(Translation by @parneq)
Derby in Hamburg! In the current millennial, this is still the second derby at the Millerntor stadium ever, furthermore the first match ever at the Millerntor stadium in the second division.
Is this just another game like every other one? No, for sure. So this is the perfect time for us to attempt an outlook on the match – from two different perspectives. Tim will focus on the tactical aspects of the match while Maik will consider all the other important things with regard to the derby.
Addition: Whoever wants to listen to even more facts around the match: Michael interviewed Guido and Christian (the neighbours from the suburb) in the VdS-podcast. (in German language only!)
Let’s gaze into the crystal ball. This is something new for me as well because until today, I always watched the matches first, before I analysed their tactical aspects. So this is just a trial to predict the basic tactical formation of both clubs first and to forecast which kind of match will result later.
With regard to tactical strategies, for the hsv everything will depend on the question if the full backs will move towards the centre during the build-up play or if they don’t? The answer to this question will determine, if Narey will play as full back. Currently, the hsv tends to not do this but will make use of their regular pair of full backs (Sakai/Santos) instead. This will also be due to the fact that Mangala will return after his suspension which resulted in a weak match performance against Fürth (although his return will be rather bad from a FCSP’s perspective). But if they do, the full backs will definitely move towards the defensive midfield during their build-up play which will result in even more space along the flanks. This empty space will then be covered by the duo of Jatta/Hwang. The latter one will however not be able to play the derby due to an injury (so please add a sigh of relieve here). You don’t have to be a prophet (although I am trying to be exactly that at the moment) to predict that Hwang will be substituted by Naray (although Öczan and Ito appear to be suitable candidates as well). This could be somehow described as a 4-1-3-2 formation then if someone would be forced to name this strategy as a fixed formation (Well, some comments to this draft rather suggest to consider it a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Hunt as a midfielder or a 4-3-3 if the wide forwards are considered strikers as well). The hsv will aim to generate a superior situation in the centre from which they tend to set their wide forwards in promising positions and to provide them with the ball there. Additionally, the hsv will be rather safe due to the centred positioning of their full backs. So, with Hannes Wolf as a manager the hsv became more balanced compared to when Titz was manager when the fullbacks acted as additional wide forwards and were thus rather bad positioned when they had to move back quickly to defend. Nevertheless, the sportive performance curve of the hsv is rapidly sinking during the last couple of weeks and is only negatively outperformed by the mood of their clubs surrounding.
Expectedly, FCSP’s formation will not be changed largely compared to the last matches. With a 4-2-3-1 on the paper, only the suspended Zehir has to be substituted. It remains however unclear, if he will be directly substituted by Buchtmann or if the whole formation will be changed instead. For sure, Buchtmann will be crucial to initiate counter-attacks, even though this will result in two rather left-footed defensive midfielders, however, with Buchtmann, the initiation of counter-attacks could also become less predictable. So, as this text is supposed to gaze into the crystal ball, I will clearly predict that Buchtmann will substitute Zehir on the exact same position. As this formation did not work out as good against Ingolstadt but rather fine against the ball-possessive strategy of Paderborn, there’s no urgent need to change such things against the hsv. However, the respective fine adjustments against the opponent have to be customized with special regard to the hsv’s individual qualities.
Hoi it will look like, when hsv is in possession
With the moving of the full backs towards the centre, they can kill several birds with one stone: As already mentioned, with the more centred full backs there will be a good positioning while defending. If the ball is lost, the centre is well covered and the positioning allows for a quick counter pressing or the opponent team will be forced to initiate their attacks using the flanks. Additionally, the pressure against the defending lines remains high: with the anticipated positioning of the wide midfielders, the play of the hsv does not lack width. Au contraire, with the towards centre moved full backs there will rather be additional direct pass opportunities towards the wide midfielders (and with the ball in the own side of the pitch, the full backs can shift accordingly). This pass opportunity needs to be blocked by the wide midfielders of FCSP’s 4-4-2 formation. This is of particular importance, because the basic formation of the hsv will keep all defenders in the last defending line busy. So, the wide midfielders of FCSP are of special importance while defending. Because additionally, they would have to keep an eye on hsv’s full backs and attack them to avoid a superior situation for the hsv in the centre because an opponent team should never be invited to initiate their play through the centre. Furthermore, to determine the direction in which the pendulum will swing is highly depending on the timely shifting of the whole FCSP squad as well as on some clever shifts of the hsv’s play. The pressure will be immense and there will probably be plenty situations in which our full backs are forced into man-to-man situations. Highly assuming that Jatta and Narey will play as fast wide midfielders of the hsv, the hsv will have an advantage, although I am really looking forward to the duel of Kalla vs. Jatta, if Jatta changes to the right flank. Also, FCSP’s wide midfielders will be crucial, they will have to get “behind” the ball as quick as possible as the centre backs will be kept busy in the centre most of the time. (With Sobota and Myaichi, FCSP has two very tactical skilled players available for these positions which from a defensive perspective add even more reasons to move Møller-Dæhli into the midfield’s centre.) Furthermore, it is of great importance how Holtby and Hunt will act during the match, because they will probably be able to freely move in the centre and thus force Buchtmann and Knoll as well as our centre backs to leave their designated positions. If Hunt drops back into the midfield during hsv’s playmaking, there will probably be a superior situation for the hsv in the centre which they theoretically might be able to utilize. So, in order to solve this situation, Knoll’s reaction to Holtby’s defensive offers will be of crucial importance as well as Hunt’s ability to create spaces behind Buchtmann’s back and vice versa. On paper, I assume a slight advantage for the hsv in this regard. Nevertheless, during the last couple of weeks and compared to the hsv, the FCSP was clearly better at putting tactical systems into practice.
And what happens if FCSP is in possession of the ball?
The playmaking of the FCSP is clearly depending on the type and locations of the respective ball gains. If the ball will be gained predominantly on the wings, there will be not very much promising options to initiate fast counter-attacks due to the well-positioning of the hsv. But if the ball is gained in the centre, the wide midfielders are again of crucial importance as they have to quickly position themselves for deep runs to initiate promising counter-attacks. In general, the hsv will probably press highly. However, our squad is used to these situations and knows well how to respond: with long shots and second shots.
Yes, I am not really a huge fan of this system and I once got very worked up when Darmstadt almost turned this move into perfection and became a high-flyer in several leagues. However, it takes a very long path to create an ordered playmaking against highly pressing teams. FCSP was trying to slowly solve this task during the last couple of years and especially with Hoogma as a centre back there is a person capable to resist against high pressing teams and to still initiate a promising playmaking. Nevertheless, I am sure that the FCSP will not try such option against the hsv, but will rather choose the option of “sorted chaos” instead. However, that does not mean that the balls will be simply threshed to the front (Although, this proved to be somehow successful against Union a few weeks back). Because with Alex Meier there is a striker waiting for these balls in the front who ideally knows how to finish such balls. If not, he will be surrounded by a few players in his vicinity. Møller-Dæhli will probably move towards him and wait for a dropping ball. The wide midfielders will position themselves slightly behind Meier to the left and the right, both of them waiting for the second ball which can then be considered as the actual playmaking. If the second ball is secured by FCSP, they can use their own positioning to create man-to-man situations on the flanks. If they lose the ball, both defensive midfielders are waiting in the back and that’s where they might have to wait anyway as the hsv’s wide midfielders will probably position themselves in their vicinity in such situations. Anyhow, the available space will be reduced when long shots are used. We might witness plenty of situations in which all 20 fielders will gather at an even smaller than 25mx25m sized square. Although the option to use long shots rather turns into a lottery, as no one knows if an attack will be initiated or not, it provides a lot of safety for the own defence by reducing space as well as the opponent’s chances to initiate counter attacks.
I highly expect that especially in the beginning the hsv will not take the biggest risks with regard to their playmaking. Whoever remembers the earlier game against the hsv this season will inevitably think of the FCSP doing exactly the same as they avoided to counter attack with several fielders at the same time, even in promising situations. We have to wait if one of the defensive midfielders will follow to the front during attacks this time or if he stays behind to further secure the defence.
Anyway, this game will be too important. It is a derby. We are fighting for promotion and most importantly to become the town’s champions again.
P.S. Probably, it will all turn out completely different and Allagui will be playing instead. But this wouldn’t only be to my surprise but to the hsv’s surprise as well. If you are keen to find out more about the tactical strategies of the hsv, I reckon to type the search keys ‘hsv’ ‘taktisch’ and ‘Tobias Escher’ together in your search engine of choice. (Sorry, but I absolutely refuse to link the according page in here – for reasons)
About all the other stuff (by Maik)
So it’s gonna be Sunday the 10th of March 2019.
We will be derby champions for 2944 days by then and there is a slight possibility that this timeframe won’t be extended any longer. Almost every time, since the FC St. Pauli got recognizable numbers of gatherers in the stands, this would have been the absolute safest prediction for the final result. We, the underdog, the Zeckenverein, the quarter etc. We are just a moderate second division club.
However: The times, they are a-changin’!
It is very likely that there will be a home loss on Sunday. However, this is no longer “a sure bet”. Due to incomparable club budgets, I am uncertain if it is okay to consider this as a duel on an equal footing. However, on the pitch this will be for sure the case.
Sure, there’s the individual quality of every single player. Nonetheless, the match on Sunday will rather be decided by heads and hearts and I am having a good feeling in this regard. There’s still the chance to fail but I rather won’t believe that.
And even if: we will be at least playing in different divisions again in the next season and I can totally accommodate to this fact. However, it would be of even more beauty, if we are the ones to play in the first division and they… whatever licence they are able to afford by then.
And of course, only to cater for my curiosity for the unknown, I hereby raise the wish that we are gonna take the chance of promotion. Without the neighbour. I would be so keen to see how they will cope with a further year in the second division, with their new bond and all the other already sold shares of their own soul. This would be fairly similar to the decline of Kaiserlautern, Braunschweig or 1860 once – and please name my behaviour disaster tourism. Although, I will never believe that Hamburg with all their patrons and benefactors would really allow a withdrawal of licence to happen.
Definitely, this year’s club budget is already very tight (btw: reading suggestion: “Der Abstieg” by Tobias Escher and Daniel Jovanov. I am certain that you’ll find a copy in your local bookstore as a bundle together with a supersize-me-portion of popcorn) and it will be quite exciting to watch how the next season’s budget will get funded anyway.
But let’s get back to ourselves. I myself was a member of the “Come on, the second division is quite okay” party for a long time, which was however not completely against promotion to the first division but wouldn’t force such a movement, come hell or high water. But beside the entirely convincing argument that one cannot get directly relegated from the first to the third division (at least not sportive wise) and would thus get another buffering year, one would also benefit financially (for at least one year) due to the higher profits from tv-broadcasts.
Of course, money should never be the decisive argument, especially not for the FC St. Pauli, however, money would facilitate a lot. Sure, our players are also not just playing for us due to our beautiful singing. Thus, I am meanwhile backing the official club’s statement in this regard, which states that we could disseminate our own values in terms of societal or political topics even better due to a better media power as a club of the first division than as a “moderate participant of the second division”
The blog of Magischer FC did already write a lot in regard to the derby that I do not have to write all over again. However, the stadium has to burn (yeah, regards to Mr. Beuth) and whoever will not have lost their voice when the match ends will definitely have done something wrong.
Furthermore, it is obvious that this match will show the way forward. If we are going to win, the top of the table will come together even closer, position 2 to 4 will then be available for us, the neighbour as well as Union. Just imagine Stellingen’s existential fear in this case, which would get much more hectically than if we would lose. In case of a draw, everything would remain the same, both in the table as well as in regard to the town’s championship. Just remember the aforementioned 2.944 days which would then count further.
And in case of a defeat? Well, the direct promotion to the first division would be no longer an option, just the playoffs would still be in reach then. This would be of no beauty, rather immense shit and the following days would be dominated by a bad mood.
However, life would continue. The club would still belong to us and we could face the next season with a strong feeling of self-consciousness because our club remains the only possibility. And we are not dependent on the moods of an elder gentleman with at least questionable behaviours of communication.
The warm-up for the match will start (at latest) on Friday, when the fifth men’s team welcomes Farmsen at 7.30pm in the Feldarena stadium.
Saturday at 1pm, the U19 will face Hannover 96 at the Königskinderweg (a shift to the Brunnenkamp is still likely). At 5pm you can support the first women’s team to secure the league for next season: they face Walddörfer SV in the Feldarena stadium. At 8pm one can either move to Budapester Str. sports centre to watch the first women’s handball team playing against SG Wilhelmsburg. Or you attend the record release party of the Millerntor Brigade at the 1910 e.V. museum. After all this happened, you can visit the Jolly Roger to take one for the road, for example by imaging Alex Meier preparing for a totally underserved penalty in the second half’s overtime with a cold drink in your hand. Of course, this penalty will be saved but has to be repeated. The second penalty will then hit the post before he touches Pollersbeck’s or Mickel’s back from where he slowly rolls to the goal line until Lewis Holtby aims to clear the ball but hits Pierre-Michel Lasogga in the face instead who then finishes the ball into the own goal and thus contributes to the cheered at win in the derby. Or something similar. Maybe, also Schnecke (Kalla, the snail!) lovely pets the ball over the goal line but this vision remains however yet unclear.
On matchday itself, you should avoid travelling via the Dammtor, where the neighbour is gathering from 09 am onwards to start their fan walk towards the stadium.
And with regard to tickets and according issues, the club did already inform about all important things to know.
So just walk out, warm-up and finish them. //Maik