OK folks, it’s that time of the year again … we’re approaching mid-March aka crunch time for many struggling German Bundesliga 1st division soccer teams. There are 10 games left on the 2011/12 Bundesliga season schedule, and my beloved 1. FCK is in last place with no place to go but up (or down into 2nd division football in 2012/13). And that’s the thrust of this post, to provide 7 real world reasons why all FCK fans should keep the faith and believe in the ‘miracle of Betze’- our team’s ability to scratch and claw and avoid demotion to the 2. Bundesliga come May 5th. Why 7 you ask, because it is one of my lucky Roulette numbers, and, in addition to fan support and quality play on the pitch, the thing we need most right now is LUCK! Here’s my lucky seven:
Do the math: Like my good buddy T-Bone Callahan, FCKler 4 life and TRF contributor mentions, there are 30 points yet to be had and approximately 17-19 needed (based on past league stats) to remain ‘first class’. While this translates to 4 wins (12 points) and 5 further draws (5 points) by matchday 34 on May 5th, the remaining opponents are, for the most part, beatable … Stuttgart today is a must win; Schalke at home, why not? Freiburg did it last week; away game in Freiburg, a must win of course; Hamburg- we should have won the 1st time, this time we’ll do it; Hoffenheim- a tough local rival, but with some momentum and guts …; Nürnberg and Hertha are definitely win-able while Dortmund, Hannover and Leverkusen are probable losses.
Stick with Marco Kurz: This is NOT the time to hire and fire. If anything, think long and hard about the future of GM Stefan Kuntz and his recent player acquisitions, but don’t mess with Kurz. He brought the back to the 1. Bundesliga in 2010 and has great chemistry with his players.
More than a ‘one trick’ pony: As T-Bone has pointed out on numerous occasions, hoping to convert goals based on standards (free kics, corners and the like) and ‘pray for rain’ style ‘kick and rush’ soccer alone will not break the goal drought. Orchestrate attacks from the flanks and take advantage of the midfield speed and youth up front. All players are advised to watch a Miroslav Klose (ex FCK striker) highlight reel since most of his goals are of the aerial/header variety.
Consistency is vital, stop changing the recipe: Any one watching the team play this year would attest to a great degree of inconsistency on the pitch. Midfielders have been swapped all year, the Sturm (strikers) has had many, less successful faces and now, even the goal is becoming a position of controversy. Pick a starting 11 that is dedicated to the cause and willing to go to battle together and ‘just do it’. With that said, I do agree with comrade T-Bone that selecting a more aggressive, dual attacker formation during home games is a wise strategy. If FCK fans show up to the remaining home games, the ’12th’ man, along with the a more attack-minded formation, can really make the difference and hopefully turn draws into desperately needed 3 point victories.
Converting goal opportunities. In FCKs 10 tie games this season (3rd highest of all 18 Bundesliga clubs), we counted an average of 2 legitimate, ‘you don’t have to be Messi to score’, missed goal chances per match. Last week vs. VFL Wolfsburg, the red devils squandered 4 such golden opportunities. Key to success: Get out of your own heads, convert the goal shots you worked hard to create and say ‘yes’ to freebies your opponents might afford you
Don’t cry over spilt milk: Or as my economics professor used to say, ‘sunk costs are sunk’ – what happened yesterday is irrelevant, the past investments you made in players, the great players you lost … all that matters not in the present. Don’t make decisions based on what you did yesterday! With that said, play the game and fight like you meant it and focus on goal getting at every turn versus still lamenting the loss of former FCK strikers such as Lakic, Jendrisek and Hoffer. Belief starts from within!
1.FCK Herzblut: FCK fans are the truest, most loyal fans in the world. We bleed red and white and ‘would walk 500 miles and 500 more’ to not only support our Jungs but also see them fight their way to safety this year. Remember Fritz Walter, remember Klose, Kuntz, Rehagel, and the miracles of ’91 and ’98, hell remember the Alamo if it helps save our arses this year!
Check out this clip of FCK fans at their finest … These scenes are from last August’s home game vs. Augsburg … a not too distant memory. Hoeher Hoeher FCK!