I’ve decided to alter the name of this regular feature to use the word “from” instead of “for,” just so there’s no confusion when you see the date. Essentially, I’m recapping one day’s news, but you (especially in Europe) will see it the next calendar day, so it may always seem outdated by one day. Make sense? If anyone has a suggestion as to how to better clarify things via headline, feel free to let me know.
Sadly, without the boost provided by retweets from the club and Anthony Ujah, the traffic on the site didn’t maintain. I did not honestly expect it would, but I do have this fantasy idea that it’ll catch fire at some point and lead to other opportunities. Even though that’s unlikely, I’m enjoying doing it, so expect to carry on to the best of my abilities for as long as I can get away with it. My interest in this team has become my primary professional-sports interest. Tell my 23-year-old self that, even after attending a few matches in Germany and I doubt I’d think it anything other than completely ridiculous. Funny how things change.
Despite the dip in traffic, I did get one visit from Sweden (Let’s go Red Wings!) and another from Finland. Norway showed me no love, whatsoever. Come on, Nowegians! Let’s be friends!
The rest of you, guess how many more days until kick-off.
Tony…you tell ’em!
- Pretty quiet day, so why not enjoy my translation of the KSTA.de interview with Peter Stöger, as I threatened to post yesterday?
- There is fairly light season-preview piece at sportschau.de today, that says essentially that promotion is likely an expectation with the money and hope invested in Stöger, Schmadtke, and Ujah, but points out that with the lateness of the transfers, the loss of key players like Christian Clemens (transferred to Schalke 04) and Kevin McKenna Adil Chihi (to injury), and the small amount of time Stöger had to prepare for the season there is definitely reason for skepticism.The opinion of the author was that the stability and experience provided by McKenna and Dominic Maroh in central defense was a key element of last year’s success. Bruno Nascimento is a capable young defender, but remains prone to critical mistakes, while Roman Golobart is yet a question mark. Certainly, McKenna’s shoes would be tough for anyone to fill, much less two relatively young players. That’s not even to mention the leadership qualities McKenna brings to the clubhouse.
Mention of Slawomir Pesko seems to imply that he could return to the Billy Goats should he agree to a reduction in pay, which serves to remind me just how baffling his contract extension seemed to me last summer.
- Twitter friend Effzeh Cologne News posted that a Brazilian newspaper is reporting that a Brazilian team is on the verge of acquiring Pedro Geromel, which could bring more money to the club, as he is still under contract with Köln, having been only loaned to RCD Mallorca.While seeing some money coming the other way would be nice, especially in the wake of all the money spent on coaches and players in the last few weeks, I’d be at least a little sad should Pedro not take part in Saturday’s test match against the Effzeh. He was a central figure during the time I first developed my love for the club, and I’ll always think fondly of him and wish him well.
- KSTA.de took a stab at piecing together a starting eleven today.Though many indications are that Stöger would prefer to play a 4-3-3, he has also mentioned that a 4-1-4-1 is a possibility, especially if it better suits the players. Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger writer Michael Krämer, who travelled to training camp to cover the team, discussed the potential starters based on that latter formation.
Timo Horn is, of course, the starting keeper. Not much to say about that.
Just as mentioned in the Sportschau piece, three of the four defensive spots are given. Captain Miso Brecko and last year’s revelation of Jonas Hector join Dominic Maroh as sure bets. That fourth spot seems to be Bruno Nascimento’s. Krämer compares Bruno to the aforementioned Pedro Geromel, saying that, when he’s good, he looks like Geromel in peak form, but when he looks bad, he looks as passive as Geromel did in the relegation season.
Krämer also says Golobar’s relaxed style is not a good fit for Stöger’s system, which makes me wonder whether Roman expected a different coach, or whether Stöger might have declined to bring him into the squad, saying of defensive play, “Hack tricks are not charachteristics of a defender, as winning a beauty contest is not the goal.”
In fairness, I think Golobart has already shown he doesn’t mind doing it a bit ugly.
Midfield is where things are most interesting. By all accounts, Matthias Lehmann is a completely different player this summer, in much better shape and much more engaged in play than he was last year. It would seem he’s been offered the opportunity to be the primary man at defensive mid and had risen to the challenge.
Also seeming to have found new life is the Effzeh career of Mato Jajalo, who was a complete afterthought for Holger Stanislawski, but has been effective in test matches under Stöger. Should Mato reemerge as a quality option at center mid partnering with Adam Matuschyk, it would provide a lot more flexibility for Stöger moving forward. The strong play of Yannick Gerhardt while Matuschyk rested a minor injury may end up having earned the youngster a look in league matches this season.
On the outside, Marcel Risse has pretty much earned the job he was expected to earn. Who will mirror him from the other side is probably the biggest question to be answered between now and next weekend. Thomas Bröker, Maxi Thiel, and Daniel Halfar (who doesn’t even arrive to the club until tomorrow!) are all in the mix for that spot. Bröker provides tenaciousness, Thiel youthful zeal and skill, and Halfar experience and unrealized potential. Each player would seem to greatly alter the look of the midfield.
Then, up front, you’ve another gimme. Just put that Kölsche Jung (by way of Nigeria) Ujah out there and let him score some goals.
With training camp completed and a test against RCD Mallorca standing between now and the season start, we may not know who’s starting against Dynamo Dresden until shortly before the match. Okay, we won’t “know,” but sometimes you have a pretty good idea. Not so, as of yet.
Honestly, this is all I had time for today. I suppose some days will simply run like that. As the Kölsche expression goes (as I learned earlier today…Wat ooch paseet…