As I believe I implied, weekend updates may be few and far between. Have to spend some time with the family, you know?
The team remains at training camp in the mountain spa town of Windischgarsten. The constant photo updates from there definitely makes it appear to be a lovely place.
So…how about that SV Ried draw and the ensuing fisticuffs? Knuckleheads will always be knuckleheads, I suppose.
We spent the weekend pursuing the purchase of a second-hand tent trailer to enhance family summertime weekend activities. Essentially, it means we’ll be out camping more frequently on the weekend.
For American Geißbock purposes, it also means a lot more FC-TV and downloading Bundesliga games to be watched whenever I can get around to it. Wish me luck.
But, for now, it’s Monday, so…back to the news!
- HallelUJAH! Tony is back in Köln where he belongs.
Actually, Ujah travelled from Nigeria to Windischgarsten today to rejoin the Effzeh, likely becoming Peter Stöger’s primary attacker.
Ujah became a fan favorite last year, not only through scoring 13 goals in 28 matches, but for his social media presence and all-around happy demeanor. With a new four-year deal in hand and a more-offensive philosophy in the team, the expectations around Ujah will necessarily increase, but it has to be said that, by all appearance, he will be surrounded by more offensive talent than he saw on the pitch with him last season.
Whether Ujah is aware of any additional expectations remains to be seen, but the 22-year-old Nigerian seemed to be sad at the thought of leaving Köln to return to Mainz and now seems very happy to know he can make the Cathedral City his home.
“I definitely wanted to stay in Köln. I feel good here and thank both clubs for making it possible for me to stay with the FC. I look forward to the team, the new coach, and the upcoming season, in which we can hopefully repay our fans for their unbelievable support with successful football.” (From fc-koeln.de announcement.)
- With the Ujah saga finally coming to a completion, tz-online offered a new rumor for Effzeh fans over which to stew, suggesting 1860 München’s Daniel Halfar is on the verge of leaving the Lions, with 1. FC Köln and Eintracht Braunschweig apparently the leading candidates to land the left winger’s services.Halfar is in the final deal of his contract with 1860 and was apparently held from participating in a test match against Swiss side FC St. Gallen Monday at the request of his representatives to avoid injury risk before a move could be secured.
With a transfer fee of 250,000 Euro being discussed, the acquisition of Halfar would provide a player to fill the void left by Adil Chihi’s most-recent injury. The well-regarded Halfar would also provide a talent boost and additonal depth to a team clearly dedicated to gaining relegation this season. While the appeal of joining Braunschweig in the Bundesliga may be appealing, Halfar is reportedly leaning toward Köln, with a decision to be announced in the coming days.
- There was a test match Saturday with SV Ried that finished 3:3. I have this lower on the list due to it being fairly old news by now, as well as because I’ve still seen nothing m0re than the highlights.I do know that surrendering three goals in the first half to anyone would be a concern. I don’t know how 2. Bundesliga compares with Austrian first-league talent, yet I have a feeling that 1. FC Köln should always be capable of beating an Austrian side. Of course, I’m also of the opinion the club should never drop from the first league, so take my “feeling” for what it’s worth.
The positive takeaway from the final has to be that, after falling behind 1:3 in the first half, the Billy Goats responded with a goal early in the second half, eventually evened the score, must have found some way to tighten the defense, and, from appearances, threatened several times to earn the victory.
Though, ultimately, I’m with Stöger on not putting too much stock in test-match results.
- There was a sad bit of ugliness after the match, as a brawl erupted between Ried and Köln supporters. While it must be noted that my reading comes exclusively from German sources, the blame seems to fall primarily at the feet of a handful of lame supporters of the Austrian side who were looking for trouble, attempting to provoke Effzeh fans at random.Despite the incident sparking amid a group of vacationing fans that included children, there were no reports of injuries or arrests. We can only hope that outsiders don’t hear about it, remember the smoke bombs and storming of the pitch from last spring, and think it’s just another typical day for fans of 1. FC Köln.
- Jörg Schmadtke took part in a Q&A session with fans today via Twitter. If you want to see the entirety of what was asked and answered, search the #fragFC hashtag. There is also a bit of an overview available at Effzeh.com, if you’d rather.
- Werner Spinner is a pimp!
- Tomorrow’s test match with Czech side FK Baumit Jablonec will be streamed live at LAOLA1.tv beginning at 9:30 a.m. PST (I leave the math of your time zone to you).The team from Jablonec is coming off a fourth place finish in the Gambrinus Liga and are the current holders of the Czech Cup.
- There will be a season-opening ceremony this Sunday at 11 a.m. (Kölle Standard Time) at Müngersdorfer Stadion, featuring “numerous musical and an attractive accompanying program.”Höhner will be on hand, promising a performance with players. Care to guess what song they’ll perform together?
Also performing will be Brings, Kasalla, and Cat Ballou. Sounds like my kind of party.
There is no cost for admission, so no excuses for not being there, except, you know, unless you live on the other side of the planet…