#TheJenaJourney – Season Three
Welcome back folks to my attempt at beating Paul to the Bundesliga with FC Carl Zeiss Jena. As you may now, I have been promoted twice in a row and find myself in 2.Bundesliga in my third season in charge. We got hammered first game of the season, 6-1, but then won our second and are heading into the cup against Nurnberg. This will be a short update today, as I have been doing quite a bit of Real (Time) Oviedo today.
I had decided to let the three young lads return to the youth team, the loan signings I brought in were to replace them as I felt it was a little too soon to be blooding them. Fox started at left back, Pezzin and (insert) on the bench along with the “new Ronaldo.”
Due to some brilliant help from this group by XYZ I was able to show the Jena faithful the news kits on the pitch for the very first time, which was almost as exciting as the match. 1-1 at full time meant the game went to extra-time. We hit the bar in the first period, a cracking move. They went down to ten men when their left back picked up his second yellow for peristently kicking Conde. We went for it in the second period and a cracking strike from Van Baast put us 2-1 up! We held on, we did it. For the first time in my Jena career we are in the Second Round of the German Cup. Now, Nurnberg are decent, so this result must not be downplayed. We look like we could do alright in this division, we really do.
The loan signings did well in the cup, and suddenly the first team squad looked useful – plus I knew that if we hit a run of injuries some of the kids in the youth team could step up and do a job. Next up was going to be a trip to Heidenheim. Sustersic, one of my pre-season signings for midfield, scored on debut so I had to decide between him and cult favourite Tino Schmidt, or Van Baast who had fired the winner. Decisions! I was also considering a slight tinkering in the player roles. My two central midfielders are set up as a CM/A (@jlaspey’s central winger theory) and a BBM/S. I love a roaming playmaker, and was considering using that role rather than the BBM. I might wait before making the change though.
I decided Tino had to play, so it was Van Baast that sat out the Heidenheim fixture. 1-1 at half time, we were playing well. It should have been 2-1 when Vito Lux laid it on a plate with the full works of veg, mash and gravy for Tino. Yet he managed to put it wide from ten yards. Gutted. They had one disallowed with ten to go, the linesman possibly got that one wrong. I’ll take the draw, I felt we played really well in spells and really should have won if Tino had hit the target.
The team that beat us to the title last season were next, Cottbus. We were unable to get one over them last season, and we matched them for the first half an hour. Then Tino completely lost his head and put in a horrendous two footed challenge on their lad and was sent off. They scored right away and we never recovered. A 2-0 defeat, even though we matched them for most of the game, saw us drop to 14th.
As I said, just a short update today due to a bit of Real (Time) Oviedo work that I needed to do – hopefully a longer update by Monday for you.