Guest Commentary: Axel Goldmann on Eintracht-FC

In the interest of adding individual voices to the Planet Effzeh canon, I requested and received permission from Axel Goldmann — a.k.a. Der 4. Offizielle (the fourth official) — to (loosely/amateurishly) translate and publish a piece he wrote on his blog in the wake of the debacle in Frankfurt.

Der 4. Offizielle is not all Axel brings to the table when it comes to 1. FC Köln discussion. He’s also the force behind Bockcast, a German-language podcast dedicated to the club that brought Axel and I together via the miracle of the internet. Subscribe to Bockcast via iTunes and start learning some German so you can get in on the fun.

For now, let me do the German-to-English for you, as best I can.

And a big THANK YOU to Axel for allowing me to share his words with the international effzeh audience!

Eintracht Frankfurt – FC: Geschenkt ist noch zu teuer
(“Geschenkt ist noch zu teuer” is the German title for the Tom Hanks film “The Money Pit”)

Sometimes, you have those days.

Days when you know what will happen before it happens and know that it won’t be good, but can’t do anything to defend against it. You can do whatever you want, but the result is predetermined. The famed “I’d have been better off staying in bed” day, through which nobody ever in the history of mankind has spent in bed.

God knows why.

As far as effzeh in Frankfurt goes, we knew what would happen. Alex Meier — the ponytail-wearing reincarnation of Peter Wynhoff and Arie van Lent, those not-defensible-by-Kölner-teams evolving nightmares — comes back. Last year, four goals in two games. This year, it’s already three goals in one game.

I wish no harm on the guy, but if he had to sit on the pot with explosive diarrhea on the day of the second-leg match, it wouldn’t bother me at all.

Now, you can make it easy on yourself and credit the defeat to the unfairness of the rapid recovery of Alex Meier, or you can take a broader view of the whole thing. I tend to want to actually shift all the blame to Meier, but it’s not quite as simple as that.

The effzeh

  • never found a way into the game
  • were chasing from behind the first minute onward
  • let themselves be taken completely out of the concept by the offensive-to-the-point-of-being-almost-harakiri line-up of Frankfurt
  • were caught acting (yet again) fidgety and unfocused after their own throw-in (first goal)
  • left holes in the center so big they needed their own zip code (goals 2-6)
  • simply didn’t understand the entire game, structure, and blueprint of the SGE.

We saw an over-burdened central defense, who could not deal with the quick passes in the attack, who did not know at all where they should orient themselves, and were unable to keep up with the Frankfrut Sturm und Drang, neither spiritually nor corporeally.

There was no calm in the game; it was chaos, which is something we haven’t yet often experienced under Peter Stöger.

Sure, you can assert that the effzeh conducted themselves somewhat honorably for having never just surrendering. They at least tried repeatedly to get a foot in the door. But then you also must admit that it simply was not good enough on this Saturday and that the class to deal with all the adverse circumstances simply was not there.

Unfortunately, it is futile to discuss what might have happened had the two indisputably wrong offside decisions would not have been whistled. It simply doesn’t do any good. It was all part of the whole.

This happens from time to time.

We are still the 1. FC Köln, in the second year of a renewed consolidation phase. We cannot expect that we would cruise through the season without setbacks.

I hope nobody really thinks that way.

Matze Lehmann said it best after the game: “What should I say?” We surrendered six goals; that was poor. The end.”

That’s it. We needn’t question the system. We also needn’t debate team selection or find something else on which to place doubt. The team must learn from this game; we fans must shake it off and simply accept it, that it all was a big heap that collapsed on us.

Best would have been if we’d stayed in bed, right?

Next week it’s against Gladbach. Everyone knows what will happen, right?

It’s “feather week” at the “Danish Bed Store.” Get there.

Come on effzeh!

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