Well, HOT DAMN!
Despite expectations of a home victory over a relatively soft opponent, I have to say that my overall feeling was one of relief when Marcel Risse siezed the 2:0 from the penalty spot. The overall vibe from the match was very similar to matches early last season in which there was a sense of dominance in many phases of the game, but the translation to the scoreboard was not quite making sense. Dominating possession by a 2:1 ratio should lead to better opportunities than those that kept the match scoreless ten minutes into the second half, even if your opponent is packing it in defensively and letting you run around a bit, waiting for a chance to counter and hoping to steal a point or three. This is particularly true when the gap in talent between the two clubs is as large as that between 1. FC Köln and SV Sandhausen.
Yes, we’re still dealing with a new coach who trotted out yet another new look Saturday. Yes, we have several new players still learning to play together. Ultimately, I feel confident it will eventually come together and look a lot better.
The good news is that the victory was not only earned, but resulted in three points, unlike the season opener in Dresden. Stöger’s squad may have yet to impress with their overall look, but the fact remains they’ve yet to lose a match and are now sixth in the table (no lower than seventh, pending Union:Fortuna result.)
Basically, it’s entirely safe to say the Effzeh has effectively avoided the false start of last season that left the club too much ground to cover by the time they found a groove, falling short of a shot at promotion at the end of a lengthy unbeaten run.
The current unbeaten run, however, it about to get its starkest test of the young season thus far. SpVgg Greuther Fürth has yet to drop a point since returning to the 2. Bundesliga. Their comeback 1:2 victory Friday was the second-consecutive week Frank Kramer’s squad defeated the team directly below them in the table.
But, we can talk about them later. I’ll say only that, having seen a few of their matches, they’re a bit fortunate to have had the results they’ve had. There are some big holes in their defense, and, now that Nikola Djurdjic is out a while, they’re a lot less dangerous offensively.
But…like I said…later.
For now, let’s revel a bit, as reveling is what the people of Köln do as well as anyone on the planet. Six points after four weeks would have seemed a dream last season, so it would be utterly ungracious to not acknowledge the progress. The big challenge next week is also a huge opportunity.
Plus, there’s other exciting stuff happening RIGHT NOW!
- The name “Bard Finne” emerged last week as a potential winter transfer target. Finne is currently a striker with Norwegian club SK Brann Bergen, scoring a goal every 101 minutes played in the Tippeligaen, though he’s not a regular player, having logged 90 minutes just once in his 13 league matches played in 2013.
And, because nothing quite gives you a sense of a player’s ability like a YouTube video with an awful soundtrack…
The announcement at fc-koeln.de makes last week’s rumors true and points out Finne’s 11 goals in 16 competitive matches, which is impressive enough. Six of those goals, however, came in three cup matches, with four of them at once in a first-round match Brann won 0:14.
This might not be the best predictor of 2. Bundesliga success.
Even so, the youngster is clearly being purchased for future potential, with a contract signed until 2017. Hopefully, it won’t take that long to see whether Jörg Schmadtke’s eye for young talent will bear fruit.
Plus, free transfer! That’s always good for the coffers, eh?
I had a brief exchange with a Norwegian fan of Finne and his club on Twitter. Brendan Husebo believes Finne will be “huge.” Always better to hear something from someone who has actually seen the kid play! You should probably add him to your Twitter feed and bother him with questions about Finne’s prowess.
It also turns out that Finne’s birthday is the same as that of the club, 13 February. Clearly, this is a sign.
- Remember the announcement 1. FC Köln would be working with Foursquare this season?
Well, the first “special” has been announced in advance of the home match with Erzgebirge Aue. Check in at the match and share your check-in via Twitter, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win the day’s match ball.
Then, when you win it, send it to me because you love me.
- Okay, last bit about Greuther Fürth for today, I swear!
The SpVgg is reporting on their site Saturday’s match is nearing a sell-out.
See, it’s barely about Fürth. Really, it’s about people wanting to see the Effzeh and its travelling band of fans.
- Finally, if you have been stalling on making purchases from the FC Fanshop, wait no longer! You have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Effzeh time to take advantage of a free-shipping offer on all purchases.
I have to admit, however, that it’s unlikely that deal extends beyond the borders of Germany, much less all the way to Seattle, but you can always try.