, that Matze Lehmann was the favorite for the job. A pair of dangerously bad passes against Mallorca Saturday has called his status into question, with Adam Matuschyk the person who would likely step into the role should Stöger decide Lehmann is not the answer at the six.
As an unapologetic Matuschyk fan, I’d be happy to see him at the six, though, in my opinion, he needs to be in the Startelf regardless of what decision is made on Matze. The Polish kid with the soul patch has something to offer offensively as well, which would make me lean toward someone else in the six role, but, then again, most of what Matuschyk offers offensively are wildly hopeful shots that sail far off-target, so maybe the six is a good place for him if it contains him from wasting chances.
Either way, make sure Matuschyk, if healthy, is on the pitch in Dresden when the whistle starts the season, please.
- Young midfielder Yannick Gerhardt was named winner of the Fritz-Walter-Medaille silver award for the U-19 class, which essentially says he’s considered to be the second-best young, German talent among the under-19 set.
Gerhardt is quoted in the story announcing the award at FC-Koeln.de as saying, “This is a huge honor for me, and I wouldn’t have expected it. There are many outstanding players in my age group. All the more reason I’m pleased to receive this award.”
The gold-medal winner is SC Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter. Dominik Kohr of Bayer Leverkusen took the bronze.
Gerhardt will be presented with his medal on 14 August at an international match with Paraguay set for Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern.
I believe that warrants a congratulatory nod from all of us, eh? Tell him yourself at his Twitter account!
- I don’t have much to say about the season-opening party and team presentation that took place yesterday, especially since I was not there, but I did get a kick out of his Twitter post from the event.
One of the things I most look forward to experiencing is that first taste of the atmosphere among the Köln fans. It certainly played a role in drawing me toward the team and becoming a fan, so when I see others’ reactions to their experiences, I can’t help but be jealous.
I also have to say it’s crazy how little video has turned up from the event so far, seeing as reports have 25,000 people in attendance! Luckily, Dominic Maroh and Maxi Thiel each captured some video from the stage and posted them on their Facebook pages. Looks like the younger player had the better video equipment.
- Still no word from Anthony Ujah on giving him the @ujah_9 twitter handle I secured to keep rival trolls away from it. Maybe he’s having too much fun being the happiest-looking footballer in town.
- The most-fun read I had this morning was at the quintessential Effzeh.com, where the entire gang debated the likelihood of promotion this year. There is a lot of interesting commentary and opinion to be had there, running from the optimism of wearing the red-and-white glasses to the bitter cynicism of a fan burned too many times by past failures. It is, of course, all auf Deutsch, but maybe I’ll take a crack at translating later this week. It’s the perfect fan debate material.
That should be enough for the last Monday without a proper match for a little bit. Hope y’all had a great weekend and are dealing well with the wait for the season to start.