An Old International

Light at the end of the Tunnel

The second English week in league 3 brought an improved yield: from a possible nine points, Magdeburg gathered four. The last time it was three and consigned Magdeburg to the relegation zone. As with all series and runs: they come to an end at some point. Read more →

Maradona

There are few players who not only achieve great things on the pitch but in doing so have been elevated to the status of a demi god or even a god. Maradona was one of those players. What he did with the ball was outstanding. He lifted his team to win the World Cup 1986 in Mexico just as he lifted Napoli in Serie A to win the Scudetto and European in the late 1980s.

It was suffice for him to put all his abilities into some manic or magic minutes. It was England v Argentina at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. There was the Falkland War of 1982/83 that has burdened this fixture beyond a mere game of football.

At first, there was the manic moment when a failed clearance by Steve Hodge arched towards his own goal. Peter Shilton in goal came out to punch the ball away only to be beaten by Maradona who outjumped him using his hand. The ball landed in an empty goal. There was disbelief in the faces of the England team as the referee awarded the goal as he has not seen the ball played with the hand.

It was a political occasion, a two finger salute to Thatcher and her cronies dished out on the pitch. Some time later Maradona outplayed several England players, evaded their tackles and body charges only to go round the keeper and slide the ball into the net. It was simply extraterrestrial and those in the stands could probably not believe their eyes what they have seen. FIFA later declared this the goal of the century.

Maradona vs. Magdeburg

It may sound incredible but Magdeburg have shared a pitch with Maradona in the 1980s in the Cup Winners Cup. Barcelona not only had the little Argentinian on their team sheet but also the German maverick Bernd Schuster. Suffice to say, Barcelona dished out a lesson as they easily won the match 5:1; thus making the return match at Camp Nou a mere formality. No other team has won the Cup Winners Cup more times than Barca: four times have they lifted this cup, twice they were beaten in the final.

His best time at a club came in Napoli, then one of the poorest cities in Italy, if not Europe. There, he managed to win two league titles (1987 and 1990) and lift the UEFA Cup in 1989. It was his best time and the club’s.

On a personal level, Maradona was the only player ever, to adorn my bedroom wall. It was after the 1986 World Cup and I must have found an image of the starting eleven on the pitch in an East German youth magazine.

Diego Maradona, 1960 – 2020

Image: Vincenzo.togni via WikiCommons under CC BY-SA 4.0

Magdeburg only hurt themselves

Magdeburg lost their away game at Ingolstadt despite some very good football during the first half. It changes nothing: secodn from bottom and it is not getting easier. Read more →

The Wealth of Otmar

The recruitment of Otmar Schork in early November can only have been the start of a development of change and, more importantly, improvement at FC Magdeburg. Who is this Otmar Schork? Read more →

Always look on the bright side

What a week it has been for Magdeburg! First, there was the win against Bayern’s reserves, which was vital in order to show that the team is still alive and that there is a still some hope. This was followed by the presentation of a new sporting director, Otmar Schork. The week ended with a draw away at Kaiserslautern.

The conclusions form this wee are as follows: Magdeburg have won four points from two consecutive matches. This increases the points per game average from 0,78 to 0,80 after ten matches. This does not look particularly good but the fact that two games have NOT been lost is the real positive talking point. The point came against a dominant Kaiserslautern side which recorded 15 shots in contrast to Magdeburgs five; of which three went in the direction of the goal and Magdeburg scored one. The efficiency was thus better.

The other issue is that Magdeburg went one goal down. And bounced back. In previous occasions conceding a goal meant that Magdeburg lost the match: Halle, Dresden and Verl. At home against Wiesbaden they took the lead only to lose 2:1; away at Munich 1860 they conceded after taking the lead. Only twice have Magdeburg been one or two up and won the match: Türkgücü and Bayern 2. At Lautern Magdeburg came back from one down and kept the home side at bay.

This is not the turn around but it is a nod into the right direction. There is more to come and the tasks ahead are not getting easier. Next stop is another away game at Ingolstadt who were taken apart by Mannheim with apparent ease.

It is however the little things that the coaching staff can draw from and build upon. A win would be miraculous, a draw a confirmation of the trend, a loss a return to zero.

Bierhoff and East German football

It is thirty years since East and West Germany merged and yet the footballing landscape is still by and large dominated by the West. Now Oliver Bierhoff has added insult to injury. Read more →

Magdeburg 7 – Munich 0

Teams from Munich seem to be good for Magdeburg as all of their points so far this season come from the three games against them. Read more →

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

This season will be one of the hardest for FC Magdeburg. The team still suffer from last season’s traumatic finale and have not yet found their mettle. The first English week, i.e. playing in a weekend-mid-week-weekend rhythm proved to be a litmus test. One that pointed the club into either direction: up or down. Read more →

Miracles

Football is all about chance, late goals, joy and heart break. There is always a chance an underdog may spring a surprise, in the league as well as in any cup competition.

It happened in Saxony where SC Dresden Weißig played FC Eilenburg in the Saxon Cup. Weißig scored an early goal, setting the tone for the match as Eilenburg, playing in the fourth division always had to chase the game. It was 2:2 with 89 minutes played when Weißig had a free kick awarded.

Near the halfway line you’d expect a long ball towards the corner flag in order to run down the clock and get into extra time. Not on my watch, William Schult thought and aimed for the angle. And hit it, sweetly. The keeper had no chance, did not even move.

It is moments like these that make football so special. One moment, one kick can alter the story of the game and secure a place in football eternity.

Ten Years in the Life of

A blog! And while the times are difficult there will be no celebtrations but some reflections. On Blogging, writing and the blogging community. Read more →