Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:36 pm Hmmmmmmmmm - worried about the fume and uncertainty from the "big hitters"

Tough situation to be in - you dont need the money but cant be helping squad morale but they are your best players

Fine pre season
Providing the players that want to leave, don't cause problems, I'm inclined to keep them as long as possible. Financially, it's probably not sensible, but I don't want to lose sight that this chapter is about being successful on the pitch, not off of it.
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August 2045

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Bun: FC Köln 2 RB Leipzig 2
DFL-Supercup: Düsseldorf 0 FC Köln 0 (FC Köln win 3-1 on penalties)
Bun: Viktoria Köln 1 FC Köln 2
DFBPokal1stRd: Wuppertal 0 FC Köln 3




Match Summaries

Our opening game of the season was a 2-2 draw at home to an RB Leipzig side that finished 4th last season. There wasn't loads of chances in the first half, but things changed when experienced central defender, Luciano Vega was shown a straight red card for the seventh time in his six years at this club, after headbutting an opponent.

I moved Lukas Kersken into central defence, and left Lukas Schulz on his own up front in a 441 formation, with a normal mentality.

To our credit, we never let the visitor's numerical advantage to allow them to get on top, and we took the lead in the 41st minute, when left midfielder Alexander Kraft got on the end of a cross by club captain Daniel Langner.

The visitors grabbed a deserved equaliser just before half time, but we went back in front in the 48th minute, when right midfielder Wouter Van Hyfte was brought down for a penalty, which Philip Kraft converted.

We were unable to hold onto this lead either, and RB Leipzig equalised in the 60th minute. This completed the scoring, and a draw was a fair result. Alexander Kraft's brilliant performance earned him the Man of the Match award.

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I made ten changes for the DFL-Supercup game against Bundesliga champions Düsseldorf. I saw this as an opportunity to give some game time to the squad, whilst giving an early rest to the players that lined up against RB Leipzig three days ago. Club captain Daniel Langner kept his place, and I gave 18 year old central defender Thomas Bade his debut.

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I deployed the same formation and 'normal' mentality for this game, as I did in the DFB Pokal Final against St. Pauli. Again, this was out of respect for our superior opponent, with virtually the same outcome.

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Jonathan Kehl was the hero of the shootout, saving three penalties.

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Our pragmatic approach meant that it was a scrappy game, with few chances.

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My centre back pairing of young Thomas Bade alongside Rico Sonnenberg was rock solid, whilst my centre midfield pairing of Daniel Langner and Björn Sauer saw plenty of the ball, and made their presence felt by winning tackles and headers.

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I was particularly pleased with Bade. I've a feeling that ordinary looking players with a couple of key attributes, could be key to me achieving my goals here.

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This is a very good result with an under strength side, against a very good opponent.

Four days later, I made nine changes for the 2-1 win at Viktoria Köln. In an entertaining first half, the hosts took a 7th minute lead with a goal that Nils Borowski will be disappointed to concede, then fifteen minutes later, striker Lukas Schulz received a pass from right midfielder Wouter Van Hyfte, to score a deserved equaliser. We were unlucky not to be in front at half time.

The second half was closer. Borowski atoned for his earlier error, by making some good saves, then in the 78th minute, Schulz got hold of a loose ball, got himself into the box, then hit a high and hard shot, to score his second of the game, to complete the scoring.

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We finished the month with a comfortable 3-0 win at non-league Wuppertaler in the DFB Pokal. This was the perfect opportunity to give debuts to the remaining five of my six new signings.

Right midfielder Lukas Kurz scored a 14th minute goal on his debut, which was assisted by right back Niko Maier, to give us a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, Adrian Weiss doubled our lead after guiding the ball home from a cross by left midfielder Robin Gries. We completed the scoring in the 65th minute when Man of the Match Niko Maier headed in an Arne Ziege corner.

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Bundesliga Table

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Summary

This has been a decent start. There was no shame in failing to beat RB Leipzig, especially as we were down to ten men for most of the game. Speaking of which, I'm very disappointed with Luciano Vega for this. As I mentioned earlier, this is his seventh red card during his time here, and this transgression was by far his worst. The only thing that stopped me from transfer listing him, was the gracious way that he accepted his two week fine.

Luciano is supposed to be the wise old head in the changing room, that sets the right example to his younger team mates, but he has been the opposite of this. I even had to strip him of the captaincy after previous transgressions. It's a shame, as he deservedly was voted as Fan's Player of the Year last season. It'll be interesting to see how the squad cope with Luciano's forthcoming six match suspension. If we do alright, this latest misdemeanour could signal the beginning of the end of his time here.

Whilst on the subject of indiscipline, the unhappy Wouter Van Hyfte skipped training the other day. I've given him a warning for this, and I won't select him for our next game. If this behaviour continues, he'll find himself on the transfer list sooner than I intended. This is of course what he wants, though the lack of interest thus far, suggests that he may be here for the remaining two years of his contract.

Back to results. A solid performance against the reigning Bundesliga champions in the DFL-Supercup means that the club lift that particular trophy for the first time in it's history. I won it seven years in a row (2033-39) during my time at Borussia Mönchengladbach.

I was pleased to come from behind to win at Viktoria Köln, and a very young side put in a good performance in the DFB Pokal, to progress to the next round, where we'll meet recently relegated 2.Bundesliga side Darmstadt.




Transfer News

I was only able to do one bit of business before transfer deadline day.

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I felt that we needed another striker, so I met this player's buyout clause of £825k, to bring him here from Rochdale. Pacey, and with aerial prowess, I feel that Dennis could develop into a good all round striker. My Chief Scout certainly feels that he has potential. I'm a bit concerned about the low Work Rate, but if he goes on to bang in goals, then I can live with that.

I mentioned in a previous update that I was attempting to make a mind blowing transfer. Below is the player that I was referring to.

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I became aware of David last season. He wasn't interested in us, but that changed this summer, so I've been bidding for him since June. Mainz have been very reluctant to sell, despite me continuously raising our offers. Eventually they told me that they want £64M. I offered them £39M plus another £20M to come after 50 league appearances. This was rejected, so with time running out, I offered them £60M cash. This was accepted, and David's terms were acceptable, so no need to negotiate. Sadly though, my previous haggling meant that the deal wasn't able to go through, and had to be abandoned.

In my defence with regards to the haggling, I've previously had deals vetoed by my chairman at FC Köln, and also my previous chairman at Borussia Mönchengladbach. This is why I didn't want the initial outlay to be too high, as I felt that it might avoid the possibility of it being vetoed. In the end, this anxiety meant that the deal failed to go through anyway.

I'm not giving up though. I'll try and structure another deal, and I've got the option of going in with a straightforward £60M bid, so hopefully it won't be long before a deal gets agreed that can go through on January 1st. Then it's down to the chairman.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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A trip to the champions coming up. You can also see that we have had a favourable 2nd round Europa League draw, as we'll meet Irish semi professional side Cabinteely. They did well to finish as runners up in their league, so it seems like they are a determined side. I'll be resting players for the first leg game, and expect the squad to give us a comfortable lead going into the second leg.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

Excellent start to the season!

Silverware!

Easy Europa draw and could play kids kids!

Shot yourself in the foot with that transfer deal given you have over £1bn in the bank

Vega - what ya doing man!
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:39 pm
Shot yourself in the foot with that transfer deal given you have over £1bn in the bank
Maybe, but I'm not convinced that my chairman is going to agree to me paying £60M for a 16 year old.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Here2Win79 »

I saw a Facebook post where a player who wanted to move to a bigger club reversed his decision so there is hope for your boys yet. You probably need to win the league though.
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September 2045

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Bun: Düsseldorf 3 FC Köln 0
Eur2ndRd1stLeg: Cabinteely 0 FC Köln 2
Bun: FC Köln 1 Bielefeld 1
Bun: Hoffenheim 0 FC Köln 3
Eur2ndRd2ndLeg: FC Köln 2 Cabinteely 1 (FC Köln win 4-1 on aggregate)





Match Summaries

Our opening game of the month was a 0-3 thumping at champions Düsseldorf. The first half was cagey, but the hosts scored with their only two chances. Goalkeeper Nils Borowski will have been disappointed.

We made a game of it in the second half, and kept the host's keeper busy, but we were unable to get the goal to get us back in with a shout, then conceded a third in injury time. A harsh defeat.

We got our Europa League campaign underway with a reasonably comfortable 2-0 win at Cabinteely. Midfielder Björn Sauer got on the end of a Kevin Kunze corner, to head us into an 8th minute lead, and we made it 2-0 in the 70th minute, when Lukas Kersken headed in a cross to the near post by strike partner Leon Zellner. Björn Sauer put in a good all round display to earn the Man of the Match award.

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Back to Bundesliga action, and a 1-1 draw at home to 4th place Bielefeld. We started the game well, wasn't creating loads of chances, but some, nonetheless. We took a deserved lead in the 35th minute, when striker Markus Neumann ran onto a nice through ball from right midfielder Wouter Van Hyfte, and finished neatly to make it 1-0.

The visitors equalised in the 43rd minute. Again, Nils Borowski was culpable. We continued to perform well in the second half, but we weren't clinical enough, with striker Lukas Schulz and midfielder Philip Kraft particularly wasteful. Neumann got himself sent off in the 80th minute, for shoving an opponent, and Bielefeld had a chance to score a late winner, but Borowski atoned for his earlier mistake, by coming to our rescue.

Wouter Van Hyfte was a constant menace down the right, creating no fewer than four chances, and earned the Man of the Match award.

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A week later, we went to 7th place Hoffenheim, and thumped them 3-0. We withstood some early pressure, and Nils Borowski made a couple of good saves. We then took the lead against the run of play, when right midfielder Wouter Van Hyfte crossed the ball into the area for Lukas Kersken - playing as a striker - to head us into a 23rd minute lead.

From then on, we dominated the hosts. A good passing move resulted in Philip Kraft putting in a low cross for left midfielder Alexander Kraft, who had time and space to finish neatly, and double our lead in the 36th minute.

Three minutes later, another cross from Man of the Match, Wouter Van Hyfte, was flicked on by Daniel Langner, into the path of Alexander Kraft, who headed us into a 3-0 lead, to score his second of the game, and complete the scoring.

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Our final game of the month was a 2-1 win over Cabinteely in the Europa League. With a 2-0 lead from the first leg, I sent out an experimental side. I wanted to see how certain fringe players performed using the 41212 formation.

Things didn't start well for us, and we fell behind in the 10th minute through an effort that goalkeeper Christoph Jansen should have dealt better with. We gradually got into our stride though, and midfielder Francesco Meier hit a good ball towards striker Klaus Ghafourian, who skipped past an opponent, then drove in a 45th minute equaliser, that restored our two goal aggregate advantage.

We continued to perform well in the second half, and in the 79th minute, Man of the Match, Klaus Ghafourian, took the ball past three opponents, then passed it to 16 year old marauding left back Pascal Kramer, who hit the ball from 20 yards out, to put us into a 2-1 lead, which completed the scoring.

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Bundesliga Table

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Summary

The usual suspects are occupying the top few positions. I think that we've had a satisfactory month domestically. Plenty of teams will, like us, come away from Düsseldorf empty handed. Unbeaten Bielefeld is a tough fixture, but I'm pleased with the emphatic win over Hoffenheim.

The second leg of our Europa League tie against Cabinteely wasn't as comfortable as I would have liked, but our superior quality got us through to the third round, so all good there.




International News

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The (FC Köln heavy) Germany under 21 side got an emphatic win this month, with striker Markus Neumann bagging four goals. Look what position he was in though!

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Sweeper! My understanding of the sweeper position is that originally, this would be a defender who played just behind the defenders, and was free from man marking duties. This will have allowed him to 'sweep up' any balls played behind his defenders, and head away any aimless crosses into his box.

Over the course of time, the role also involved becoming a deep lying playmaker, before the system became obsolete.

However, it lives on in Championship Manager land, and I've noticed previously how in the absence of an actual Sweeper, the AI makes some surprising choices for that role. I'm wondering why it chose Markus Neumann for that role? My only guess is that if 'forward runs' were enabled, he has the movement to exploit the space that would be left.

This is something that I may look at myself in the future.

Meanwhile, Lukas Kersken made his senior debut, in front of the back four.

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I've used him in a variety of positions during his time here. Currently, I'm deploying him as a striker, as I feel that his 20 for Off the Ball is wasted in a defensive position. Having said that, maybe I'm missing a trick. Maybe Lukas would be perfect for the Sweeper role, or perhaps I should play him at the heart of a back three, and enable forward runs. Maybe even make him playmaker.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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A busy October coming up. We meet Hobro in the third round of the Europa League. I expect them to be a tougher proposition than Cabinteely, though the Danish side don't tend to go beyond the third round of this competition all that much.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Kingsley »

Congrats on the cup last season and Super Cup this year
Good that last season was not a total write off.
Some great signings (as usual) to start the season. As others said Kurtz, Kramer and Ziege the pick of the bunch
Mayer is just incredible for a 16 year old. I hope you land him. I wounder who he is a regen of. Musiala or Brandt possibly ?
Kind of slow start to the season, but early days and plenty of time for the side to come together.
You have built some sort of monster in M'Gladbach and it is going to take an emmense effort to overhaul them any time soon.
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Post by Here2Win79 »

I tried shevchenko as a spare defender with forward runs in the AC Milan challenge where you have to play a Swedish front three. He didn't ever score 4 although maybe if we'd played against Lithuania...
I guess this means Neumann has high versatility. I wonder if maybe also high free role? Don't know if the AI puts free role on sweeper although in that classic German system he definitely would have.
Kersken looks like he would be very useful as RB/ Rwb when you play the 3-5-2.
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Post by Redknapp69 »

Another sweet Europa draw

Hmmmm - would have wanted 6 points from 9 in league rather than 4 - no shame in Dusseldorf loss though

That sweeper position scoring 4 is mad - wahahahhahaha

Got some fine young prospects you should there - the future remains bright!
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Post by Libertine73 »

Here2Win79 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:39 am I tried shevchenko as a spare defender with forward runs in the AC Milan challenge where you have to play a Swedish front three. He didn't ever score 4 although maybe if we'd played against Lithuania...
I guess this means Neumann has high versatility. I wonder if maybe also high free role? Don't know if the AI puts free role on sweeper although in that classic German system he definitely would have.
Kersken looks like he would be very useful as RB/ Rwb when you play the 3-5-2.
Kersken seems to do well wherever I play him. Wins tackles and provides an attacking threat whether I play him as a right back in a four, a wingback, or in the centre of midfield. He's also been a good central defender, and I'd be interested to see what he can do in a run of games as a striker.

Kingsley wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:12 am Congrats on the cup last season and Super Cup this year
Good that last season was not a total write off.
Some great signings (as usual) to start the season. As others said Kurtz, Kramer and Ziege the pick of the bunch
Mayer is just incredible for a 16 year old. I hope you land him. I wounder who he is a regen of. Musiala or Brandt possibly ?
Kind of slow start to the season, but early days and plenty of time for the side to come together.
You have built some sort of monster in M'Gladbach and it is going to take an emmense effort to overhaul them any time soon.
Thanks. Not the most of glorious wins. I went for pragmatism against superior opponents, but glad to have some silverware.

I'm not sure who Mayer is a regen of. Probably a regen's regen, as I'm 26 years into this save. I've agreed a deal with Mainz. £45M up front, with another £15M if he makes 50 appearances for us. I've had him scouted, so keeping my fingers crossed that the chairman doesn't veto it on 1st January.
Redknapp69 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:34 am Another sweet Europa draw

Hmmmm - would have wanted 6 points from 9 in league rather than 4 - no shame in Dusseldorf loss though

That sweeper position scoring 4 is mad - wahahahhahaha

Got some fine young prospects you should there - the future remains bright!
There are some decent prospects. I just hope that I can improve the club's reputation, so that they don't use us as a stepping stone.
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October 2045

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Bun: FC Köln 3 Leverkusen 0
Bun: FC Köln 0 St. Pauli 1
DFBPokal2ndRnd: Darmstadt 0 FC Köln 1
Bun: Augsburg 2 FC Köln 0
Eur3rdRnd1stLeg: Hobro 0 FC Köln 0
Bun: FC Köln 1 FC Bayern 0
Eur3rdRnd2ndLeg: FC Köln 1 Hobro 0 (FC Köln win 1-0 on aggregate)
Bun: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 FC Köln 0





Match Summaries

We started the month with a nice 3-0 win over 12th place Leverkusen. We didn't start the game particularly well, and had to rely on goalkeeper Nils Borowski to be reliable, but in the 26th minute, we won a free kick, which Daniel Langner flicked into the path of left back Paul Wittek, who slammed in his first goal for the club, to give us a 1-0 lead.

The visitor's heads seemed to drop, and we were able to capitalise. An excellent passing move led to Philip Kraft finding midfield partner Daniel Langner's run into the area, and our club captain finished neatly, to make it 2-0 in the 39th minute.

On the stroke of half time, Philip Kraft won a penalty, which he converted, to make it 3-0. We took our foot off the gas a bit in the second half, and had to rely on Borowski to ensure that we kept a clean sheet, and although the scoreline is harsh on Leverkusen, we deserved the win.

Daniel Langner's outstanding performance, which included him winning 5 tackles, to go with his goal and assist, earned him a 10 rating, and the Man of the Match award.

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Three days later we suffered a 0-1 defeat at home to 2nd place St. Pauli, who are unbeaten in the Bundesliga so far this season. The visitors started brightly, and Nils Borowski had to make a couple of good saves.

After a while we got more into the game, and had chances ourselves. The game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw, but St. Pauli grabbed an 87th minute winner. Borowski could have done better, but equally, we didn't test their keeper enough. A harsh defeat though.

A week later, we went to 2.Bundesliga side Darmstadt and won 1-0. Midfielder Stephan Mamba got on the end of a Kevin Kunze free kick, to head us into a 7th minute lead. We contained the hosts well, with central defender Marc Reisinger putting in a brilliant performance. He won 7 tackles, 6 headers, and made 3 interceptions, to earn the Man of the Match award.

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Back to Bundesliga action, and a disappointing 0-2 defeat at 14th place Augsburg. This was a fairly even game in terms of possession and chances, but Nils Borowski was culpable for both of the goals, whilst the host's keeper was Man of the Match.

A few days later, we were involved in a drab 0-0 draw at Hobro in the Europa League. The hosts had no real attacking intent, and looked to keep possession. We didn't find it difficult to contain them, but were unable to break them down, to get what would have been a useful away goal.

Three days later, we were back in Bundesliga action with a 1-0 win over 9th place Bayern. We dominated the first half, and the Bayern keeper performed heroics to keep us at bay. We managed to break the deadlock just before half time though, when he parried a Philip Kraft shot into the path of striker Leon Zellner, who drove in his first goal of the season.

The second half was closer, but we contained the visitors well, with 18 year old central defender Thomas Bade particularly solid, winning an impressive 10 tackles, and making 5 interceptions.

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We were unchanged for the second leg of our Europa League game against Hobro, and managed to go through with a narrow 1-0 win. We dominated the Danish side, but their keeper was in magnificent form. In the second half, we switched from the flat 442 formation, to the 4132. I also took off right back Marco Engels, and brought on striker Maikel Thomas, moving Lukas Kersken into the right back slot.

This move paid off shortly afterwards, when club captain Daniel Langner played the ball to Man of the Match, Philip Kraft, whose low drive gave us the goal we needed to progress to the next round.

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Our final game of the month was a 0-1 defeat at league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach. To be honest, we were lucky to get away with losing by just the odd goal. I lost count of the number of times that the hosts hit the woodwork, and Nils Borowski also had to make some good saves. The board were unhappy with our performance against our Rheinland rivals, and I can't really offer up too much of a defence of our display.




Bundesliga Table

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Summary

There are just six points separating the 12 teams outside the top and bottom three of the Bundesliga. This indicates that 4th place is up for grabs, for any side that can string a run together.

Defeats to the top two, St.Pauli and Borussia Mönchengladbach are nothing to be ashamed of, however, I was disappointed with the Augsburg defeat. The win over Leverkusen was pretty emphatic, and it's always nice to beat Bayern, even if they aren't the force they once were.

I'm realistic about the limitations of my squad. Paul Schmid is probably the best defender in the Bundesliga. Daniel Langner, Philip Kraft, and Wouter Van Hyfte are a trio of midfielders that could walk into any side. There are some other useful players.

One area where we are struggling is with strikers. Before the next update, I'll do a little feature on my strikers. I've worked with some great strikers during this save, who have bagged goals aplenty. The same can't be said about my current crop.

The cups look like our most realistic chance of success this season, though we made hard work of getting past Darmstadt in the DFB Pokal, and Hobro in the Europa League. We've proved that we can win the DFB Pokal, and I'm encouraged by Dortmund reaching the Europa League Final last season, despite only finishing in the bottom half of the table.





Other News

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I get headhunted often. I think this is an indication of the relatively low reputation that FC Köln have. By the same token, both myself, and one of my predecessors at Viktoria Köln, Vincent Euvrard, have shown how a club's reputation can be enhanced.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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If we're going to challenge for a top four finish, we'll need to pick up at least 7 or 8 points from our next four games.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Kingsley »

So sad that already you are already settling for a top 4 rather than the title.
Are the M'gladbach players that much better than yours ? You have signed some beasts
Not even that convincing against Hobro
That St. Pauli defence must be something special.
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Post by Libertine73 »

Kingsley wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:09 am So sad that already you are already settling for a top 4 rather than the title.
Are the M'gladbach players that much better than yours ? You have signed some beasts
Not even that convincing against Hobro
That St. Pauli defence must be something special.
When I post the feature that I've done on my strikers, you'll see why I'm not overly optimistic.

St. Pauli are doing really well. I wouldn't be surprised if they go all the way.
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Post by Redknapp69 »

St Pauli is a random charge - have they been decent last few years - whats going on there otherwise?

Europa was a slog and nearly out - players need to start shaping up

6/15 not good enough really although a couple of tough fixtures. That Augsburg loss was poor

What formation you playing again?

Surely 1 up top maybe if strikers are gash - or go false 9 and have attacking mids go crazy forward maybe?
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Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:50 pm St Pauli is a random charge - have they been decent last few years - whats going on there otherwise?

Europa was a slog and nearly out - players need to start shaping up

6/15 not good enough really although a couple of tough fixtures. That Augsburg loss was poor

What formation you playing again?

Surely 1 up top maybe if strikers are gash - or go false 9 and have attacking mids go crazy forward maybe?
I've restricted myself to the pre loaded formations, so this season I've mostly be playing with a flat 442 at home, though I've recently switched to the 4132. Away from home, we're using the 442 Attacking, but with a normal mentality.

I'm glad that you asked me about St. Pauli, as it's made me analyse what they are doing so well. For large parts of this save, they were a bit of a yo-yo club, but have established themselves as a mid table side over the last ten years or so. More recently, they appointed Declan Rice, who started his managerial career at Largs Thistle, before having a brief spell at Championship side Peterborough. He then got a surprise move to Porto, where he achieved a 2nd place finish, then went to Torino, where he achieved a 4th place finish. He became the manager of St. Pauli just over two years ago.

In his first full season in charge, he achieved a 3rd place finish, and reached the DFB Pokal Final, where they lost to us on penalties. He has bought very well in the last two transfer windows, and has made some very astute signings.

Tactically, they tend to use the 343 formation at home. Like us they have an attacking mentality, and a direct, pressing style, using the offside trap. The only difference is that they use normal tackling. I'm not sure how this affects things. Away from home is where it gets interesting. They continue with the direct, pressing style, and with the offside trap, but go hard tackling, and use the 433 formation, but with defensive mentality. This means that they concede very few chances, whilst still maintaining a goal threat.

Declan Rice definitely has St. Pauli playing to their strengths, and whilst I don't necessarily want to copy what he's doing, I'll certainly look at what I can do to get the best out of the players I have, rather than try to shoehorn them into systems that worked at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
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Strikers

Post by Libertine73 »

I thought I'd do a little feature on my strikers at FC Köln, seeing as we're struggling for goals. First of all, I thought I'd remind you about a few of the strikers that I've signed in the 26 years of this save.




Marvin Lehner

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This screenie of Marvin was taken in the summer of 2033. (I'd left the club in 2030). The following season Marvin scored 53 goals in all competitions, as he helped Viktoria Köln win the Champions League under Vincent Euvrard. Marvin was the top scorer in the Bundesliga in 2033 and 3034, and top scorer in the Champions League in 2034. Also, take a look at his international record.

As you can see, Marvin had electric pace, and had very good aerial prowess, dribbling, and movement.




Benedikt Langer

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This screenie was taken a few months before I left Borussia Mönchengladbach. I signed him twice. I think he was 17 when I brought him to Viktoria Köln, a year before I left there. A couple of years later, he followed me to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Benedikt was named as German Player of the Year six times, and he finished as top scorer in the Champions League in both 2037 and 2039.

As you can see, he had fantastic aerial prowess and movement. I don't think that high determination should be overlooked either. He also had more than reasonable pace, dribbling, and finishing.




Marwan Soliman

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This is a current image of Marwan. He has the lot. Pace, aerial prowess, movement, dribbling, and finishing. He was top scorer in the Bundesliga in 2041, 2042, and 2045.




FC Köln Strikers



Gianluca Kirsten

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Gianluca only scored twice in 18 starts last season. I like his pace, but his movement and finishing will need to improve if he's going to make the kind of impact that I need him to.




Dennis Öztürk

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The aerial prowess and speed was what attracted me. His movement and finishing will need to significantly improve if he's going to do anything. I guess that he's young enough for that to still happen. The low work rate is a bit of a concern. I like my strikers to lead the press.




Lukas Schulz

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I like this lad's combination of dribbling, movement, and pace. All of his other attribute values will need to increase over the next few years, if he's going to amount to anything.




Leon Zellner

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Leon was one of my first signings for the club, so like me, he's been here nearly five years. He's been little more than a fringe player during this time. His skill, mental, and shooting attribute values have all increased by a few points, but I fear he may have plateaued.

His only Bundesliga appearance this season was the win over Bayern, in which he scored. He'll start our next game against Werder Bremen, but unless there are more attribute increases to come, I doubt he'll amount to anything more than a decent squad player here.




Sascha Kirchner

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I had high hopes for Sascha when he arrived here. There has only been a tiny increase in attribute values, and last season he scored just 1 goal from 10 starts in all competitions.

He is currently unhappy with me, and has personal problems. He's on the transfer list, but there is no interest in him whatsoever.




Klaus Ghafourian

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Klaus is the only player to come through the academy during my time here, that I've offered a contract to. He came through in the summer of 2041. His low determination hasn't stopped his attribute values from increasing. The biggest increase has been in Anticipation, which was at 7.

I like his speed and dribbling. His movement and finishing still needs to improve. He's had 15 starts in all competitions in that time, and has been directly involved in 8 goals, (4 scored, 4 assisted) which seems decent.

I guess the future he has, will depend on whether he continues to improve. If this is as good as he'll get, it seems unlikely that he'll progress to anything more than a squad player.




Markus Neumann

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I like this lad's aerial prowess and movement. There's reasonable speed too. The low work rate isn't ideal. His stats are decent. In just over two years here, he's started 45 games in all competitions, scored 21 goals, and provided 5 assists.

He's having a break from first team action, as he has started this season slowly. His attribute values have actually decreased slightly since he arrived. Perhaps I've exposed him to too much first team football.

He may prove to be a useful member of the squad over the coming years, but he's never going to be in the same league as the three players that I highlighted at the top of this post.




Maikel Thomas

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Maikel was found by one of my scouts in a youth search. He had reasonable stats last season. 12 starts in all competitions, 5 goals, and 1 assist. He hasn't improved though. I'll give him another chance, but it's likely that I'll look to offload him. The most that he can hope for is to be a reasonable squad player, but I'm probably being too kind.




Adrian Weiss

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There has been barely any improvement in Adrian's attribute values since he arrived just over two years ago. I'm not quite ready to give up on a player that has 4 goals from 10 starts in all competitions, and I like that he has pace over a short distance, along with good movement.

I can't see him ever being more than a squad player in the future though.




Attacking Midfielders/Forwards

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I've never liked to play attacking midfielders/forwards as out and out strikers, though perhaps I should question why? Jonas Kurz has decent aerial ability, and is a good header. I'm not sure that his movement is good enough though, nor his finishing ability. He's played as a striker for the Germany under 21 side, and scored goals, so perhaps I should give him a chance.

Lucas Kurz has good speed and aerial prowess, but I'll need his movement and finishing to improve if he's to be the answer.




Summary

The point of this feature isn't to moan about the lack of quality available, to justify our failure to score goals. Though our failure to score goals is due to the lack of quality!

I need to find a solution to this. Do I persevere with some of them, in the hope that they eventually come good? That doesn't seem like a great plan. My feeling is that unless I can sign a German teenager that is world class, I'm going to need to find a solution to get the best out of what I currently have.

In the short term, I think that it makes sense to maybe use formations like 451, 4132, or 352 Attacking, as they give us a better chance of getting our dangerous players, namely Philip Kraft and Wouter Van Hyfte in advanced areas of the pitch. Long term is another matter.

Feel free to leave feedback about this.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

Ugh - not a great group there

Gianluca should be doing better for me - I'd give him a run of games

I like the look of Kurz as well

I think the 'ol "Urban Legend" formation could be a good shout for you. Basically 433 where can load the team with midfielders even in the front 3 positions
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:38 pm Ugh - not a great group there

Gianluca should be doing better for me - I'd give him a run of games

I like the look of Kurz as well

I think the 'ol "Urban Legend" formation could be a good shout for you. Basically 433 where can load the team with midfielders even in the front 3 positions
I'd like to give Gianluca another run at some point.

I'll have to stick with the pre loaded formations, as per my restrictions, but maybe I can try that in the 433.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by ebfatz »

Middle of a 10 day isolation for me so it's given time to catch up again.

Well Done on the cup win end of last season and well done on stabilising a bit after that drop down the league table.

Some excellent signings made over the summer. The scouts (you) certinly have an eye for picking out a promising youngster and the work behind the scenes in getting them ready for first team football is excellent.

Good start to this season so am expecting you to be there or there abouts come seasons end.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Here2Win79 »

Like you I tend to always want to have an S C as the focal point of my attack but I have done short experiments with an F C and it doesn't seem to affect things if they have the right atts. so long as they have the aerial ability to convert the number of headed chances the match engine creates.
The biggest problem I see is that all your high quality forwards have high teamwork, I prefer a selfish b****d up front. Possibly Weiss, although his low flair is an issue. But with your goalscoring mids, a forward who is happy to lay the ball off may be as useful to you. Kirsten I think is the best to be the foil to a goalscorer, he'd be my first choice for the second striker slot, annoying the defenders enough to let the other guy plunder the goals. I also like a left sided forward with a right foot, which he has.
Do you have the patches enabled that stop the goals drying up this far in future?
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Interesting comment about the high teamwork. I've always imagined that would be a good thing in any position. It certainly didn't hinder Lehner/Langer/Soliman.

I haven't applied any patches that stop goals drying up, unless this is included in the version of Nick's Patcher that I'm using. If the goals did dry up, it might even help me, as I have good defensive players.
Last edited by Libertine73 on Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Here2Win79 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:56 am Like you I tend to always want to have an S C as the focal point of my attack but I have done short experiments with an F C and it doesn't seem to affect things if they have the right atts. so long as they have the aerial ability to convert the number of headed chances the match engine creates.
The biggest problem I see is that all your high quality forwards have high teamwork, I prefer a selfish b****d up front. Possibly Weiss, although his low flair is an issue. But with your goalscoring mids, a forward who is happy to lay the ball off may be as useful to you. Kirsten I think is the best to be the foil to a goalscorer, he'd be my first choice for the second striker slot, annoying the defenders enough to let the other guy plunder the goals. I also like a left sided forward with a right foot, which he has.
Do you have the patches enabled that stop the goals drying up this far in future?
Interesting comment about the high teamwork. I've always imagined that would be a good thing in any position. It certainly didn't hinder Lehner/Langer/Soliman.

I haven't applied any patches that stop goals drying up, unless this is included in the version of Nick's Patcher that I'm using. If the goals did dry up, it might even help me, as I have good defensive players.
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November 2045

Post by Libertine73 »

Results




Bun: FC Köln 5 Werder Bremen 0
Bun: Wolfsburg 2 FC Köln 3
Bun: FC Köln 4 Nürnberg 2
EurRndof321stLeg: FC Köln 1 Leverkusen 0
Bun: Dortmund 1 FC Köln 4
DFBPokalRndof16: St. Pauli 1 FC Köln 1 (1-1 aet) (FC Köln win 4-3 on penalties)






Match Summaries

We started the month with a stunning 5-0 win over 16th place Werder Bremen, to boost our goals for column.

Key Moments

• 13 mins: After a shaky start, Philip Kraft got on the end of a cross from midfield partner Wouter Van Hyfte, to give us a 1-0 lead.

• 21 mins: Van Hyfte received the ball from right back Lukas Kersken, skipped past a defender, and blasted a shot into the top corner, to make it 2-0.

• 24 mins: Kersken sent a lovely cross over from the right, for striker Maikel Thomas to head in his first goal of the season, and make it 3-0.

• 29 mins: Jonas Kurz received the ball from midfield partner Van Hyfte, and found himself in space, to fire us into a 4-0 lead.

• 90 mins: Having taken our foot off the gas, two of my substitutes combined, when Francesco Meier put in a low cross, for Tobias Schröter to smash us into a 5-0 lead, and complete the scoring.

A superb win, and Wouter Van Hyfte's goal and two assists earned him a 10 rating, and the Man of the Match award.

The following week, we went to 9th place Wolfsburg, and came away with a 3-2 win in an incredible game.

Key Moments

• 21 mins: We started the game well, and was dominating. The Wolfsburg keeper had already made three good saves. Things were looking good. Central defender Paul Schmid then headbutted an opponent, and received a straight red card. I brought on right back Marco Engels for striker Maikel Thomas, and moved Lukas Kersken across to central defence. We played a 441 Attacking formation.

• 55 mins: Despite our numerical disadvantage, we continued to dominate, then received a second blow when goalkeeper Nils Borowski received a straight red card for a professional foul. I took off left midfielder Tobias Schröter, and brought on Jonathan Kehl. We lined up in a 431 formation. The hosts scored from the resulting penalty. 0-1.

• 60 mins: Midfielder Philip Kraft took control of  a loose ball, and smashed in a long distance equaliser. 1-1.

• 62 mins: Midfielder Wouter Van Hyfte got on the end of a Paul Wittek corner, to head us into a 2-1 lead.

• 64 mins: Wolfsburg equalised with an effort that Jonathan Kehl could have dealt better with. 2-2

• 81 mins: Central defender Luciano Vega won a tackle, and hit a 30 yard ball to Van Hyfte. The Belgian international took the ball past an opponent, then drove in an excellent shot, to score his second goal of the game, to give us a 3-2 lead.

• Full Time

A wonderful win with nine men. Wouter Van Hyfte's two goals earned him a 10 rating and the Man of the Match award, for the second week running.

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A week later, the fun continued with a thrilling 4-2 win over 10th place Nürnberg.

Key Moments

• 6 mins: Nürnberg take the lead after left back Paul Wittek was beaten in the air from a free kick. 0-1

• 15 mins: Right back Marco Engels sent a cross into the area, for midfielder Jonas Kurz to equalise. 1-1

• 22 mins: Wouter Van Hyfte's shot was parried into the path of striker Leon Zellner, who was left with a simple tap in, to give us a 2-1 lead.

• 26 mins: Van Hyfte headed the ball into the path of Jonas Kurz, who controlled the ball well, and hit a low and hard shot, to score his second of the game, and make it 3-1.

• 68 mins: Jonathan Kehl failed to claim a cross, which led to the visitors pulling one back. 3-2

• We were coming under pressure, so I switched from the 4132 formation, to the flat 532. Shortly afterwards, Van Hyfte fed midfield partner Philip Kraft, who took the ball past two opponents, then hit a fierce shot, to make it 4-2 in the 81st minute.

• 84 mins: We went down to ten men, when Van Hyfte received a second yellow card.

• Full Time

The two goals scored by Jonas Kurz earned him a 10 rating, and the Man of the Match award.

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Onto the Europa League, and we beat fellow German side Leverkusen 1-0 at home, in the 1st Leg of our Round of 32 game. The first half was fairly scrappy and even. Just before half time, new club captain Lukas Kersken received two yellow cards in quick succession, to leave us with ten men. Central defender Paul Schmid came on for striker Leon Zellner, and we used a 4131 formation, with a normal mentality.

The second half was a lot more open, and could have gone either way. As it was, Man of the Match, Daniel Langner got on the end of a Paul Wittek corner, to give us a 1-0 lead.

We defended very well. Jonathan Kehl had to make a few good saves. Luciano Vega was a rock at the back, winning 4 tackles, and four headers, and Paul Schmid was solid when he came on. My midfield trio of Tobias Schröter, Wouter Van Hyfte, and Philip Kraft won 12 tackles between them, and Daniel Langner made 6 interceptions in his role in front of the back four.

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We made it four league wins out of four, with a cracking 4-1 win at 7th place Dortmund.

Key Moments

• 17 mins: After good work, Philip Kraft sent a ball into the area, for midfield partner Daniel Langner, to get above the keeper, and head us into a 1-0 lead .

• 25 mins: Philip Kraft got on the end of a Kevin Kunze corner, to head us into a 2-0 lead.

• 37 mins: Left back Leon Götze gave away a penalty, which the hosts converted, to pull it back to 2-1.

• 55 mins: Good work on the wing from right midfielder Kevin Kunze, led to him sending a cross to the near post, for Markus Neumann to head us into a 3-1 lead.

• 68 mins: Philip Kraft received a needless red card, for kicking out at an opponent.

• 88 mins: Man of the Match, Kevin Kunze, made it a hat-trick of assists, when his low cross found Leon Zellner in space, who made it 4-1, and completed the scoring.

A superb win, and I was delighted with Kevin Kunze, who only made the starting line-up because of Wouter Van Hyfte being suspended.

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We finished a wonderful month with a repeat of last season's DFB Pokal Final. A tough trip to Bundesliga leaders St. Pauli had a similar outcome to the final. This time we drew 1-1, and like the final, eliminated them in a penalty shootout.

We started brightly, and left midfielder Alexander Kraft received the ball from left back Leon Götze. Kraft then took the ball past two opponents, and drove in an excellent shot, to give us a 1-0 lead.

The hosts got a deserved equaliser in the 61st minute, when Götze was beaten in the air from a free kick, and the game went to extra time.

We came under considerable pressure in that 30 minute period, but Jonathan Kehl was in fine form to keep St. Pauli at bay.

The shootout went brilliantly, and Kehl was the hero, saving their final penalty, whilst Alexander Kraft was named Man of the Match.

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Bundesliga Table

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Summary

Crikey! This time last month, we had the joint fourth lowest goalscoring record in the Bundesliga. Things were so bad, that I did the special feature on my strikers, to try to fathom out where thing were going wrong. Then an amazing month sees us score 16 goals in our 4 league games, to give us the fourth highest goalscoring record in the division!

We've certainly benefitted from switching to the 4132 formation at home, as it means that Philip Kraft and Wouter Van Hyfte are able to receive the ball higher up the pitch. That formation also enables us to get the best out of Jonas Kurz, who seems to have a good eye for goal.

The 442 Attacking formation, with a normal mentality is working well for us away from home. Having a couple of experienced old heads in Jonathan Kehl and Luciano Vega back in the side has probably helped, and Leon Zellner's 3 goals from 5 starts - starting with the win over Bayern in October - shouldn't be overlooked.

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5th place is a decent position to be in. If that is where we end up, that would feel like a decent improvement on last season's 8th place finish. I haven't forgotten that a 12 match unbeaten league run last season, preceded a collapse in form though, so I'm not getting carried away by the little bit of daylight between ourselves and 6th place Nürnberg, at this relatively early stage of the season.

I was pleased to come through the first leg of our Europa League tie, without conceding an away goal, and I'm delighted that we have reached the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal, as in form St. Pauli would have been favourites to have gone through.




Other News

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This was disappointing. Especially as I'd recently made Daniel the new club captain. The request has been rejected. He has a buyout clause of £101M, but I doubt that anyone will meet it.

He has 18 months left on his contract, so I'll have to decide whether to either cash in on him in the summer, or get a few months out of him next season, before transfer listing him next November, with a view to getting a fee for him in the January transfer window, a few months before his contract expires.

What I don't want to do is let his contract expire, as he'll do a deal in the December, and I won't want to use him for the remainder of next season, if his mind is elsewhere.

I've taken the captaincy off of Daniel, as I don't want the skipper to be actively trying to leave. Lukas Kersken took over for the Wolfsburg game, so imagine my dismay when two games later, he got a needless red card against Leverkusen in the Europa League. He didn't accept his fine as graciously as I'd have liked a leader to, but I'll stick with him for now.

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Player Focus

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Wouter has been fantastic during his time at this club. He's been immense this season, and particularly this month. This is the second time he has won this award. The previous time was also in the month of November.

What a shame he wants to leave. Like his want away midfield partners Daniel Langner and Philip Kraft, he has just 18 months left on his contract, though unlike those two, there is absolutely no interest in him.

Initially, I planned to transfer list him next summer. I doubt we'll get much for him though, and with the club's financial position being so strong, I think that we can afford to let his contract expire. There's less chance of him doing a deal to join someone else, within the last six months of his contract, so I think that on balance it'll be better to keep him.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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We have a busy schedule, with 6 games in 19 days. I've no plans to actively rotate the squad, but will need to in any case, as I'm sure they'll be a bit of low condition and exhaustion.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

Brilliant month!

Weird how it all changed but maybe formation helped

Shame on Langer but I remain in the camp to keep the big guns who want away until contracts expire - may as well use them and keep them and lose on a free given the financial position is so strong
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Post by Here2Win79 »

Red cards ho! Impressive to win games with nine and ten men but the refs seem to really have it in for you. Another penalty shoot out win as well. I'm not sure I've ever won a shoot out in cm0102. 😂 Could be another to come in the UEFA cup as well...
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