Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by coingoal, Nov 29, 2004.
Kick Wuppertal's ass!!!
Hello football fans,
I have read the discussion here, together with Ryans comments, with great interest. As Ryan cant (and shouldn’t) voice his deepest opinions here, I feel I should fill all of you in with the situation. I am 24 and probably the only English “Unioner” in the stadium every week.
Just three years ago Union Berlin were playing in the UEFA Cup against Litex Lovetch, having finished runners up (as an amateur team!) in the German cup. We had players of quality, Brazilians, Bulgarians and Nigerians…
Just two years later (last season) we were relegated from the second division after a nightmare change of trainer and poor management of finances. The players we had last year were talented, but greedy, selfish and ultimately not “Union” (with a couple of exceptions).
As the gulf in wages between the second division and the regional leagues exists we had only 3 players left to start the new season…the rebuilding work brought the squad together, a mixture of youth and older players not playing regularly from the same league and second division.
At first this seemed to work, we went one up against the Hertha Amateurs in the first game and controlled the match…then we conceded an equaliser with the last kick of the game. After 3 more games with two wins we were OK towards the middle of the table. Since then it has all been downhill (8 games lost in a row)…due to the following reasons.
1. Our right-back, one of the best players in the current squad (Ismael Bouzid) broke his arm
2. Our talisman winger (Martin Hauswald) fell ill and has not been the same since
3. No defence
4. Crisis of confidence for the goalkeeper
5. No progression from defence to attack
6. Young players getting disillusioned
7. No team spirit through 20 new players playing together for the first time
Fortunately, we have Ryan (not saying this because he may read this) up front at least. There is always a chance of a goal from him. We gave him the nickname “Torminator” (Tor is goal in German). His goal last week was the best of the season so far by a long way.
Sadly he gets no support whatsoever, our players argue amongst themselves, which seriously annoys the fans (this is not the Union way). His goals are mostly from poaching situations rather than from great build up play.
It saddens me to say it, but I guess Ryan will be on his way, if not in the winter break then at the end of the season, as relegation is a near certainty. A goalgetter like him will be in demand around here.
The violence surrounding the match this week was borne out of frustration and carried out by the idiot minority. Of course everyone is annoyed, but only a few take it out on others. In addition (Ryan didn’t say this), but his partner in attack (a Brazilian called Emerson) went mental at the manager and has been suspended. At times this partnership looked OK, but communication up front looked at times nonexistent.
I have suggested in the Union forum that we throw the whole team except Ryan and a few others out and replace them with youth, but this hasn’t gone down well.
Today we are playing away…the lotto jackpot today is 21 Million Euros and I think I have a better chance of winning that than union have of winning today.
Oh, and so this doesn’t descend to a love-in, I can criticise Ryan too…he got sent off and banned for some games for abusing the referee in a meaningless cup game. We missed him so much during this time it was unbelievable! In addition he goes down under pressure too easily for a big guy, of course referees will be looking for a scapegoat and book him (as on Wednesday).. To Ryan…please don’t be disillusioned, we need you now more than ever.
Still, we will fight to the end…we hope the players will too! I wish Ryan all the best for now and the future, and will keep tabs on him most definitely when he leaves. Hope this has been interesting for the rest of you and also for the Torminator.
All the best Ryan…und niemals vergessen, EISERN UNION!
Mark, welcome aboard. I have been to a couple games myself. I think part of the problem is the fans, quite honestly. No one doubts the loyalty, but they have far too much say in what happens, in terms of management.
As far as Ryan going down too often, if you are a target forward, the only guy who can score on the team, and only recieve Hail Mary crosses, you better believe you are going to be the target of a lot of abuse in a 3rd division league with very poor officiating.
Also, were you at the match where he was given the red card?
So besides poor management, does the team have no money?
I'm not so sure that the fans have too much power at Union, on the boards we always say that the highest paid person at the club isnt a footballer! The fans are used to having a hard time, this goes way back to before the wall came down, when Union were seen as the rebel club against BFC Dynamo (the ex-Stasi club for those who dont know)...at the moment we wouldnt care if we won or lost (even last week), but it is the WAY which we lose (little passion or pride) which annoys the fans to breaking point.
As we sing all too regularly "Wir sind Unioner und Ihr nicht!" (We are Unionioner and you (players) arent!
The fact with Ryan going down too easily isnt really a problem with the refs, he should know that he wont get anything out of them and has a better chance if he tries harder to stay on his feet.
I wasnt there at the cup match, as far as I remember it was a 50-50 Tackle and the other player shoved Ryan. He shoved him in the face back and the player then went down as if he had been shot. OK, could be a red...but then to abuse the referee and get an additional 5 match ban is just stupid IMHO...
Oh and Panicfc, we are between 9 and 15 Million Euros in debt and are relying on our backer (cinema guru) not to pull out...otherwise its bankruptcy and starting in the amateur leagues.
For those interested its 0-0 at the moment in the match between Wuppertal and Union, Ryan had a good chance but went down in the area under pressure (ahem!)
Just had the final whistle. Lost 1-0 to Wuppertal, red card for Thomas Boden on his birthday (!) and Wolfsburg won, which means we are bottom of the table over Christmas.
Well, Merry Christmas everyone!!
Well, this frenchman had been one of the best until that accident, but since he's no more than a helper for the opponent's attack.
Poor management? That's for sure! Signing a new striker that they talk of as the saviour, an awful mistake. After 7 games in which he was allowed to show his limited abilities he's suspended now for offending the (ex-) coach. If the fans had anything to say in my club, we/I couldn't make worse and more mistakes...
We're at the bottom of the table, thank god this year's over.
Can you tell me how Tom Schnider is doing?
Tom hasnt had a very big chance this year, only one half of a cup game and 1 minute after coming on as substitute in the league. Hopefully he will get a bigger chance if we find a trainer willing to give youth a chance.
He still states that his best win was against North Texas, if this is of interest.
What's the kid's story? German who spend a few years at school in the States or something?
Used to host the Late Late Show before Kilborn.
Eisernunion, thanks for the analysis. That was great stuff.
To Berlin Unioners,
Keep us in the US on top the moves to pull the team forward. Is there a chance both legally and financialy to change the dynamic of Union during the WINTER BREAK? Both offense and defence must be addressed.
I have a general question for Ryan or anyone else who is familiar with both US sub-MLS pro soccer and the 3rd division in Germany.
My question is, how does the quality of play, talent level etc. in the 3rd division in Germany compare to the PDL or USL or A-league in the states? I have a bunch of friends (former club teammates) who play in the PDL around the country and in the USL and I'm just wondering whether any of these guys could play in the 3rd division in Germany if they are among the best or are the best on their teams. One friend went to Germany (I am forgetting the division, but it may very well be the 3rd...it was not an amateur team but was lower division) and couldn't get his visa or something so only got to train for a couple months last summer. He said the team was about the same talent level as his PDL team was, but his PDL team was one of the better in the US.
Well, winter pause is here. I fly back to the US in two days and I am counting the hours.
We finished in dead last, which is a first time experience for me. I was sitting here thinking about my carrer from youth to now, and I have never been on a team that didn't win a championship. I guess we all get the ups and downs at some point in time.
Union is currently looking for a new coach, since the first was fired and the second quit. It should be interesting to come back to Berlin and begin trainings camp with another coach and style. It can only get better from here. But for now, no more soccer on the brain for a while.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Your post is very interesting. There is no way to simply classify the 3rd div here as any level other than 3rd div germany. There are teams here that would struggle in the A-League and teams that would wipe the floor with some MLS teams. Why? Money. Some clubs have it and some don't. Some teams with promotion plans pay players about 8,000 Euros a month. They are filled with up and coming talent as well as ex-Bundesliga stars. These teams have a higher budget than many MLS teams. However, you also have teams that simply stink. They don't have much money or the players.
As far as PDL players coming over, why the heck not give it a try. I did. I played 2 seasons ago for the Orange County Blue Star. We won our conference and advanced to the National Semi's. I had something like 14-15 goals in 18 games. You can measure that against my 8 here in 17 games. I personally think the level of play in PDL is about 5th-4th Div Germany. However, that does not mean that the good players from PDL wouldn't do quite well in a higher league such as 3rd Germany or MLS. My advice is that if a player has the heart, the talent, and the drive, he can find a way to make a living playing soccer. The lower divs in Germany are not a bad option.
Work permits shouldn't be a problem for US players.
As your team is currently last in B3, I wonder which teams you are referring to.
One last thing, this situation with the red card. I was blocked for 3 games. The player on the other team was digging his fingers into my skin on my leg while he was laying down in the ground. I simply pushed him off of me. The ref was not even paying attn cus the ball went out of bounds. Then all of a sudden, the player was screaming bloody murder, I turned around to see what happened (cus I had already run away) to find him holding his eye and crying. I was so confused!!!
Then the ref came over to me and gave me a red card. I was still confused. I asked him what for and he said I had elbowed him in the face. My natural response was "are you kidding me, are you blind?
for that situation and my insulting him with my question I missed 3 games.
I wish it never happened, I have learned from it, and at the moment I am laughing while I write this because it was something out of a comic book about bad refs!!!
***My club didn't even fine me (which is normal for yellow and red cards) because it was such a joke of a situation.
less that 48 hours and counting
Hey Ryan, is there no hope of video replay? I am shocked that a German ref would have such authoritarian mindset.
Live here a while and and you wouldn't be so shocked!!! Oh wait, were you being sarcastic?
We watched the video as a team. We all started laughing, too bad I had to miss the games.
Even when they are blind, they are always correct. One thing that does suck is that we always get the worst refs in the Cup games against the lower div teams. They are always too young and trying to prove themselves or something.
If it was that obvious, couldn't you send the tape to the league's disciplinary committee and at least get the ban reduced?
Ryan- I would like to be your new trainer/manager.
My strategy is simply to do everything we can to get you goals. You wind up #1 goal scoring sensation this year (although Union loses 10-6 every game) and some BL team offers $10m for you.
You go, I stay.
I take that $10m and a 4th division team...and I am back in BL2 within 2 years.
OK.....maybe I need $20m for you. Maybe the scores have to be 15-10?
You win. I win. The club wins. Call me
3 Simple Things
1) We tried that. The fact is that in my question of asking him if he is blind, I insulted him. End of story.
2) If every bad decision was allowed to be questioned, the games would never get solved, cus refs always mess up.
3) That is such an American mindset. To us, everything is always up for challenge or negotiation. Not so here, even though I wish it were.
IIRC, wasn't Klinsman involved with that Orange County club. If so, did Klinsmin give you advice or offer any assistance on going to Germany?
Thanks Ryan, for telling us your side of the story. Up in the stands it was hard to make out what happened!
Also as defence, in the early rounds Union played against amateur sides with a strong ethnic (turkish, croatian) basis. These boys are totally up for a ruck...must be hard for the pros to take. And also the refs in this cup are not in any way pro, they are the amateur refs who belong to a local club and berlin district (as opposed to the better refs who go nationwide)
It still remains a shame that you were banned though...the force up front was definitely lost.
I wonder who youll get as a strike partner now that Emerson is on his way...probably Roman??
Wish you a good trip...relax, enjoy christmas and come back firing. As I said, Union needs you more than ever.