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Home: Ground Hopping & Programmes: International Hopping:
Germany 12-14 December

 



Veteran
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Dec 15, 2008, 7:59 PM

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Germany 12-14 December Can't Post or

With all the bad weather around it didn't seem all that good an idea to go to Northern Germany in mid December but as it happens we seem to have had better weather than the UK ! We took the opportunity to tick off three large grounds, although we had to have a late change of plans when Sachsen Leipzig moved to Sunday from the original Friday night (and for once that meant I avoided a nil-nil !)

Friday 12 Bundesliga 2 VfL Osnabruck 1 MSV Duisburg 1. Admission 24 Euros (seats which we booked in advance as they are sometimes not far off selling out). Crowd 14600. Brochure style programme free.

It looks as if the Osnatel Arena (nee Pipenbrock Stadion) has been substantially rebuilt but it still retains the character of a proper football ground. There are seated stands on both sides but substantial areas of Stehplatz (standing) at both ends and as these were both almost full there was a superb atmosphere. The home side have slipped of late and are not far above the relegation zone and it was no real surprise when Duisburg sprung the offside trap and scored atap in goal after 18 minutes. For the reaminder of the match, though, Osnabruck played with a lot of spirit and deserved thier equaliser just before the half hour mark. Despite several good chances neither side could firce a winner but not bad game at all on a cold but by no means b*ll*ck-freezingly so, night.

Saturday 13 Germany 3 Liga Eintracht Braunschweig 0 Jahn Regensburg 3. Admission 9.5 Euros (standing). Programme (again large A4 brochure style) 1.5 euros. Crowd 11850.

A very gloomy but dry day, with the temperature just little above freeezing and the forecast fog never arriving ! Another mainly modern stadium but with stands along two sides and a huge standing area at one end. The other end had a very small open standing area for away fans and looked a bit odd with the other three sides all covered and of uniform height, but this end is hemmed in by the adjacent VW factory so it doesn't look as if they can do much with it.

Another very good atmosphere at least until midway through the second half when relegation threatened Regensburg, who had looked the better side throughout, scored two goals in quick succession to add to their early lead and precipitated a mass exodus by home fans, especially from the stands. Mid table Braunschweig are clearly very erratic, having beaten a couple of the top six by 4-0 but then slumping to this surprise defeat. It is early days for the new third division, which doesn't seem to have acquired the obvious "Bundeliga 3" tag yet, but I have been not unimpressed by the standard of football in the couple of games I have seen in it this season.

Sunday 14 April Regionalliga Nord 1 FC Magdeburg 4 Chemnitzer FC 1. Admission 10.5 Euros (for a seat but almost everybody stood !). Programme - proper small size - 1.5 Euros. Crowd (quoted precisely unusually for Germany) 10733.

A beautiful winter's morning with a touch of frost but never enough to threaten the game, gave way to a partly cloudy but nonetheless pleasant afternoon. Totally modern stadium, almost all seated with the corners filled in and the stands all of uniform height, yet in its way quite impressive. There were two very small standing quadrants in the corners, although as I say a lot of the fans voted with their feet and stood up anyway !

Magdeburg were hoping nearest rivals Holstein Kiel slipped up (they didn't !) and that they could go top. After a fairly hesitant start they took the lead with a superb volley from a spinning mishit shot after a free kick just before the half hour and dominated after that. A burst of three goals in about 10 minutes up to the hour mark ( 2 just after a double substitution by the visitors) saw the game safe and Chemnitz's spirited late resistance did at least bring them a consolation goal from a dodgy penalty near the end.

Beraing in mind the Regionalligas are now only Level 4 and the standard tends to drop quite quickly in Germany from round about that level I again thought this was good game, which would compare well to its English equivalent level of say Div 2/Conference, and of course the crowd was very good. But the biggest blot on the German league landscape at this level is all those blasted reserve teams - it can't be right to have games at this level played in front of 77 spectators as Hertha Berlin II v Rostock II in this same division was yesterday .....


Chris1963
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Dec 16, 2008, 10:50 AM

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Re: [Veteran] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Three sides of Osnabruck's ground were actually rebuilt shortly before my visit in 1988 (one of my first German grounds) and the remaining side of open terracing was rebuilt only a couple of years ago. It speaks volumes for German craftmanship that three stands which were built over 20 years ago should still look fairly new today.


jrev61
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Dec 16, 2008, 7:21 PM

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Re: [Veteran] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

 

Sunday 14 April Regionalliga Nord 1 FC Magdeburg 4 Chemnitzer FC 1.

You failed to mention that this fixture was formerly a top division game in the old East German league. I believe Chemnitzer FC are the old FC Karl Marx Stadt. Both teams have also played in Europe.



jrev61


mick
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Dec 16, 2008, 8:48 PM

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Re: [Veteran] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In Reply To
Friday 12 Bundesliga 2 VfL Osnabruck 1 MSV Duisburg 1. Admission 24 Euros (seats which we booked in advance as they are sometimes not far off selling out). Crowd 14600. Brochure style programme free.

It looks as if the Osnatel Arena (nee Pipenbrock Stadion) has been substantially rebuilt but it still retains the character of a proper football ground.



When I visited in 1977 it was known simply as the Stadion-Bremer Brücke. Herr Piepenbrock was a president of VfL, but I am not sure when his name officially became part of the ground title as in 'Piepenbrockstadion an der Bremer Brücke'. Good to hear it still retains its character after rebuilding as an 'Arena'Shocked


StephenHarris
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Dec 17, 2008, 12:28 PM

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Re: [jrev61] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

Sunday 14 April Regionalliga Nord 1 FC Magdeburg 4 Chemnitzer FC 1.

You failed to mention that this fixture was formerly a top division game in the old East German league. I believe Chemnitzer FC are the old FC Karl Marx Stadt. Both teams have also played in Europe.



They still are FC Karl Marx Stadt so far as most of the crowd are concerned. When I went there in 2004 the home end supporters stood behind a large banner which said "Not Chemnitzer but FC Karl Marx Stadt". Also when you arrive at Chemnitz Hauptbahnhof they word Chemnitz is obliterated on most of the platform signs. There seems to be quite a movement in the east to return to the old DDR club names. Lokomotive Leipzig have done so after a spell in the 90s as 1FC Leipzig, so have Dynamo Berlin after being FC Berlin for a while. Many Sachsen Leipzig supporters wear scarves saying Chemie Leipzig. Similarly at Halle etc...


mick
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Dec 17, 2008, 1:18 PM

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Re: [StephenHarris] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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They still are FC Karl Marx Stadt so far as most of the crowd are concerned. When I went there in 2004 the home end supporters stood behind a large banner which said "Not Chemnitzer but FC Karl Marx Stadt". Also when you arrive at Chemnitz Hauptbahnhof they word Chemnitz is obliterated on most of the platform signs. There seems to be quite a movement in the east to return to the old DDR club names. Lokomotive Leipzig have done so after a spell in the 90s as 1FC Leipzig, so have Dynamo Berlin after being FC Berlin for a while. Many Sachsen Leipzig supporters wear scarves saying Chemie Leipzig. Similarly at Halle etc...


Yes, the favourite chant at Erzgebirge Aue was 'Wismut' and most fans wore Wismut and/or DDR insignia.


Chris1963
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Dec 17, 2008, 2:39 PM

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Re: [mick] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

An important point here - what were the original names of these clubs before the Communists took over after WW2? And surely the supporters should be demanding a return to these names, whatever they were? After all, Communism is hardly popular there nowadays is it? I am amazed that anyone should want to support a club named after Karl Marx.


mick
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Dec 17, 2008, 4:19 PM

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Re: [Chris1963] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Most people who are attending football matches will have been born since 1950 and will have grown up with the DDR names. Why should they be demanding a return to earlier names? Also, you may be surprised how much support there is for some of the old DDR ways in many parts of Eastern Germany.


leohoenig
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Dec 17, 2008, 4:59 PM

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Re: [Chris1963] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

It appears that both Aue and Chemnitz only date back to the communist period. Incidentally, there was a period when Aue were known as Wismut Karl-Marx Stadt, but they never relocated to KMS!

When I went to Aue, there were signs of support for Wismut, but not for KMS at Chemnitz. However, it would not be a surprise if the East of Germany is suffering worse than the west in the current recession, and this is likely to give rise to more nostalgia for the old days.

I cannot imagine much desire for the old days of Dynamo Berlin - universally hated as the Stasi club - they did win things. www.abseits-soccer.com does not show them having a pre-communist history either

Berlin's army club, Vorwaerts, were moved to Frankfurt/Oder in order to relieve the rivalry on Dynamo Berlin. There is some history of the old club in the clubhouse there - the club is now called Victoria, but I saw no demand for a change - tiny crowds now.



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



pinnnerwolf
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Dec 18, 2008, 9:21 AM

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Re: [leohoenig] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Oostalgie they call it in eastern Germany. Of course all the eastern bloc countries look back at the state controlled societies they lived in through rose tinted specs. They had certainties - work, accommodation, low costs that are less concrete now.

Furthermore the DDR was probably the most prosperous of the bloc countries and their citizens were great travellers though of course only in a eastern direction. The re-unification of german football did few favours to the former giants of the DDR - only two teams joined Bundesliga 1 and I suspect many fans do hark back to the days when they were a big fish in a little pond. In those days players couldn't play abroad until they were 28 (or at least that was the rule in Jugoslavia) so the standard of the teams remained at a high level.

As can be seen in both Russia and former Jugoslavia democracy only works when people are ready to embrace it and accept there are winners and losers in such a system.

As always football reflects the society in which it operates and it will take Eastern bloc countries a generation before their football infrastructure catches up with the west


Chris1963
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Dec 18, 2008, 4:20 PM

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Re: [pinnnerwolf] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Hats off to Mick, Leo and PinnerWolf for their excellent points.


colpic
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Dec 18, 2008, 5:14 PM

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Re: [Chris1963] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Not only was the overall standard of football in East Germany higher in those days for reasons previously mentioned, but there was also regular European football to aim at. I remember seeing Lokomotiv Leipzig playing at Molineux in the early 70s. Wolves were 3-0 down after the first leg, but in the home match they took a 2-0 lead, then conceded leaving them having to score 5 to go through. they got two more to make it 4-1 but couldn't get the last one. Great night at the 'old' Molineux.



Where's the 'ignore this poster' button?


StephenHarris
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Dec 18, 2008, 5:30 PM

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Re: [colpic] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I have a similar memory - Arsenal vs Lok Leipzig in the UEFA Cup at Highbury in 1978. A "Crack Eastern European Side" (copyright David Coleman) if ever I saw one. The Gunners won 3-0, but my schoolmates and I were fascinated by Leipzig's small group of supporters sat together in the west stand. Real live 'commies', here in London, we thought. Very exotic. It was many years before I first visited Leipzig and started to learn about the reality.


Chris1963
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Dec 19, 2008, 9:47 AM

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Re: [StephenHarris] Germany 12-14 December [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

   
I saw Magdeburg play at Arsenal in the ECWC during the school half-term holiday in Oct 1979 - it was my first ever big European game, if you don't count Barnet v. Casale in the Anglo-Italian Trophy in April 1979 - and I don't recall seeing any visiting fans there. I don't remember much else about it apart from the fact that I lost my programme on the bus home after the game! (I did get a replacement copy in mint condition from a dealer some years later.)

 
 


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