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

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

Post by Kingsley »

Top of the league despite these last 2 hiccups.
Top 3 look to be away and clear
Leipzig have had a horrendous crash
Not an easy game in Europe, but a real test for those up and coming starlets.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Kingsley wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:22 pm Top of the league despite these last 2 hiccups.
Top 3 look to be away and clear
Leipzig have had a horrendous crash
Not an easy game in Europe, but a real test for those up and coming starlets.
Yeah, RB Leipzig seem to have had a similar fall to Bayern. We could do with St. Pauli doing the same!
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March 2048

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Bun: Hoffenheim 1 FC Köln 0
EurLgQtrFnl1stLg: Atlético Madrid 1 FC Köln 1
Bun: FC Köln 4 Sandhausen 1
EurLgQtrFnl2ndLg: FC Köln 1 Atlético Madrid 1 (aet 1-2) (Atlético Madrid win 3-2 on aggregate)
Bun: Leverkusen 0 FC Köln 3





Match Summaries

We started the month with a frustrating 0-1 defeat at 13th place Hoffenheim. In terms of chances, we were the better side throughout the first half, but the host's keeper made a string of fine saves to keep us at bay. In the 40th minute, a cross came into our box, and Hoffenheim midfielder Marcin Tomkiewicz got above Jonathan Kehl to head his side in front.

We offered little attacking threat in the second half, but our first half performance should have been enough to win us the game.

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Next up was a 1-1 draw at Atlético Madrid in the 1st Leg of the Europa League Quarter Final. I dropped Jonathan Kehl. I also rested Paul Schmid, David Mayer, James Coates, and Nils John, who have been finishing games exhausted. We lined up in the 451 formation.

We got off to a great start. In the 4th minute, left midfielder Alexander Kraft sent a cross into the box, and striker Dennis Öztürk outjumped the keeper, to head us into a 1-0 lead, and give us what could prove to be an important away goal.

In the 40th minute, Atlético Madrid striker Evan Guy took the ball past three of our players, to score a superb equaliser. That was their only effort at goal throughout the game.

We had chances to go back in front. Right midfielder Kevin Kunze had an effort saved in the 45th minute, and Alexander Kraft hit the bar with a 48th minute effort. In the end, we have to settle for a draw, but I think that we're unlucky not to be taking a lead into the second leg.

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We got back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-1 victory over struggling Sandhausen. I returned to the 4132 formation that has served us so well at home this season. The visitors deployed defensive tactics, with men behind the ball, but in the 10th minute, defensive midfielder Arne Ziege surged forward with the ball, then sent it into the area for striker Lukas Schulz to head us into a 1-0 lead.

In the 24th minute, striker Nils John got on the end of a Lukas Kersken corner, to head us into a 2-0 lead. Eight minutes later, midfielder David Mayer received the ball, then sent it into the area towards John. The Germany under 21 international showed a good first touch to create space for himself, then finished neatly to score his second of the game, and make it 3-0.

We were rampant, and in the 37th minute, Schulz was brought down in the area, to win us a penalty. Ziege made no mistake from the spot kick, and made it 4-0.

We took our foot off the gas in the second half, and Sandhausen pulled one back from a corner in the 65th minute, but that was their only effort on target throughout the entire game.

Nils John was outstanding up front. He received a 10 rating, and the Man of the Match award. Along with his two goals, he won an impressive 10 aerial duels.

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Our European campaign ended with a 1-2 defeat to Atlético Madrid after extra time, in the Europa League Quarter Finals 2nd Leg. Again I rested Paul Schmid, David Mayer, James Coates, and Nils John.

We came into the game with the away goal from the 1st Leg, but Atlético Madrid got one of their own, when they took a 9th minute lead. We equalised in the 38th minute, when striker Lukas Schulz headed the ball into the path of captain for the day, Jonas Kurz, who found himself in space to flick a lovely shot over the visitor's keeper, and make it 1-1.

The first half had been even, but Atlético Madrid were the better side in the second half. We had Nils Borowski to thank for keeping us in the game with some important saves, which meant that we were able to force extra time.

The visitors dominated that period, and went in front in the 109th minute. This meant that we needed to score twice, but Atlético Madrid contained us well to see out the win, and deservedly go through.

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We finished the month with a good 3-0 win at mid table Leverkusen. We used the 352 Attacking formation that worked so well for us at the end of last season.

The first half was even, and we had to rely on Nils Borowski to make a couple of good saves. In the 39th minute, striker Nils John took control of a loose ball, then found the run of attacking midfielder David Mayer, who's driven shot gave us a 1-0 lead.

We dominated the second half. In the 55th minute, central defender Janik Baumann was in an advanced position, following a set piece. The former Germany under 21 international took control of a loose ball, then sent it into the area for Mayer to head us into a 2-0 lead.

Six minutes later, Mayer sent a free kick into the area for striker Alexander Beck - making his first Bundesliga start this season - to hit the ball on the half volley, and make it 3-0 which completed the scoring.

David Mayer did an outstanding job behind the front two. His two goals and assist earned him a 10 rating and the Man of the Match award.

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Bundesliga Table

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Summary

As disappointing as it is to have been eliminated from the Europa League, my number one priority is to challenge for the Bundesliga title. This was reflected in my team selections for the Atlético Madrid games, and I accept the consequences of this.

As for the title race, we suffered another frustrating defeat at the start of the month, but have gotten ourselves back on track with good victories over Sandhausen and Leverkusen.

We remain top, but only on goal difference. St. Pauli were Bundesliga champions as recently as 2046, so I'm sure they'll push us all the way. Düsseldorf are only six points behind, and are on a great run, having won six league games in a row. They were Bundesliga winners in 2045. They've also just been eliminated from the second phase of the Champions League. RB Leipzig have been dropping points lately, but are capable of going on a good run, and the same applies to reigning champions Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have plenty of goalscoring prowess. Early season front runners Bayern look well out of it now.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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Our first two games of April are against bottom two sides Duisburg and Hamburg, who both look doomed. It's a marvellous opportunity to put six more points on the board. We then play in form Düsseldorf, followed by fellow top four side RB Leipzig. Avoiding defeat in those two games seems crucial to our title aspirations.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

Good effort v Atletico but no shame in going out - ALL ABOUT THE LEAGUE

Ugly defeat but bounced back well

Hello - 6 point gap over 3rd - just need to try and get away from St Pauli now which won't be easy but I believe this is your best chance yet?
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:27 pm Good effort v Atletico but no shame in going out - ALL ABOUT THE LEAGUE

Ugly defeat but bounced back well

Hello - 6 point gap over 3rd - just need to try and get away from St Pauli now which won't be easy but I believe this is your best chance yet?
It certainly feels like our best chance. If it doesn't happen this season, hopefully we'll be even stronger next season.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by luke_21 »

Not to worry about the Europa League - all the eggs in that one basket now!

I've had a look back to the start of this chapter and can see you were aiming for 2 Cups and the Bundesliga. Have you won any knockout trophies yet with Koln? The league is on now for sure, looks like it will be tough and close-run all the way, but possible!
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

luke_21 wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 1:53 pm Not to worry about the Europa League - all the eggs in that one basket now!

I've had a look back to the start of this chapter and can see you were aiming for 2 Cups and the Bundesliga. Have you won any knockout trophies yet with Koln? The league is on now for sure, looks like it will be tough and close-run all the way, but possible!
We won back to back DFB Pokals in 2045 and 2046, so just need to win the Bundesliga now.
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April 2048

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Bun: FC Köln 2 Duisburg 2
Bun: Hamburg 3 FC Köln 1
Bun: FC Köln 0 Düsseldorf 1
Bun: RB Leipzig 0 FC Köln 4





Match Summaries

We started the month with a sloppy 2-2 draw with struggling Duisburg. We started the game well enough. In the 6th minute, holding midfielder Arne Ziege played the ball to David Mayer. The Germany international then dribbled past three opponents, before emphatically finishing, to give us a 1-0 lead with a magical goal.

The game was fairly even after that, then in the 38th minute, club captain Lukas Kersken received the ball. The right back found the run of striker Alexander Beck, who made space for himself, before finishing neatly to make it 2-0.

At half time everything was looking fine. We had a chance to extend our lead early in the second half, then in the 54th minute, Duisburg made a triple substitution that changed the game.

One of their substitutes hit the bar in the 60th minute, and they also missed good opportunities in the 61st and 63rd minutes. We responded by switching to a normal mentality, and took the forward runs off of everyone but the strikers. This seemed to do the trick, so in the 71st minute I took off Kersken and Mayer, to give them a breather, and brought on Richard Rüdiger and Alexander Kraft.

At this point, things started to go wrong. The visitors missed further opportunities in the 75th and 78th minutes. They kept going, and pulled one back in the 86th minute. Central defender Janik Baumann hadn't been particularly solid throughout the game, and was dribbled past too easily for my liking. Nils Borowski was also rooted to the spot.

In the 88th minute, the Duisburg right midfielder got past left back Sascha Kunze a bit too easily, got his cross in, and they equalised. Again Borowski didn't move. This completed the scoring, and a great comeback, though there's no doubt in my mind that we blew it, and we were lucky not to lose.

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I recalled Jonathan Kehl and Rico Sonnenberg, but it didn't stop us from suffering a dispiriting 1-3 defeat at bottom club Hamburg. Things started well enough. In the 6th minute, central defender Rico Sonnenberg hit a direct ball to left midfielder Paul Wittek, who then sent a first time ball towards striker James Coates. The Welsh wizard lashed it in from 20 yards out, to give us a 1-0 lead.

Things went downhill from there. In the 18th minute, veteran striker Christopher Hartmann took the ball past Rico Sonnenberg and Thomas Bade, to score a lovely equaliser. Five minutes later, Kehl was beaten from distance, and we were 1-2 down.

Early in the second half, Kehl was beaten again. The hosts had just three shots throughout the entire game, but they all went in. We didn't compete well enough to make a game of it. Midfielders Arne Ziege and Clément Thuram were both disappointing. Further changes will need to be made.

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We suffered our first home Bundesliga defeat this season, losing 0-1 to title rivals Düsseldorf. The visitors took the lead in the 13th minute, when the recalled Nils Borowski was beaten by a free kick from  25 yards out. The taker? Philip Kraft. Who else?

Düsseldorf had plenty of chances to extend their lead, but some good saves by Borowski kept us from falling further behind. Meanwhile, for all of the attacking talent in our line up, we barely laid a glove on our opponents. A deserved defeat.

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A traumatic few weeks came to an end with a thumping 4-0 win at title rivals RB Leipzig. I kept faith with the attacking 352 formation.

We got off to a great start. In the 6th minute, midfielder Clément Thuram sent the ball into the area. The header from striker Lukas Schulz was saved, but could only be parried into the path of right midfielder Kevin Kunze, who smashed us into a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later, Kunze turned provider. His low cross found Schulz, who struck the ball with fury, to make it 2-0.

We kept at them, and in the 17th minute Kunze provided his second assist, when striker Markus Neumann headed in his corner, to make it 3-0.

After dominating the first half, the second half was much closer. In the 75th minute, Lukas Kersken - playing in midfield - received the ball from central defender Finn Khedira. Our club captain moved forward, then sent it into the area for attacking midfielder David Mayer to head us into a 4-0 lead, which completed the scoring.

Nils Borowski made a couple of good saves late on, to ensure we kept a clean sheet, whilst Kevin Kunze' involvement in our first three goals earned him the Man of the Match award.

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Bundesliga Table

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Summary

Our title hopes took a fair old battering this month. It's hard to fathom what has gone wrong, as we're not really doing anything differently. I'm not singling out one player as a scapegoat, as there have been quite a few that have been off the pace, but I will mention Jonathan Kehl.

You'd think that the most experienced player in the squad might be able to cope with being part of a title challenge, but after we went to the top of the table at the beginning of February, Kehl had a couple of dodgy performances in quick succession. Prior to that, he'd been the most consistent keeper in the Bundesliga. Not just this season, but previous ones too.

I dropped him in March, then brought him back for the Hamburg game. They had just three shots all game, and he didn't save one. Why on earth has this happened? Not just to Kehl, but others too. I've also had to recently drop Sascha Kunze and Arne Ziege. Even James Coates and Nils John haven't been that great lately.

I wonder if there are certain players that have a low value for the hidden attribute of Pressure. That would certainly explain our demise. I brought back Lukas Schulz and Markus Neumann to play up front against RB Leipzig. They got a goal each in a much needed, and emphatic victory.




Forthcoming Fixtures

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We'll surely have to win all four of our remaining games if we're to become champions this season. Even that might not be enough. If St. Pauli win more than two of their four remaining games, they will regain the title.

We're not giving up yet though. St. Pauli have to go to RB Leipzig and Bayern. Maybe I'm clutching at straws, especially as we've just given one of those sides a good thumping, but you never know. We can only do our best, and hope for the best.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Kingsley »

FFS.
Having done the hard work looks like you have blown it when it matters most.
Duisburg and HSV are criminal to pick up just 1 point.
Like you say, nothing less than 4 wins will be good enough.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Kingsley wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:19 pm FFS.
Having done the hard work looks like you have blown it when it matters most.
Duisburg and HSV are criminal to pick up just 1 point.
Like you say, nothing less than 4 wins will be good enough.
We took the lead in both of them games too!

I'm scratching my head over why this has happened, as blowing the title certainly wasn't a problem in my Borussia Mönchengladbach days.

I've just had a quick look at the general guide to this game, and I definitely think that the hidden attribute of Pressure has come into play here. I guess that if a player's value is lower than x amount, his form will dip when it comes to 'squeaky bum' time. At least I've been able to identify who has bottled it.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by luke_21 »

Ah Hennes. How gutting. It's not quite over yet though. If they drop points before you do, it's game on. Any chance they have European Games or Cup games etc?

We all knew Phillip Kraft would pop up again didn't we!
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Post by Redknapp69 »

• Mad 2nd half v Duisburg – sounds like they were Duracell bunnies!
• Keeper have a bad rating v HSV? Anyone warned in that game? Sounds like they should have been
• Kick in the balls v Dussel but good win over Leip and that’s the confidence that needs to be taken forward
• This feels a HUGE month where if ya don’t win league surely this could have fooked it
• Looks like Pauli had a good month
• Good game v Leip from Kunze but he aint pulling up any trees generally
• GD between you and Pauli is super tight as well – does it go on that or randonm H2H if tied?
• Do you play them again – don’t think you do – ah no you do not
• Will have to go some ti turn this around now. Are Pauli in cups/Europe which could fook ‘em over?
• That Bayern game feels ugly but decent run in otherwise. What’s Pauli’s like? Ah – Bayern and Leip – we have hope!
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

luke_21 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:38 pm Ah Hennes. How gutting. It's not quite over yet though. If they drop points before you do, it's game on. Any chance they have European Games or Cup games etc?

We all knew Phillip Kraft would pop up again didn't we!
St. Pauli were knocked out of the Europa League Qualifying Stage at the start of the season. They've reached the DFB Pokal Final, but that will take place a week after the Bundesliga season has ended.

You can imagine the sigh after Kraft scored!
Redknapp69 wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:23 am • Mad 2nd half v Duisburg – sounds like they were Duracell bunnies!
• Keeper have a bad rating v HSV? Anyone warned in that game? Sounds like they should have been
• Kick in the balls v Dussel but good win over Leip and that’s the confidence that needs to be taken forward
• This feels a HUGE month where if ya don’t win league surely this could have fooked it
• Looks like Pauli had a good month
• Good game v Leip from Kunze but he aint pulling up any trees generally
• GD between you and Pauli is super tight as well – does it go on that or randonm H2H if tied?
• Do you play them again – don’t think you do – ah no you do not
• Will have to go some ti turn this around now. Are Pauli in cups/Europe which could fook ‘em over?
• That Bayern game feels ugly but decent run in otherwise. What’s Pauli’s like? Ah – Bayern and Leip – we have hope!
Jonathan Kehl got a 5 against Hamburg. The rest got 6 or 7, and one player got an 8. I don't fine players for poor performance. I think that dropping them is enough of a punishment.

Kevin Kunze. Good on his day, but doesn't do enough to stay in the side.

I'm not actually sure what will happen if points are tied. We have the better h2h though.

We could do with a repeat of last season's 4-2 win at Bayern!
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May 2049

Post by Libertine73 »

Results

Bun: FC Köln 1 Augsburg 1
Bun: FC Bayern 0 FC Köln 2
Bun: FC Köln 3 Wolfsburg 0
Bun: Bielefeld 2 FC Köln 1





Match Summaries

After St. Pauli won on the day before to go 7 points clear, we could only reduce the gap to 6 points, with a 1-1 draw at home to 13th place Augsburg.

We dominated the first half, and were able to create a reasonable amount of chances, despite the visitor's defensive, counter attacking tactics. The Augsburg keeper saved a couple of good efforts from David Mayer and Lukas Schulz. We were unlucky not to be in front at half time.

The second half was much closer, and by the 70th minute, I felt that we'd ran out of steam. I made a double substitution. Alexander Kraft came on for left midfielder Paul Wittek, and I took off right midfielder Kevin Kunze for James Coates. The Welsh wizard played behind the front two, with attacking midfielder David Mayer dropping deeper into midfield, and midfielder Lukas Kersken shuffling across to right midfield.

This had an almost immediate impact. Coates played the ball to central defender Paul Schmid, who moved forward then sent it into the area for club captain Kersken to head us into a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, Schulz had a chance to double our lead, but the Augsburg keeper thwarted us again. Failing to get that crucial second goal proved costly, as in the 87th minute, former Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Stefan Staudigl headed in the equaliser.

Paul Schmid had an outstanding game on the right hand side of our back three. He won an incredible 14 tackles to go with his assist. This earned him a 10 rating, and the Man of the Match award in a game that we were very unlucky not to win.

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Our next game was a hard fought 2-0 win at Bayern. We dominated the opening proceedings. In the 3rd minute, attacking midfielder James Coates got on the end of a Lukas Kersken corner, to give us a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, creative midfielder Clément Thuram found Coates with a good ball. The Welsh wizard got into the box, and hit a shot. His effort could only be parried, and he was first to the rebound, to smash us into a 2-0 lead.

This woke Bayern up, and we came under considerable pressure. I took forward runs off of everyone but my strike duo, and eventually had a reshuffle, and switched to the flat 352 formation, in an attempt to contain our hosts. That change, along with the impressive Nils Borowski making a handful of good saves, meant that we were able to see out the win.

The two goals from James Coates - playing behind the front two - earned him a 10 rating, and the Man of the Match award. Meanwhile, St. Pauli could only draw at RB Leipzig, so the gap at the top has been reduced to 4 points, with just 2 games remaining.

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Our penultimate game of the season was a 3-0 win over mid table Wolfsburg. We were the better side in the first half, but went in goalless at half time. We persevered though, and in the 62nd minute attacking midfielder James Coates played the ball to Clément Thuram. The France under 21 midfielder ran towards the corner flag, then crossed the ball to the near post, for right midfielder Lukas Kersken - who cleverly moved into the space - to head us into a 1-0 lead.

Twelve minutes later, central defender Janik Baumann nodded the ball to Thuram, who moved forward, got into the box, then drove in a low shot to make it 2-0. We made sure of the points in the 87th minute, when club captain Kersken played the ball to Coates. The Welsh wizard got into the area, went past an opponent, then smashed us into a 3-0 lead which completed the scoring.

Clément Thuram's brilliant midfield performance earned him the Man of the Match award. Meanwhile, St. Pauli clinched the title with a game to spare, by beating Augsburg. We can't finish any lower than 2nd place after Düsseldorf and Borussia Mönchengladbach drew both of their fixtures.

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I sent out an XI of fringe players for our final game of the season, as we could finish no higher or lower than 2nd. We lost 1-2 at mid table Bielefeld. The hosts dominated the opening proceedings, and took an early lead through former FC Köln midfielder Daniel Langner. We fell further behind in the 62nd minute, before substitute Pascal Rüdiger pulled one back in the 69th minute.

The scoreline was closer than the performance. Goalkeeper David Sievers prevented Bielefeld from inflicting a heavier defeat upon us.

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End of Season Bundesliga Table

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Summary of the Season

The first three months of the season saw Bayern have a blistering start, which saw them win each of their opening eight games. The likes of ourselves, St. Pauli, and RB Leipzig had decent starts, and were hanging on to their coat tails. I rested my key players when we played in the Champions League. This had an adverse effect, and we failed to qualify for the second phase.

Bayern had a spectacular start, but their collapse was even more spectacular. By Christmas, St. Pauli were top, but the title race was wide open. RB Leipzig put together a thirteen game unbeaten run, that saw them top the table by the end of January, and a win for us over St. Pauli saw us move into 2nd place. February saw RB Leipzig have a similar slump to Bayern, and we went top after beating reigning champions Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Being leaders didn't suit us much either, and we struggled for consistency. St. Pauli remained fairly steady, and by the end of March they were level on points with us. April was tough. We took just one point from games against Duisburg and Hamburg, who both went on to get relegated. We also lost at home to Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, St. Pauli held their nerve, and were four points clear of us by the end of the month. They remained steady throughout May, to claim their second title in the past four seasons.





Conclusion

I have mixed feelings about this season. Those five points that we dropped against Duisburg and Hamburg at the start of April, proved to be our undoing. I suppose all clubs look at games where they drop points though, and say if we'd have won this, we'd have finished in that position. My belief is that we couldn't cope with the pressure. I also believe that this squad will use this disappointment, and the realisation of a missed opportunity, to drive them on to provide an even greater challenge next season.

By finishing in 2nd place, we have matched our finish in 2042, which was my first full season in charge. This season has seen us post our best points total, along with our most wins, and most goals. More importantly, this season I've felt like we were contenders. I believe that we are gradually moving closer to our final goal, which is to win the title.

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Thoughts naturally turn to next season. Losing Paul Schmid will be a blow. In my opinion, he is the best defender in the Bundesliga. I hope that between Sebastian Bühler, Janik Baumann, Thomas Bade, Rico Sonnenberg, and Finn Khedira, we will remain solid enough to compete for the title.

The big improvement in our goalscoring is very encouraging. I believe that the best is yet to come from David Mayer, James Coates, Clément Thuram, and Nils John. David is one year into a six year contract, and the other three have all just signed contract extensions.

If those four can raise their games even further, I'm hoping that our attacking prowess will mean significantly more goals, which I'm hoping will turn us into the kind of winning machine that blows everyone away next season. Bold aspirations I know, but I believe we are capable of doing this.




Other News

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Our conquerors in the Europa League, Atlético Madrid, went on to win the tournament, whilst Napoli have won the big prize.

Meanwhile, St. Pauli made it a Bundesliga/DFB Pokal double by beating RB Leipzig in the final.

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When we play Viktoria Köln next season, they'll be a familiar name in the opposite dugout.

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My association with Benedikt Langer goes back twenty years to 2029, when I signed him for Viktoria Köln when he was just 16 years old. His first season there was my last season, and he helped me sign off with the Europa League/DFB Pokal double in 2030.

In January 2032, Langer was 19, I was at Borussia Mönchengladbach, and I signed him for a second time. (Incidentally, I also signed Luciano Vega in the same window). During Benedikt's time at Gladbach, he was named German Player of the Year six times, and twice finished as top scorer in the Champions League. He also helped the club win eight consecutive Bundesliga titles during our time together, along with winning four Champions League Finals.

Benedikt hung up his boots at the relatively young age of 32. Several months later, he became the manager of 3.Liga side Paderborn. He helped them win promotion to the 2.Bundesliga, then consolidate their position with a mid table finish. He then went to fellow second tier side, Kaiserslauten, and has just helped them win promotion to the Bundesliga, as league winners.

I remember him having brilliant aerial ability, movement, and determination. I'll compile a Hall of Fame when this save eventually finishes. Benedikt will most definitely be in it.





Next Update

I'll go through what our key players have achieved this season.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Kingsley »

Not a great run in and that cost you. To be fair, you had started to wobble before the Duisburg/HSV debacle.
All you can do is dust your self down and come back stronger next year.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

Frustrating v AUgsburg

Ugly loss v Bielfeld

That months where you had a shocker deffo put pay to it. Best chance yet

But as you say I think you can "go again" this year. Your CL selection will be interesting. Again I'd say bin it but you don't want to keep not qualifying through group stage

Shame Schmid is going - indeed a blow

Good 'ol Benedict!
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

Redknapp69 wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:44 pm
But as you say I think you can "go again" this year. Your CL selection will be interesting. Again I'd say bin it but you don't want to keep not qualifying through group stage
Good point about CL. I agree that it won't be good for the club's stature to fail to qualify for the second phase for a second year in a row. At the same time, the key players under the age of 22, Bühler/Khedira/Thuram/Mayer/Coates/John will need to be protected from exhaustion, so I'll probably rest those for 1st phase games next season.

The likes of Borowski/Sonnenberg/Baumann/Kersken/(Alexander)Kraft/Schulz/Neumann are now in their mid to late twenties, so should be able to cope with plenty of games. The problem with those senior players though, is that - with the exception of Kersken - they haven't really established themselves as first team regulars. They will be in the side on the opening day of next season, as they helped us get 10 points from 4 games after the Düsseldorf defeat in April, but they'll need to be - in many cases - punching above their attributes to remain in the side.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by luke_21 »

Ahh the 4 wins in May you wanted would have won the title. But like you said, you could say that about any 2 games.

Those young attackers will only improve, Thuram is much better than I remembered! But losing Schmid is a big blow.

Langer is a legend!
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Key Players 2048-49

Post by Libertine73 »

There have been a number of important players this season. Even though I dropped Jonathan Kehl twice last season, he still had the second highest average rating in the Bundesliga for a goalkeeper.

Versatile club captain Lukas Kersken played in six different positions for us. He did a steady job in all of them, though he was particularly good as a right back.

Sascha Kunze did a steady job down the left, whether it was as a full back, a wingback, or a wide midfielder. This only lasted until we went top in February though. He, like Kehl, seemed to struggle with the pressure of being leaders.

The same applies to midfielder Arne Ziege, who for for the first six months of the season was a great all round midfielder, winning tackles, scoring goals, and providing assists.

Other players have shown glimpses of what they are capable of, over a smaller amount of games. Seventeen year old central defender Sebastian Bühler forced his way into the side, and stayed there with some commanding displays, until an injury put him out for the last few months of the season.

Young midfielder Clément Thuram was able to take advantage of Ziege being dropped, with some good displays. Nils John did well once he got going, though he struggled to sustain it, and striker Lukas Schulz had a decent goalscoring ratio.

Our best players though, we're these three.




Paul Schmid

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Once again, Paul has been one of the best defenders, if not the best defender in the Bundesliga. Many would argue that he is our best and most important player. He's the main reason why we had the best defensive record in the division last season. We'll miss him next season, but I'll talk more about that when I do next season's preview update.

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James Coates

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James remains one of our most dangerous players. He played in a few different positions last season. As an out an out striker, James wasn't prolific enough, but I'm not giving up on the idea that he could turn out to score plenty in that role.

His best performances were behind the front two. He finished the season well.

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James was one of the more creative players in the Bundesliga. If we win the title next season, he'll need to be even higher on that chart.

I'm pleased that he's signed an extension to his contract. James did want a buyout clause, so I guess he sees his long-term future elsewhere. On this occasion though, he's agreed new terms without any clauses.

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David Mayer

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David has been the best goalscoring midfielder in the Bundesliga this season.

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I've played him in three different positions this season. The centre of a flat midfield duo, the middle of the three advanced midfielders in the 4132 formation, or behind the front two in the 352 attacking formation. Wherever he's played, he has done a great job.

In my opinion, along with the fans, David has been our best player this season. He's one year into a six year contract, so I'm glad that he's happy here, and appears to see his long-term future at this club.

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Other News

The last few seasons have gone well. We've either won trophies, or finished in the top three. This is reflected in our average attendance.

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The board have finally agreed to my repeated requests to increase our capacity.

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Next Update

I'll give you details about squad changes, which at this stage are mostly departures.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by luke_21 »

Outstanding tackle count for Schmid! Hope he isn't off to a rival?

Coates and Mayer are amazing. Quite similar in their attacking attributes.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

Some capacity now!

Some incredible young talent you have but Schmid going is a huge loss
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Libertine73 »

luke_21 wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:10 pm Outstanding tackle count for Schmid! Hope he isn't off to a rival?

Coates and Mayer are amazing. Quite similar in their attacking attributes.
Redknapp69 wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:16 pm Some capacity now!

Some incredible young talent you have but Schmid going is a huge loss
Schmid will be going to this season's Champions League runners up Burnley. I'm pinning my hopes on Sebastian Bühler doing really well, so that we can absorb the loss.

I'm also hoping that Coates and Mayer become as good as Wouter Van Hyfte and Philip Kraft were in their final season for us. Mayer was pretty close to that, last season.
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Staff/Squad Changes Summer 2049

Post by Libertine73 »

Staff Changes

My Assistant Manager for the last four years, Markus Müller, has retired.

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To replace him, I've promoted Coach, Luca Voigt.

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Luca has been with us for four years. I promised to eventually promote him to the Assistant Manager job, when I brought him here in 2045. If he plays his cards right, he could end up replacing me. Hopefully in twelve months from now!

I've brought in a new Coach, Alexander Frankenberger, who arrives from 2.Bundesliga side Heidenheim.

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Alexander won't be here for long, but I'm hoping I won't be either. He's a bit of a character, and has been regaling our young players with stories about how he used to be in a band in his teenage years, and going on tour to support David Hasselhoff. The lads seem to love him. It's always good to freshen up the backroom staff every now and then.




Players Out

There's been six departures this summer. Fringe player Adrian Weiss was surplus to requirements, so he left on a free transfer to 2.Bundesliga side Halle. The Bosman transfer of Paul Schmid to Burnley also went through as planned.

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Paul was excellent in his five years here. In time, I think that he'll go on to be regarded as the best defender in the world. I wish him all the best at his new club, who were Champions League Finalists this year.

Our next departure was Jonas Kurz to recently relegated Duisburg for £9.75M.

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I signed Jonas in 2041 on a Bosman from Dortmund. He's been an important member of the squad for the past five seasons, but never showed enough consistency to start more than 20 games in any of his eight seasons here.

He wanted regular first team football, so with just one year left on his contract, I decided to cash in on him. Our next departure was Arne Ziege going to fellow Bundesliga side Nürnberg for £15M.

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I brought Arne here four years ago from Mainz for £5.75M. He steadily improved during his time here, and showed very good form for us last season, up until February. His form then dipped, so I eventually dropped him. By the end of the season, he had personal problems. This never ends well, so I decided it was best for him to make a fresh start elsewhere.

Following Arne to Nürnberg is fellow midfielder Stephan Mamba.

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I signed Stephan in the summer of 2042 for just £800K from Hertha Berlin. Nürnberg have paid £11M for him. His attributes significantly improved in his time here, but he never showed the kind of form that could make him anything other than a squad player. In fact, he was on the fringes of the first team squad for most of his time here. He had become unhappy, so I felt that it was time for him to move on.

Our final departure was Marco Engels going to cross city rivals Viktoria Köln on a Bosman.

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I brought Marco here in January 2043 from Nürnberg on a free transfer. There was one season that he played regularly, but he was unable to build on that, and seemed to be perpetually unhappy about one thing or another. Another that needed to move on.




Players In

We've made four new signings. The first is Lukas Dörfel arriving from Duisburg for £10.25M. This could increase by £2.5M if he goes on to win ten international caps.

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He could develop into a cultured defender, but I'm hoping that his vision and movement will mean that he'll be a good midfielder for us. I'll initially be using him in our first phase Champions League games. If he does well there, I expect him to provide competition to Clément Thuram, to partner David Mayer in midfield.

Our next arrival is Maurice Sirch from Belgian club Seraing for £8M.

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My Chief Scout Benjamin Ritzka believes that Maurice, along with all of this summer's signings, has potential. I'll give the young lad time to develop the positional side of his game, before he sees regular action, but long term, I see him eclipsing Janik Baumann and Thomas Bade, to play at the heart of the back three.

That aerial ability and strength make him ideal for that role, and he doesn't look like he's going to get outpaced by any speedy opposition strikers.

I've done a lot of business with Duisburg this summer, the latest being Dariusz Fiedler arriving for £22M, with a further £2M added on if he wins ten international caps.

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If his attacking attribute values improve as expected, we could have one hell of a player on our hands. I'll probably look to give him time to develop before giving him regular action.

The latest arrival is Ingo Friedrich from Bochum for £5M.

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Although he's listed as a right sided central defender, Benjamin assures me that Ingo is a full back. I've used the game's Player Comparison tool, and he looks just as comfortable playing at right back or right wingback, as he does as a central defender.

Again, he'll be given the time to develop his attribute values before he sees first team action.




Conclusion

The big departure is obviously Paul Schmid. This is not ideal when mounting a title challenge, but as I've said previously, I feel that we have enough quality at the back, to keep us amongst the more solid sides.

The other departures are mostly experienced squad players that have become unhappy. Arne Ziege having personal problems was a bit of a blow, as he had been on a good season-by-season upwards trajectory.

I like my new signings. None will walk straight into the first team, but they all look capable of becoming class acts for the club.




Next Update

This will be just before the start of the new season, and I'll provide details of our finances, expectations, and team news.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by luke_21 »

Good promotion for your new assistant manager and good to see the old boy who has come on to coach has a few stories!

None of the sales are too devastating, Schmid a blow of course but we knew about that. Shame about Ziege, but not much else you could do.

A good season of signings - first 3 in particular all look like they could be brilliant.
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Hennes Weisweiler: Part 4 - FC Köln (The Final Chapter)

Post by Redknapp69 »

• Nice Ass Man appointment
• On tour to support Hoff :lol: - The Hoff is actually married a girl from where I grew up that I kinda know!
• Christ – gutted Ziege gone – he’s immense but as you say, sometimes things go too far and maybe better for him and any potential squad harmony!
• Dorfel looks a beast DM and could do well in DC with some other improved att’s
• Sirch looks cracking for his age!
• Fiedler looks rather interesting
• Ingo has the look of a decent attacking FB
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