Effzeh Auf Englisch: 1. FC Köln News from 23 July 2013

I admit, I was trying to put together something resembling a live blog of the match while watching, but found it a bit difficult. I gave up when I realized all I was doing was writing about semi-significant game events and then commenting. It wouldn’t have been all that valuable to anyone who’d seen the match. I may return to it, but I can’t neglect my bread and butter, which is this!

Also, I’ve been pondering a change of site name to “Effzeh auf Englisch.” If anyone is willing to offer feedback, opinions, or anything else in this regard, (I assume) most of you know where to find me on the Twitter.

One of my favorite things about getting involved in all things Effzeh has been the warm reception I’ve been given by so many. This includes putting up with me talking about my family in posts and on Twitter, not to mention the offering of name suggestions when my second son was born and we didn’t yet have one (Colonius, Hennes, Lukas, etc.)

So when someone reads me going on about our trip to the ocean and responds like this,

I get a warm, tingly feeling.

On that trip, by the way, I think we had a German breakthrough with my elder son. My Missus told me last night that, at some point, he was telling our Godson, with whose family we were camping, to “mach schnell.”

Owen LOVES it when I tell him to “mach schnell.”

Okay, so…the match…

There were some issues, of course.

Though I respect the abilities of Idir Ouali and Mickael Pote, I’m not sure they should have looked as dangerous as they did in spots. I’m a full-fledged Jonas Hector fan, but I don’t think that was the best I’ve seen of him.

The Timo Horn debacle…I guess he has to take some blame for what happened on the 1:1, as he could have simply handled the ball. While I can certainly understand not wanting to allow referee Wolfgang Stark the opportunity to call the back pass intentional and award and indirect free kick, Stark had been more than a little lenient all game long and seemingly unlikely to make such a harsh call.

Then again, the lenience could be interpreted as his being not completely on his game, in which case you don’t want to risk a really bad call in that situation.

Whatever the case, it could have been avoided right then and there, though at some risk, I suppose.

Not a happy moment.

The real problem then became that Stark swallowed his whistle in the absolute worst moment. Though he didn’t have a great angle from which to observe the play, the shove Pote delivered to Horn as the keeper was about to play the ball simply MUST be called.

…or so say I in my absolute void of knowledge and experience in officiating the sport. Still…

The end result was similar to many matches last season, in that Köln was dominant by many measures while failing to earn a victory.

Yet, I don’t think many observers of last year’s club and this match would draw any further similarities between what we saw at the beginning of last season and what was on display Saturday. The shift in philosophy on the pitch was easy to see, and the play between Anthony Ujah and Marcel Risse despite so little time together was definitely something about which to get excited for the future. Much more so than the 0:1 in Braunschweig that started Stani’s rule in Köln, this match felt like the jumping-off point of something being built.

Or, it’s early-season optimism run amok. You choose.

Sorry to keep y’all waiting so long for such deep and expert game analysis!

News, anyone?

  • Ugh…Fortuna fans seem intent on making me actually dislike their club.Because the trains between Wuppertal and Düsseldorf were more frequent and faster than those to and from Köln, I spent a lot of free time in Düsseldorf’s Altstadt. I even developed a taste for Altbier. It’s okay to admit  that Schlösser is pretty tasty, even if you’d choose Küppers every time were you offered both. Yet, there was something about the city and its people that didn’t really suit me as well as did Köln when I visited there. I think it was a feeling that Düsseldorf aspired to be something more cosmopolitan and fashionable than it was perceived to be, while Köln always seemed to be happy with whatever you thought it might be, as long as everyone was having a good time.These perceptions are, of course, those of an inexperienced, small-town, 23-year-old college student and bound to be skewed. Yet, they are my perceptions.So, despite the rivalry, I have always find it hard to begrudge Düsseldorf’s fans.Rather, I did find it difficult, until some of them started showing up in the Twitter #Effzeh hashtag conversastions to talk smack. Even though I know it’s a small number, I’m finding them annoying and learning to assign that to their club.I guess that’s how rivalries maintain momentum. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy some friendly banter with friends who support teams I do not, but when it’s just random jabs at a team and fans when dealing with adversity…that’s something else entirely.So, keep it up, Fortuna. I’ll be sneering at you eventually, I suppose.
  • I will credit some of them for attempting to rid their stands of homophobic chants they apparently keep specifically for games against Köln, as Köln is considered the gay capital of Germany by some. Cheers to Dissidenti-Ultra for their efforts. I have a feeling it’ll be all for not, but I can hope to be pleasantly surprised. As they note in their “Call to Renounce Homophobic Chants…,” the enjoyment of the match should be for everyone.
  • The entire Michael Rensing saga is pretty funny, I suppose, though the end result for me is that now I think of him as a bit of a diva, which is probably my least-favorite thing in professional sports. Check out this nice summation at Bundesliga Fanatic, nicely put together by Chase Ruttig.
  • And, as long as we’re talking about Canadians (Chase is from our neighbor to the north), Jon Eden of fussballeh.com forwarded to me a piece from his site about Kevin McKenna. While the site generally concerns itself with Canadians playing in Germany, this piece deals more with McKenna’s overall status as a good guy. It’s nice to have the backing of a great nation like Canada in wishing the best for our Kanadische Eiche.
  • Individual player ratings are given by ksta.de after all matches. I don’t understand entirely how the numbers are figured, but know enough to say the lower the number, the better the rating. Who got what, you ask?2: Gerhardt, Risse
    2.5: Jajalo
    Brecko, Maroh, Golobart, Matuschyk, Ujah
    3.5: Bröker
    4: Hector
    4.5: HornHector made more mistakes than did Horn, but Horn’s was the biggest. Plus, he didn’t really have too many opportunities to do much else on the afternoon. Bröker was largely invisible after being in the middle of most of the early action. Jajalo, to me, is getting a bump for being involved in the goal, which I suppose is the entire point of the game, but he was not as vital consistently in the match as Brecko, Maroh, and Golobart. I also think Gerhardt maybe gets a little extra due to it being his debut, though I can’t think of a single spot in which he wasn’t impressive, so…fair enough, except I find myself wanting Risse to have the highest rating because he was simply dynamic.
  • I was already leaning toward Risse for a jersey, should I pull the trigger on a purchase. Nothing I saw last night would make me think that would be a bad call for me. Dude was awesome.
  • Express.de reported an Effzeh fan lodged a criminal complaint via email to Dresden authorities in regard to Benny Kirsten’s mugging of Golobart during the match Saturday. Apparently, this is not the first time Gerhard Grönke made such a complaint, having done something similar after Franck Ribery elbowed Robert Lewandowski in the Champions League finale.While I agree that “punishment is inevitable, because otherwise war could break out on the football field,” it’s the job of the officials to deliver that punishment. Maybe also the DFB should keep an eye on things to make sure palyers know they can be suspended and fined even if they get away with it at the time. However, you don’t have to think too hard about it before you realize how bad things could go if legal charges were brought against players for things happening on the playing field.Much better if the referee simply does not miss what was a pretty brutal event, really. What Kirsten did has no place on the field, in my opinion.

    It takes a certain level of arrogance to pretend something seen by millions and recorded on video did not actually occur.

  • Then I read the piece in Bild.de, where Kirsten says that he neither fouled nor shoved Golobart and that anyone who’d give a red card in that situation knows nothing about football.I may not know much, myself, but I do know that you, Benny Kirsten, come off like a smug, entitled little shit.I learned while watching last night that the Dresden keeper is the son of Ulf Kirsten, which I’m certain many of you already knew. I’m sure Papa Kirsten’s time with Leverkusen has something to do with Benny’s inability to behave in the presence of 1. FC Köln.Funny enough, a little digging and I see that Ulf was in the Startelf for Leverkusen in my first ever soccer match attended, a 1:0 at Westfalenstadion in which Ulf was substituted off in the first half hour. I want to say there was a bit of a nasty tackle along the sidelines, but that was a LOOOOOONG time ago. Memory is a trick thing.Not so tricky, however, that players will have forgotten how Kirsten acted Saturday when he comes to town later in the season.
  • I have to admit to finding at least one particular bit of rivalry shenanigans to be completely appropriate and charming. Düsseldorf klaut Köln die Punkte is harmless fun, even if not really all that funny. There was always a chance these Fortuna fans would have been seen by some of the wrong people, resulting in a confrontation. It seems like they were able to complete a guerilla attack on Effeh signage in and around Köln without it turning ugly.

    Well, not completely, I suppose. That’s some pretty awful music they chose for their video. Sorry, German hip-hoppers. That’s simply not good.

    Still, well played to these guys, and I hope some enterprising young Effzeh fans are already planning an appropriate response for the return match in the Hinrunde.

    One of the more-interesting things playing out this week is the continued downplaying by some Effzeh fans of the derby aspect of the upcoming match with Düsseldorf, saying that it’s simply not really a ‘derby,’ and that word should be reserved for battles with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

    I’m not sure how much validity there is to the claim, nor how much it’s just gamesmanship. Being a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, I remember when Colorado Avalanche fans were a lot more interested in pretending the rivalry between the two teams was something that would continue beyond those few years when they were the two best teams in the Western Conference and the games were intense. At least part of the fun for us was to simply dismiss the Avalanche fans as late-comers to the sport and explain to them we reserved our real venom for Chicago and Toronto, which we KNEW would really bother them.

    I think, at least a little bit, this idea is coming into play here. What reading I’ve done reveals a rivalry between the two cities that goes beyond Fußball, which could certainly involve a possibility that the sports rivalry is more an extension of a wider civic clash than a distinct entity with its own history and passion.

    Either way, 14 years between editions of the match-up necessarily has a dulling effect that can quickly be replaced by intense anticipation.

  • Or, perhaps you prefer a straightforward “Düsseldorf stinks.”
  • But me? I’m a Daddy these says, so I’m pretty much a sucker for a kid rocking team gear and singing a terrace song entusiastically and full of joy.


That seems like an awful lot of blather for one day. Time to wrap it up!

Bis morgen!

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1 Comment on "Effzeh Auf Englisch: 1. FC Köln News from 23 July 2013"

  1. The KStA player ratings are German school grades (also used by kicker Sportmagazin and many others). Compared to American grades these look more or less as follows:

    1 = A
    1.5 = A–
    2 = B
    2.5 = B–
    3 = C
    3.5 = C–
    4 = D
    4.5 = D–
    5, 5.5, 6 = F

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