This Working title was first drafted on Monday around midday and I didn’t plan to change it. What was planned as a little motivating piece proved to be an oracle so that we will start to have such working titles for all our drafts from now on.
And like many of you, I am awake in the dawn of Tuesday’s morning at 2.30am. My body could clearly need some sleep but my mind is still aiming to sort impressions and pictures. And exactly this is what I will do now and share it with you:
There were some fireworks at the guest’s fan march. That’s all I can add to what happened before the match. The days before the derby appeared to be almost too peaceful. Dude, it’s impossible that we host the suburbs as guests and none of us is amped about that. This might be for sure related to the actual state of the hsv and to what happened last March. And of course, the hsv did a lot right regarding the Jatta case. You did a good job in this regard, hsv, however, I still consider you a piece of shit, okay?!
Inside the stadium, I witnessed the first drawback with Abschlach (translator’s note: a wordplay about butchering the opponent and a famous german band who wrote the hymn played at the Volksparkstadium). Did we really have to do that? We don’t have to play the Hotknives and wish for the opponent’s death but in this way, it isn’t good either. Forget it! The stadium’s directing compensated me at a later stage when the second half started (more about that later).
Shortly before kick-off, there were choreographies performed by both team’s supporters. The south stand did a highly complex turn-over choreography in which Monday night’s matches, the German Football League (DFL), the German Football Association (DFB) and the police got told what FCSP’s supporters think about them. The fingers which were unnecessary for the key message were pulled back a bit too late, however, the whole picture was really impressive. And I can back the first statement against Monday night’s matches (and as such also against the DFB/DFL) to 100%. We might have a highly impressive result rate at Monday night’s matches, however, a piece of shit remains a piece of shit, even if we can dance the forced Monday night’s tangos pretty successful (not beaten since 1.910 matches).
Furthermore, the visitor stand tried rather badly, to claim themselves as a working-class club. Yes, please go to work (we will still sleep under bridges or in the railway missions. – hehehe!). This tweet with an appropriate assessment should be enough to reply:
A bit later, the match kicked-off on the pitch:
The hsv started with Vagnoman as a right fullback, who substituted the heavily injured Gyamerah. Apart from that, there were no changes made compared to the match against Hannover 96. However, there were no reasons for a change either. The hsv performed too dominant and successful during the last couple of weeks. So, the hsv played a 4-3-3 as a basic formation, which is so to speak the most favoured formation of Hecking, a formation, which he already successfully managed in Gladbach. By doing that, he aimed to overload the flanks after field transitions (which, however, did not work at all at the beginning). If you are keen to find out more about this formation of the hsv, I recommend the article by Tobias Escher (sadly, this article can only be found on a *slightly coughing*, hsv-fan page, so you’ll have to enter the words Escher, hsv and Taktik into a search engine yourself)
According to Escher’s elaborations, the hsv only got into troubles during the last matches, when the opponent played a high pressing. But it’s hard to keep this up for more than 90 minutes so that in the previous games the individual quality of the hsv always prevailed in the end.
And having this knowledge, I was, honestly said, really scared before the match. We never managed to keep up a constantly high pressing. Rather lurking from the depths for transition play moments, we have proven qualities this season. The FCSP showed, however, that there are other ways to succeed against the hsv and acted against the 4-3-3 with a powerful man-to-man marking in the centre. All three key players of the hsv, Fein, Kittel und Kinsombi were thereby marked man-to-man. If this was really a planned man-to-man marking or rather a really impressive shifting and handing-over of our midfield doesn’t make a real difference, but this plan entirely succeeded. EN-TIRE-LY! Please, what kind of a famous first 30 minutes did we conjure on the green pitch? Simply blatant, how little the hsv could make use of their ball possession.
And also offensively we had something to offer. This was first and foremost due to our courage. So, exactly the one thing which was clearly wished for by many of us during the last derby. Instead of the before often chosen long balls, even against the hsv there was a courage flat build-up. When building-up flatly, the entire five players were ordered into the first row. Thus, the vertical pressure against the hsv was enormous and the also powerful man-to-man marking of the suburbs created large spaces in the centre, which (if we managed to outplay the first line of the hsv) were used effectively. An example of this is Knoll’s first chance when Becker was played free in the centre.
For sure, such a build-up play isn’t without any risk, but the emerging spaces after the first line is outplayed are enormous. It paid off.
If the pressure of the hsv’s pressing got too heavy, the long ball proved to be another rather good mean, as the five fielders in the first row were able to create a lot of pressure for the second ball.
And we didn’t press too deep. I would rather name it healthy mediocre, as we were only partly pressing high.
And so we deservedly took the lead by 1-0 after a beautiful attack. And holy shit, that’s when I started to experience a lot of stress. Overall, I am quite okay with having the role of the underdog. There’s not much to lose. And then, you’re in front. And you deserve it. So, there even was something to win on the table. And all of a sudden, my pulse was at 180, I started to sweat spontaneously until the match was over, I breathed only flatly and was only mumbling instead of communicating decently with the people around me. So it finally set in, the derby fever.
And while I was just starting to accept that we were actually controlling the match rather good, the hsv started to become more powerful. The FCSP’s man-to-man marking in the centre lead to the situation that both central defenders of the hsv could easily move with the ball towards the edge of our penalty box, as there was simply no player left for duel situations (as they were all busy with their man-to-man marking).
Against the increasing dribbling of the hsv’s central defenders, the FCSP reacted with a much stronger zone marking and generally with a much deeper formation which can be described well as a 4-5-1. However, this lead to putting Kinsombi, Fein und Kittel off-leash and, dude, these bastards were just waiting for this moment and chaotically disturbed our formation and created a lot of free spaces, especially on the flanks.
When the half time whistle set in, I was wondering especially for the second half how we should be able to cope with this pressure. And the south stand delivered the matching answer:
(I know, don’t capture in the stands because it’s shitty, however, there are at least no faces recognisable. Despite all, I did watch the video already plenty of times.…)
And how cool was the stadium directing when they simply played “Antifa Hooligans” a second time while the south stand was defending our goal?!?! Yes, it costs fines, yadayada, blabla. Whoever isn’t pushed by such a choreography is clearly not getting what life is all about! You cannot deploy pyrotechnics better than that. And the stadium was instantly on fire again. Absolute boiling temperature. M.E.G.A.
And on the pitch, the feared-for picture emerged: The hsv returned with a lot of momentum from the locker room. Narey was substituted for Hunt, Jatta moved to the right, Kittel to the left and Hunt into the centre. And to be frankly honest: That the hsv did not score a goal during the fifteen minutes before and after the break is almost a miracle. The individual capabilities are much too high. You cannot defend them for the entire 90 minutes. It’s simply impossible. Particularly, as we were no longer able to elicit transition play moments.
The first real transition play moment ended with a yellow card for Jung. Yes, it was exactly the 62nd minute, when van Drongelen was gallantly re-directing the brilliant but technically faulty free-kick by Knoll into the own goal. It was simply marvellous how the ball was bumping slowly and entirely relaxed toward the goal-line. No goalie, no other fielder, nothing in the way, only a little bit of green and white colour separate it from the goal-net. Bumpin’, bUmpin’, BUmpin’ – BAM!
And after that, the momentum was clearly gone. A clear and effective hit, also in the visitor stand. Both teams had contested the 65 minutes before too intensively. With the substitution of Harnik, the hsv now applied their crowbar method. But this only played in favour for the FCSP and their transition play moments, in which they clearly had to score their fifth, sixth and seventh goal of the match.
But don’t be to judgemental today, as we all know, a rather low win is enough to become the town’s champions. The first win of a town’s championship at home since Hannibal crossed the Alps with his elephants or something alike (since 1959, for everyone who wants to know it exactly).
What followed in the extra time was a typical but cheap trial for a match abandonment by the visitor stand. But in the same relaxed way as the ball bumped towards the 2-0, the referee managed to kill the time until the final whistle.
And all that remains from this match is the creation of legends. Mats Möller Daehli, for example, did ultimately accomplish to become himself a legend on the pitch (he was already a legend when not on the pitch). It’s unbelievable where all his power for the speed attacks, the pressing and the sheer untiring dribbling against three or four players is coming from. Mats, you are the best thing which could happen to my club and I really hope that you will stay for a very long time!
And if I would have known what a mentality monster Daniel Buballa would become with this captains armband on his arm, I would have canvassed much earlier for him. He is moving to the front and encourages others to follow him. Very powerful.
And please, complete this list yourselves. Maybe, you’d think of the three U20 players which appeared in the starting squad or a striker who scores goals with his head only a little above the turf. Or think of the one player who was in both squads when we recently won the derbies. He’s not only a legend but also a football god.
Who would have thought that we will appear as the town’s champions in the midtable after six matches after a tempered address of the manager and a hard season’s beginning? And all that with an increasing tendency? At the post-match press conference, Jos Luhukay commended the brilliant work of the medical department and the athletics coaches and emphasized that his team is now able to cope even higher pressures than a couple of weeks ago. (Yes, he’s capable to commend at all…) There’s a plan working and we did not reach the end of the pole so far.
And we also have special plans for every single opponent and this is also remarkable. It is astonishing, how the match plans of the matches against Bielefeld, Stuttgart, Dresden and also against the hsv worked out well, at least during the very beginning of each match. Another indicator, how valuable a sound analysis of the match and the respective opponent is (with a special department which was initiated before the season).
Well, I could write on and on with these hymns of praise. At least until the defeat against Osnabrück will get us and our fantasies back to the earth again. The derby-curse, you know. But how we successfully beat the derby-curse can be read in next Monday’s article.
//Tim (translated by @Parneq)
Marvellous pictures from Stefan Groenveld can be found here.