“Dear #effzeh fans!”
I am delighted to be able to share with you that I have extended my contract until 2018. It is simply fun to be a part of the team, and I would also like to continue along the path with the FC in the future.
Many thanks for your support,
Oh, is that what’s happining? Well, thanks for the morning heart attack, young Mr. Gerhardt.
This morning was probably the first time in my life on which I awoke and knew I needed to quickly catch up on all the day’s news surrounding the deadline day of a transfer window.
It was not so much so that I thought anything of import would be happening for 1. FC Köln, rather that I’ve just gotten to that point in the development of my ‘Fussball Jones,’ as it were. I can’t even say I was hoping or expecting to see any Adil Chihi news. I caught the bit about Mato Jajalo moving to Hajduk Split on a loan just before I went to bed (far too late) last night. I otherwise figured nothing else would be announced on the last day for deals, as that was the signal coming from leadership.
After trying to get to the crying baby who awoke me and being summarily rejected by him as “you’re not the reason I’m making noise, so go away!”, I returned to the bedroom to grab my mobile device before stumbling to the kitchen to brew coffee. While the water reservoir was filling, I began to scroll through some Twitter news.
And I mean that I was properly scrolling, mostly looking for embedded images to give me some idea as to what was shaking. Because I got notified by (all-around good person) @fckoeln_china Lewis Holtby had moved to Fulham, I let the numerous images of him fly by.
And then, in the breath-taking moment of the morning, I see the confident young mug of Yannick Gerhardt, unmistakable in his white home jersey, holding his fist in the air.
“Oh no. . . NONONONONONONONOOOOOOOOOOO! NO!”
I put the mobile down to a moment to collect myself and get the coffee actually to brewing, before returning to what I thought was going to be awful news, especially considering all the positioning over the last few days where Gerhardt had stated plainly he wished to stick around a while and general assertions none of the regulars were going to be moved.
Translating the weird German-Amerikanish slush in which my head usually translates German for me into regular english, “The Effzeh has extended long-term with Yannick Gerhardt until 2018.”
Quite the opposite of what I had initially feared.
Gerhardt is young and promising enough that 2018 doesn’t seem remotely lengthy enough an extension for my liking, and I hope any existing escape clause is the sort of boatload of money that makes Arsene Wenger clutch at his own billfold.
I damned well have come to really, really like the kid, can’t wait to see what he does going forward, and would love to see him doing it for the ‘ruut un wiess’ for as long as possible, or at least as long as it makes business sense.
Of course, by the time he’d be big, big money, the hope would also be the club with which he currently plays will be able to offer him the European competition any and every talented young player should want.
Essentially, the signing made my day. I get a bit indignant when the more-moneyed clubs come sniffing around, knowing they have the ability to pluck players away, but as Holtby’s need for rescue from Totteham purgatory shows, sometimes the green green grass of home is the greener grass, even if you have to really look hard to see it.
Not knowing what sort of real offers might have been made toward Gerhardt, I think we can, at a minimum, respect that he realizes the opportunity he’s been given and those that lay before him with this club. Word is that scouts from Liverpool, Fulham, and AC Milan had all made the googly eyes of someone developing a crush while watching him at training camp in Belek
It also says good things about the semi-recent changes in the front office that he’s not just willing but excited to make such a commitment. After all, he had only recently signed an extension to 2016, when he initially proved his abilities on the bigger stage early this season.
“I am convinced that something great is being built here,” said Gerhard about his decision to stick around. “I had no thought of wanting to play for another club. I am happy to be a part of the team that sits atop the second league.”
The key phrase there, for me, is “something great. . .being built,” an idea echoed by two very important players in whether or not such building actually happens and is successful.
“This is a great story for both sides,” was the even, measured response from our even, measured coach Peter Stöger. “Yannick knows that he can continue to develop in peace here.”
Also tapping on the “euphoria brakes” rather than screaming for joy, Jörg Schmadtke said, “The extension with Yannick is a signal that we are committed long-term here to young players.”
I’m not sure what is the best part of being 19-years-old when you sign a deal giving you a raise to, reportedly, 300,000 Euro per year, but celebrating with a round of FIFA 14 with your teammates seems a reasonably responsible party, if not completely splashy.
Though, note to self, hide the gaming system when Mairice Exslager visits.