Jens vs. Jahn ⋆ An Old International

Jens vs. Jahn

A short reflection on events three ago and the present: Jens Härtel was sacked after Magdeburg were defeated by Jahn Regensburg in November 2018; in 2021 Härtel beat them twice.

It is almost three years ago to the day that Jens Härtel, Magdeburg’s most successful coach since 1990 had to go after his team lost at home to SSV Jahn Regensburg. It was a match, the Club looked certain to win especially after going down early but coming back immediately and taking the lead roughly after an hour. Alas, it was not to be. A win would have improved the situation only marginally: with 12 points, Magdeburg would have left the relegation zone; however with this defeat they stayed put on nine points and seventh place.

It marked the end of a honeymoon period many wanted to last or least have the Club say that Härtel may stay and oversee a coordinated relegation. In this mindset floated the wish, the desire to be a different club, a club that somehow defies the rules of the game: if the results do not add up, the weakest link, usually the coach, has to go. None of that happened, of course: Jens Härtel and his assistant, Ronny Thielemann, had to go. It is therefore the name of the opponents on that fateful day in 2018, SSV Jahn Regensburg that is linked with this episode.

Now almost to the day three years later, Härtel and his new club Hansa Rostock played away at Regensburg, this time they came out on top after a late winning goal. It sealed a place well above the line, though not too far away to be out of danger. It demonstrates that Härtel and his assistant have learned from the past – which of course is normal

In October 2021 Härtel finally has got his official farewell from Magdeburg. During the testimonial for Christian Beck he took over the reigns of the Beckus All Stars team, managing again some of his former protégées, at least for a short while.

Moreover, just a few days before this league match, the same fixture was played in the German cup and there was drama. Rostock took a 2-0 lead but Sandhausen equalised in the 90th minute, sending the match into extra time where in return the home side went 3-2 up and it was Rostock who levelled the score with seconds left to play. Penalties had to decide and here Rostock proved to have the better nerves as all four of their required spot kicks were converted, while Sandhausen only scored twice. An ex-Magdeburg player took the responsibility to take the second kick and converted: a certain Ryan Malone, best known for his long throw-ins or rather thrown in crosses.

Three years have passed and this seems a long time, which it certainly is in football. The current situation at Magdeburg certainly makes it easier for their fans to look back and remember fondly while rejoicing at the incumbent squad. Härtel has moved on and so have Magdeburg. This is good.

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

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