After missing out on promotion by mere 5 minutes in 2007, the club once more failed to keep the momentum and stumbled. It did not fall. Another period of unrest ensued with heavy rotation on the coaching position as well as the playing staff. This period came to an end in 2012 when Andreas Petersen was signed as coach.
Dead to the coach – Hail to the coach
Between the autumn of 2007 and the summer 2012, Magdeburg saw a total of 8 coaches come and go. Dirk Heyne’s dismissal after missing out on promotion by mere 5 minutes initiated another period of unrest turning into turmoil that lasted almost 5 years; instability was thus guaranteed.
On top of swapping coaches like some people changing their underwear, the league structure, once more was re-organized in 2008. As is tradition, when it matters, Magdeburg’s nerves went out of the window and the club missed out. Painfully: The club was level on points with Braunschweig but lost out because their goal difference was not good enough. The new league was called 3. Liga while Magdeburg’s division remained the unchanged in name except their position in the pyramid.
The rapid changes resulted in Magdeburg sliding down towards the rear end of the table. When they finally hit rock bottom, they were spared the walk into the insignificancy of the 5th division. This time, a rebuilding of the league structure saved them from dropping down. So far, this was the nadir in the club’s existence. With the signature of Andreas Petersen under a 2-year-contract in the summer of 2012 no hopes were connected. And yet, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the team improved and finished in the top half of the table. The season was finally seen as an occasion to make a push for promotion.
As is tradition, this failed. Yet, it was a close fight with TSG Neustrelitz until mid-March when Magdeburg lost the decisive match against them. Cynically, Neustrelitz did not manage to get promoted after the play-offs. They lost 5-1 on aggregate against the 2nd team of FSV Mainz 05.
The System Petersen
Andreas Petersen, by now ex-coach of Magdeburg, has re-stored the cracked self confidence of Magdeburg. Under his guidance Magdeburg played determined football. And won 2 trophies. In 2013 and 2014 the Saxony-Anhalt-Cup came to the Heinz Krügel Stadium.
Andreas Petersen is a divisive character which more than once brought him into trouble. First, he argued that women are simply not made to run the lines at a football match. He made this remark on March 8, international women day. Secondly, he pushed his colleague from Wacker Nordhausen, Jörg Goslar into the wall of the tunnel for the dressing room at half time in October last year. It speaks of a character not always fully in control of his emotions and actions.
More importantly, the team acted without a playing philosophy. Andreas Petersen might be a coach resourceful to enable a team like Magdeburg that was low in confidence 2 years back to improve. Yet, he failed to implement a playing philosophy.
In a league in which Jena and Magdeburg are the biggest in the pond, smaller teams will automatically stick to a defensive game as the role of the favourites is with Jena and Magdeburg. More often than not Petersen’s team failed to grasp the game by the scruff of the neck and play their style and dominate the opposition. They failed because they had no plan how to take the game to the opposition. This is Petersen’s legacy.