Welcome back to another season review with Magdeburg. After last season’s narrow miss on immediate promotion back to the Bundesliga this season takes on even more importance. My aims and objectives for this portion of save has completely gone out of the window. Remember back to my opening post when I joined Magdeburg? Well I said by Season 7 I wanted to be challenging for the Bundesliga, as I enter that season we are now just about challenging for promotion to that League!
This season has had some massive ups and some shocking downs and it ends with one major huge decision to make! #teaser
The season kicks off and morale is high, we’ve been on a fantastic pre-season campaign, beating Milan and Espanyol 2-0 which really has given me massive hope, but those hopes were dashed rather quickly! First up we faced a home game against recently relegated Freiburg, it ended in a 4-0 loss! Dreadful. I’d decided to switch this season to a more solid 41221 from my 4231 I’d played last season. This was switched from a 352 I was using in our promotion season 3 seasons ago.
I stuck with it and in the next two games we gained maximum points but it was a lot tougher than it sounds. The second of these games was a 6-3 win over Duisburg. At half time we sat 2-0 down and I threw the 41221 out of the window and switched back to the 352. It worked a treated as we hammered them in the second half.
In this game we saw a goal for Turkish defender Kucuk who was signed last season, this ticked of Turkey from the challenge. There was also a MOTM performance from new signing Mario, the Lithuanian midfielder came in during the Summer on a free transfer and he looks incredible.
The month then ended with another poor result, a defeat to Darmstadt. The only shining light in this game was a goal and MOTM award for on-loan Russian Striker Zaur Zimin who, even in defeat, played really well.
We started the month with three straight wins, this included a win over Hamburg in their own park. In the third and final game of this run we saw a miracle. A stunning performance from the Faroese Striker Ari Rasmussen who scored both goals and won the MOTM award which ticked off the Faroe Islands off the challenge! Amazing.
The month then ended in farcical style as we got absolutely battered 5-2 by Mainz!
So a decent month but the defeat at the end tainted it. We currently sat in 5th place.
A 1-0 win over Paderborn started the month with a Mario screamer in the 85 minute to win the game (which ticked Lithuania off), it looked like a decent start but then the cracks started to show.
We had ended the month somehow unbeaten in the League but we had won 1, drew 3 with our solitary loss a 3-0 cup defeat against Nurnberg!
There was one thing that I was noticing more and more often and that was injuries. RW Wagner was out for 5 weeks, LW Wittke also out for 5 weeks. RB Valsson had already been out for the first 3 months and Striker Michel was getting injured more often than not.
We were also getting more and more players complaining about lack of game-time, but a chat with them seemed to dampen the complaints.
A quiet month in terms of games. We started off with a 0-0 draw away to Union Berlin, a game in which we had 3 shots on goal all game, this was followed up with a 2-1 defeat to 1860 Munich who were currently the runaway League leaders.
We did end the month with a glimmer of light. A 2-0 win over Kasierslauten which included a goal for Summer signing, Sämäd Mämmädov a Left Back from Azerbaijan signed for £700k scoring his first goal for the club (no MOTM though). That win had lifted us back in contention, sitting in 4th only 1 point off the play-off spot and 4 points behind the automatic places.
We started the month with a solid 1-0 win over Karlsruhe, this saw a goal for Latvian defender Butriks and a MOTM which ticked Latvia off. I have to say a few words on this guy. Signed last season for £325k, he hadn’t played well and I expected him to leave, nothing happened until deadline day when 1860 Munich made a bid. We ended up selling him for £8.25m upfront with another £1.5m of add-ons and a loan back for the rest of this season. A stupidly crazy bid for a player I hadn’t really taken to. Anyway he gained me 3 points in this particular game!
Then as usual we fell apart once again, the final two games before the Winter break were both away and ended in incredibly poor defeats. There are no words for what is happened at the moment!
I won’t lie I cannot put my finger on what is going wrong. I’ve stated numerous factors already. The morale of the players is the lowest I’ve seen in my time here and also the board confidence is at it’s lowest as well. At the start of the season it was “Delighted”, it’s now “Satisfied”.
As we entered the Winter break we sat in 6th place and way off the promotion spots. It would take a run of epic proportions to go up this season.
We came back after the Winter break and I had made a big call. The squad needed strengthening and with £8.8m to spend (increased due to the Butriks sale) I decided to bring some new boys in. These would help me try and complete the “Parkin Challenge” as quick as possible. There were only 3 nations left who hadn’t played for me (Estonia, Moldova and Sweden) and another 1 nation who I didn’t have a player to help tick off a MOTM (Hungary). I managed to sign one from each which I will speak about during the monthly updates if they do whats needed.
We headed back into competitive action and it started well. A 1-0 win over Greuther Furth, the game settled by a bullet header from Summer signing Nikos Andreou, the Cypriot, signed from Thun for £750k hadn’t played well so far but scored and won MOTM and gained us a huge 3 points.
The month ended with a boring 0-0 draw against Duisburg.
A really poor month, only 1 win in 4 games which was against Hannover who sat above us. Other than that the results weren’t good. 2 draws and 1 defeat.
We did see one of our Winter signings score a goal and that was Estonian Striker Igor Komissarov who scored in the 2-1 defeat to Heidenheim, I had been looking at this guy for a while but his 6 for finishing put me off. He came in on a free transfer!
The poor run has really put pay to our promotion hopes as we had dropped all the way down to 8th place. The League was incredibly tight with us only 6 points behind the playoff spot with 10 games to go.
A new month and a change in fortunes! Somehow, from somewhere we beat 2nd placed Mainz 2-1 and in that was a quality display from one of the Winter signings, Moldovan Right Winger Vitaly Samoilov, a free transfer signing scored and won MOTM to tick off Moldova!
Then a second win as we beat Paderborn 1-0 and then miraculously a 3rd win!! This time a 3-0 win over Ingoldstadt, but the miracle didn’t end there. The 3-0 win was capped by a MOTM performance by a Winter signing, I decided to go out and buy another player from San Marino and boy did it pay off! Left Winger Manuele Tomasoni scoring two goals and gaining the MOTM award to tick off San Marino from the challenge!!
These wins put us back in contention for promotion, up to 4th and only 2 points off the automatic spots with 7 games left!
The month started slowly, a 0-0 draw against Braunschweig was followed by a disaster of a result, a 3-1 defeat to Dynamo Dresden who were runaway leaders. Then came a glimmer of light, a 2-0 win over Union Berlin which included a goal for Icelandic Right Back Valsson, he has gained a MOTM over 12 months ago but has only now scored his first goal which ticks Iceland off the challenge!
4 games to go and we were well in the race for promotion but we needed to get results, the next two games would decide everything. We faced 3rd place 1860 Munich and then 2nd place Kaiserslauten.
We went to 1860 and it did not go well. We had a lively start where we had a chance cleared off the line and then hit the woodwork, unfortunately we couldn’t keep it up and lost the game 2-1, this meant with 3 games left we sat 4 points off the playoff spot. The next game was all or nothing.
The game was settled by one goal and luckily for us the goal was scored by Estonian Striker Komissarov to give us 1-0 win and keep us in the promotion hunt. That goal also gained Komissarov MOTM ticking off Estonia from the challenge!
2 games to go, we were still in with a chance of going up but it looked tough. 3 points off the top 3 and a much worse goal difference meant we needed a miracle.
We were lucky that our remaining games were against teams way down in the League, away to 12th place Karlsruhe and finally home to 16th place Arminia Bielefeld. We have a chance but only a slim one.
The Karlsruhe game kicked off and just like that we folded like a pack of cards. I’ve never seen a team start as badly as this, 7 minutes in and we were 2-0 down. We tried to take the game to them, we had chance after chance but it took until the last minute of the game to eventually score, it wasn’t enough, we’d lost 2-1 and with that our hopes of promotion had gone.
We ended the season with a really good 3-0 win but it was too late.
5th place was just not good enough but seeing as at one point we were 8th it was a decent end of the season. Once again though I’ve failed in what I aimed to do.
Once again Intake player Oleg Wagner was by far my best player. 23 games played, 3 goals and 11 assists, he ended as the clubs young player of the year and is still the guy in pole position for the 300apps/100goals achievement. He’s currently on 111 appearances and 20 goals.
Midfielder Mario ended as the clubs player of the year, not bad for a free transfer signing! 25 starts, 4 goals and 3 assists and a string a solid quality performances
The Parkin Challenge
I’ve gotta say it’s been an amazing season with regards to this challenge and I’m now 98% complete!
Over the season we gained:
- Azerbaijan – Played/Goal
- Cyprus – Completed
- Estonia – Completed
- Faroe Islands – Completed
- Iceland – Completed
- Latvia – Completed
- Lithuania – Completed
- Moldova – Completed
- Russia – Completed
- San Marino – Completed
- Sweden – Played
- Turkey – Completed
I’m so close to completing this now. All I need is a goal and MOTM from Sweden and MOTM from Azerbaijan and Hungary!
The Big Decision
So as I mentioned at the start of this post I now have a major decision to make. This season has been one of the most frustrating and downright irritating seasons I’ve had so far. Now comes that decision, do I stick it out or do I leave? Now I know the purists around here would say stay and in a perfect world I’d stick it out here, push forward, go up, stay up, win the league and tick off all the achievements I need. I would say by now you can clearly see that it’s going to take a very long time to do that.
I’m at the end of Season 7 and by now I was expecting to be challenging for the Bundesliga, I will however be spending ANOTHER season in the second tier of Germany. One thing I have managed to do here is 99% complete the Parkin Challenge which means I can now move on from that and start improving the team without the concern about having to sign certain nations players.
The worry I have is that we are going backwards and the board aren’t being helpful with the lack of funds. Therefore player signings are going to be difficult to improve this squad enough to maintain a promotion challenge.
Then there’s the Achievements I have to do. There is absolutely no way, unless I get some serious luck that I’ll be topping the Worldwide HOF in the timeframe I have if I stay here.
Now to the dilemma..
I haven’t actively been looking for a job but as the season was coming to a close I have been offered a job which has really taken my fancy.
Newcastle United were the team, they had just ended 2nd in the Championship gaining promotion to the Premier League.
Now I know you may say “Newcastle, you won’t win anything quick there!” and in the short term you may be right but with £56m to spend, a massive stadium and a big club that I can move forward I fully expect us to be challenging for the cups quickly, European football soon and then big major competitions quicker than I would at Magdeburg.
Then on the other hand I love being at Magdeburg, I’ve grown an affinity to the players and do feel once we go up and stay up it won’t take too long to be pushing up the table.
So I’m going to leave this post on this massive cliff hanger.
As The Clash once said – Should I stay or should I go?
Well you’ll have to wait for the next post to find out my decision…
Howay The Lads! 😉