1. FC Köln / soccer / Sports

Stöger sends message from his not-yet-closed Facebook account

Mahlzeit!

Coach apparently has not yet heard enough negativity from the internet fools to close his Facebook account, as he shot fans a message today just before final preparations for Saturday’s match in Frankfurt.

Nagasawa and Svento

“Nagasawa and Svento have again joined team training . . . the entire squad if fully available – excepting Patrick Helmes.”

This is a bit of a curiosity, at least in how it’s phrased. Because of his play last season, plenty of us are excited about the return of Kazuki Nagasawa, But because of the goal drought, a lot of us are eagerly anticipating the return of Helmes, too. Even though we know Helmes is not back to training, when you hear “entire squad . . . fully available,” you can’t help but think, “Helmes, too?”

And then the let-down.

No offense to Dusan Svento. Happy to have him, even as just additional depth, but we don’t really have as much a sense of what he can bring.

Despite the thrill of maybe seeing Nagasawa back on the pitch, it would seem most likely that he will, at most, be on the bench. You never know for sure, especially with Stöger giving as little information as possible about such things, but don’t be surprised if the starting eleven is Nagasawa-free.

Also don’t be too surprised if he’s out there, I guess.

Just try to not be surprised, in general.

Eintracht Frankfurt < Bayern München

“A very comptetitive and also very strong-willed team awaits us . . . We travel to Frankfurt to collect something and think that we will have our opportunities to do so.”

This is in tune with quotes from the coach throughout the week, as is the line that followed.

“In any case, it’s certain, without wanting to be discrespectful, that we had less chance of getting points at home from Bayern than we do away against Eintracht.”

An American sports coach would post that quote, or at least an edited version of it, in the team clubhouse and goad his players into believing that the opposition thinks his club is weak, triggering the motivational tool that can be the perception of “disrespect” from the opponent.

Yes, an American coach would attempt to do this, even though it’s couched in terms of not lacking respect for Eintracht and also even though it is overwhelmingly clear truth. Few are going to get points from Bayern, home or away, this season. Even though Frankfurt have played reasonably well thus far, they will not be the irresistible force the defending champs tend to be.

I personally find the tactic to be one of semi-desperation that only works if your players aren’t that bright OR are super-talented in being able to make themselves to believe something they know not to be true. Hence, I doubt Stöger publicly assessing Eintracht to be less frightening in their own building than Bayern is anywhere they go will be a non-factor.

Don’t forget, we can play a little bit away from home

“We have already proven our qualities on the road this year – in the victory in Stuttgart and also despite the loss in Hannover . . . we have had to experience just one goal against in three matches. This underlines that we rightfully travel to Frankfurt with ambitions, but everything has to come together for us. ”

Again, everything here seems to be completely in order.

The Effzeh have played well enough in their three road matches thus far to keep two opponents completely off the scoreboard and completely outplay the third.

That said, it’s only two goals in the “for” column in those matches, both of which came partially due to misplays by VfB Stuttgart in defense. And I do not mean simple lapses or getting outplayed. Rather, Stuttgart ineptly assisted on both goals, which is great because as we have otherwise seen, the Effzeh offense is doing a horrible job at creating chances and converting them.

It would seem unlikely Stöger will play anywhere near as defensively as he did Saturday, but can we hope to see the offense on the attack the way they were after conceding in Hannover? (or, at least the way it appeared in Bild’s highlight package?)

All of which should remind everyone that it is far from time to over-react to anything thus far. The scoring MUST improve, without question, but the situation is not yet drastic enough to warrant huge changes. I’d think you’d see a familiar collection of names in the starting eleven, but maybe see some slightly different approaches to how the attack moves forward, hopefully featuring some possession in the opposition end of the pitch.

“Bis Samstag, alles Liebe euer Peter”

Coach loves us and wants us to be happy. Raise your beverage and enjoy the match.

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