Self Harm ⋆ An Old International

Self Harm

Normally, it is the fans who commit acts of self harm by following their club through highs and lows. Magdeburg are acting dangerously by sticking to their guns. It may go wrong and a house of cards will collapse creating a thunderstorm.

A year ago Magdeburg supporters were content with the situation. Following relegation from 2. Bundesliga, their club was in mid-table safety and there were no signs of trouble or even fear. Yet out of the blue the coach was sacked days before Christmas and a new one presented less than 48 hours later. The affair had a smell about it. The reason given was that the aims of the Club were in danger. A reminder: Magdeburg were sitting on a single digit place in the table, within reach of the promotion places. Yet, with one stroke all this was erased. The early months of the year demonstrated that this move was a disaster. With the season suspended due to Corona there was hope that this may help the team – the opposite happened. Magdeburg slipped further down the table and in June another coach was fired. Fears of relegation were real. Fast forward and in December 2020 these fears are still there and if anything they have been amplified by the situation Magdeburg find themselves in: bottom.

Normally it is the fans who are predisposed to self harm: supporting their team through thick and thin and through everything, through the wind and the rain, they suffer physically and mentally with their club, for their club. Magdeburg however are an example of how a club can self harm themselves. Just not harm but self destruct while at the same time pretending that all is well. This is only partially true. Two games have been postponed due to Corona virus infections within the squad. It is a surprise that it has taken that long for a player or for several to test positive. The table has been incredibly distorted throughout the season; Zwickau have played only thirteen matches compared to Magdeburg’s fifteen. Yet they have fifteen points, one more than Magdeburg. That is worrying. Not only that. Also that the team display shows a disconnection, lack of a match plan, a strategy or even a single bright idea how to overcome a defense sitting deep. A run of six games unbeaten may be seen as a positive sign and it is a development that underlines the possibility of improvement within the squad. However, if five out of those six games are draws you will not go anywhere but stay put, particularly if other relegation strugglers seem to have understood what the bell has rung. Magdeburg in contrast present themselves anaemic and as though they have accepted their fate: that of going down.

It will cause serious harm to the club and the fans.

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider this:

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