Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 2

Guten tag! That’s German for how do. In part 1, we discussed how it was a small miracle that Kaiserslautern won the 97/98 Bundesliga and then came up with a plan as to how I was going to replicate that success. The answer was seemingly Olaf Marschall.

After 9 games, we pick the season up with my new charges in 6th, hanging on to the coat tails of the top sides.

Table October

First off I’ve decided I need a centre back to strengthen out defensive resolve and at £1m I have identified Stephane Henchoz.

Henchoz signs

What I didn’t take into account, because I am a bonhead, is that Henchoz counts as a non-EU player because…Switzerland. This was a mistake, I admit that.

Alex Notman is finally back from his torn hamstring and he’s in for Ratinho, who is our for a few weeks. We still can’t defend but the ever reliable Marschall, with help from our young loanee, gets us over the line despite conceding twice in a minute.

cologne 3-5

Bochum. 3-0. Howard Finkel gets his first goal for the club and we’re loving life.

3-0 bochum

You don’t need him, ffs.

notman recalled

Cheers Alex. That leaves a whole in our team which young Reich will have to fill as we face Bayern in cup. The Pokal sounds less prestigous to be honest, but despite making it to half time at 1-1 once we are down to 10 men it’s a battering. Wave after wave and they just don’t stop. Henchoz is useless.

5-1 bayern

Thankfully Ratinho is back for the trip to Leverkusen, who are 6th but have 3 games in hand. If they win them all, they would be top. But we put a stop to that with a good display away from home. We lead twice but a point will do.

2-2 leverkusen

Dortmund are of course the Champions of Europe so you’ll understand my surprise that we score three times in 12 minutes to brush them aside. Momentum is growing.

3-1 dortmund

A visit to the capital gives us the surprising scenario where Marschall doesn’t score. He always scores. Larry Bob does though as the opening 10 minutes bring all the drama, despite Bryan Roy’s best efforts.

berlin 1 - 1

Stuttgart are another decent side, we seem to be in a rough set of fixtures at the moment. Marschall managed to get injured in training during the International break so he misses this one, which brings Kuka in.

4-3 stuttgart

Larry Bob has pulled his hamstring and will face 2 months out, which poses a problem as I really want to play Pavel Kuka now but will need to drop one of the other non-EU chaps. Ratinho is a set piece maestro which is bad news for Sforza and Kadlec, who may face rotation over the weeks to come.

Marschall only misses one game and he will have to get to know Kuka for the time being. We come from 2-0 down to draw with 1860 Munich as our patchy form continues.

2-2 1860 munich

2nd place Werder Bremen away probably will mean more problems for us. We’re already down to 7th but Kuka has given us a new dimension and his double helps us towards a massive shock result. Well maybe not massive but I didn’t expect to win let alone score 4 goals.

4-2 bremen

We get four again just a few days later as another away trip ends in a demolition. This time Kuka gets a hat-trick as Rostock feel the Kuka burn. We’ll work on better word play.

1-4 rostock

The final game before the winter break is Karlsruhe. Finally a game we are expected to win. Kuka, obviously, scores twice as we lead 3-0 at half time. It ends 4-1 with Marschall’s 23rd of the season, he’s now passed his real life total and it’s not even Christmas. Kuka has 9 in 5.

4-1 karlsruhe

Yes, if you are wondering, I should have picked Kuka from the start. Germany love a winter break, it lasts for two whole months where literally nothing happens. Here’s the table to help pass the time.

top winter break

It’s going rather well. I doubt we’ll have enough to overtake Bayern but you just never know.

It’s been 83 years. Or 2 months. But we’re back in action. The transfer deadline has been and gone, most of my players are wanted and were bid for.

squad feb

Our first game back is Hamburg away. It turns out to be the perfect setting for Marschall to get goal 24 of a brilliant season.

hamburg 0-1

You don’t play for 2 months then all of a sudden you play twice in 2 days. Who decided that?

0-0 schalke

We finish with a trip to Wolfsburg. They’re 17th and not very good and it looks set to be another 0-0 until my left back goes through one on one and scores and Sforza adds some Swiss gloss to the occasion.

2-0 wolfsburg

Bayern mess up at home to Leverkusen so we’re top of the pile. A lovely way to end the update I feel.

22 games

They have 2 games in hand so I’m not too excited but they have to visit us yet, we’re still fighting for this title and Ich würde es lieben, wenn wir sie schlagen, liebe es!

For some reason the Bundesliga is big on Wednesday-Friday for matches despite that break so we’re going to be heavily tested in the last few months of the season as my squad depth isn’t great. Nevertheless, 12 games to go and we’re in with a shout. I’ll take it. Join me next week for the conclusion, auf wiedersehen pets.

 

One thought on “Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 3 | CM 97/98

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