Three days to go. I think we’re going to make it.
Been keeping myself busy with all sorts of pre-season preparations. I need to get my team preview finished for Bundesliga Fanatic soon. In some ways, the season is coming at us entirely too fast!
Of course, I have to also remind myself that all of you will get the relief of the match Saturday, while I have to wait until Sunday night (early Monday morning for many of you) before I get to actually sit and watch the “Re-Live.”
There was a bit of a flurry of activity today, so I shan’t bore you further with minutiae of my day-to-day.
- Because the club has giant piles of excess money lying around, the DFB decided to fine 1. FC Köln 20,000 Euro as punishment for fans using fireworks in the visitor guest blocks at Cottbus, Dresden, and Duisburg.I GET that many aren’t psyched about the ban on “pyro” in football stadiums, but once it’s costing the club money that can better be directed toward paying the bills (stadium rent, salaries, transfers, etc.), it’s time to rethink how you voice your dissent about the matter. Could we convince the stubborn ones among us to take up, perhaps, some thunder sticks or vuvuzelas?
- Perhaps not coincidentally, the club today also posted their match preview, highlighting the weekend’s opponent. With the first few paragraphs focusing strongly on the problems Dynamo Dresden has had with some of their more-radical fans, you have to wonder at least a little whether the club wasn’t hoping to distract a little from the bad news of the fines levied on the club due to fan behavior.”Sure, some of our fans got us hit with a 20,000-Euro fine, but look at the Dresden problem! They were banned from the DFB Cup this year because of their fans!”Similarly, by comparison to the chaos swirling around the club in Dresden, Köln’s summer went completely according to plan. Granted, Dynamo did not have an extended search for a new coach, but they did see 14 players leave the club, while 13 new faces will have to be incorporated into coach Peter Pacult’s rebuilding project. Considering he started with a team which just barely staved off relegation, there is not a wide margin for error.
Despite all the changes, Dresden did retain several top players. Leading goal-getter Mickael Pote returns, though scoring only 6 goals in 25 matches does not really make him a dangerous player. Dynamo also retained the services of Idir Ouali, who may be the club’s most-talented player. I’d bet on the most-dangerous attacks originating from the left side with Ouali right in the middle of the action.
The most-important player for Dresden last year, though, was keeper Benjamin Kirsten, which seems funny to say about a keeper who allowed 48 goals in 33 matches. Yet, Kirsten often was the only thing keeping Dresden’s season from a complete collapse, often seeing opposing shot totals in the double digits.
Ultimately, though, the greatest foe for the Effzeh in this opener may actually be the same fans who cause the front office so many headaches. Dresden earned 27 of their 37 points at home last season, making them nearly a different club when playing at the Glückgas stadium.
Though, as the article points out, the Effzeh was victorious there just four months ago, with Ujah providing both goals in an 0:2 affair. Despite all the turnover in personnel both on and off the pitch and the home-field advantage of the opponent, this season-opening match is definitely a winnable scenario for Köln.
But last season was me saying that often and then shaking my head in puzzlement afterwards, so…
- 1. FC Köln Fan Mike stumbled onto a piece of funny in Stern.DE‘s listing for the club on their mobile site, naming Miso Brecko as “the star.”I suppose who would be considered the team “star” depends on your perspective, but while Brecko may be a very important piece and the team captain, you’d have to do a lot of dancing to sell him as “the star.” Stern does a fair amount of dancing, saying that Brecko is an “indispensable” as a leader because of the huge pressure on the club having missed promotion last year and that the relief in the wake of his contract extension was great.This sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure Brecko is captain for good reason, but all of the above seems a bit of a stretch…almost as if Stern covers football as an after-thought…huh.
- Mike also posted on Twitter that 400 visitor tickets were returned to Dynamo Dresden for Saturday’s match. In fairness, that’s a long haul from Köln; I’m not judging.
- From all appearances, everyone was hard at work today, getting ready for Saturday. Leave it to Anthony Ujah to have posted photos from the traning session on Facebook.
I don’t really have much else today, as I need to get to work (real job) and then take on my aforementioned column for the Bundesliga Fantic, so I hope you’re sated for today.