Happy Birthday to Me!

hennesAugust 31st is my date of birth. I went to the party and I did the Smurf.

I still don´t actually know what ¨the Smurf¨ is, but if we can pretend that itś an appropriate dance for celebrating the closing of the summer transfer window, then that would make the second sentence of that first paragraph true.

There probably is something great about the transfer window that I am missing. I am certain that it must look a lot different for a fan of a club with seemingly unending cash reserves. My club, however, is on a budget and has the good/misfortune of having some players perceived to be too good at football to be playing for a team that is not regularly in the Champions League.

Hence, every year when the window closes, I do a final check to make sure there were no last-minute deals effecting my clubś roster before celebrating the end of the dreaded ¨silly season.¨

Feeling thankful for the small things today.

 

This year will be particularly nice, of course, because it will make official that Timo Horn and Jonas Hector are still with the club.

Note, I have been content with the futures of these two for a while. After all, Timo has said heś sticking around for now, and Jonas extended his contract into 2021. At least for the time being, those guys are staying in Köln.

Naturally, a contract-extension is no guarantee that a player is staying. At least thatś what many of the Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham fans out in social-media land will explain to you after you tell them of Hectorś extension. You say, ¨Hector is happy in Köln and doesn´t want to leave,”and they respond , ¨Everyone has a price.¨

Eventually, I got frustrated enough to stop trying to help those lost fans realize they needed to find another left back to ogle, but in a few hours, I can return to all those two-week-old conversations, type ¨I TOLD YOU SO!¨, and drop the virtual microphone.

Small victories are what you get on the internet.

Hector and Horn assure that Iĺl be very content with this yearś football birthday present, even without last-minute additions as we had in 2012-13, my first season as an effzeh fan. On that Friday in the 2. Bundesliga, the club was getting ready to face Energie Cottbus when it announced it had purchased two players. The match was an utter flop (an 0:1 loss during a frustrating season start in which the FC couldn´t score), but the transfers turned out to be Sascha Bigalke (post-game FC-TV interview star) and Anthony Ujah. Say what you will about Ujah and how his transfer to Bremen was handled, but he arrived to a team who couldn´t get goals from the run of play & started making them happen, eventually powering the team back into the Bundesliga.

On that ¨my birthday,” it was a late deal that set the stage for the club taking a big step forward. Could the non-moves of this ¨my birthday” be those that trigger the next FC evolution?

I´ll raise an Alaskan Kölsch-style Ale to that!

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