“Live sustainably” was written on 1. FC Köln’s special jerseys on Saturday. However, this should not be understood as a subtle reference to waste of coaching resources by opponent Arminia Bielefeld or in general as an appeal for a more sustainable approach to management staff in professional football.
Sustainability is a key word in protecting the exploited planet; For his fate, the occupation of a coaching position in the city of Bielefeld is secondary, but the slogan of the Cologne jersey did not seem completely inappropriate in the East Westphalian football context. For Bielefeld’s new head coach Marco Kostmann, former goalkeeping coach, says of his mission in Arminia: “Resuscitation of resources – that’s what I want.” Of course, he relates his desire for more sustainability to the players and their recently lost football luck.
Rarely has anything in Arminia Bielefeld’s history been sustainable. You swapped leagues and coaches like jerseys and quickly switched back and forth between first, second and third grade. The fact that right now there is an acute threat of relegation to the second division was the reason why the club last week summarily released coach Frank Kramer and promoted goalkeeping coach Kostmann to manager.
At the guest appearance in Cologne, the change of coach on the fourth-final match day should have an effect as soon as possible, a vain hope: After 122 seconds, 1. FC Köln already led 1-0 through Mark Uth, after further goals from Anthony Modeste (43rd) and Jan Thielmann (86th) – when Timo Hübers conceded an own goal (33rd) – Cologne won 3: 1. Bielefeld seems to be on the right track to the second division. Your dividend from the last eight matches is one point.
When Bielefeld were last relegated from the Bundesliga in 2009, those in charge at the time made an even bolder decision than Arminia’s sporting director Samir Arabi did with his change of coach on the fourth-to-last match day. At the time, coach Michael Frontzeck was replaced by veteran Jörg Berger on the very last day of the match, but a final 2-2 victory against Hanover was not enough to keep the class up.
“It’s not up to the coach – it’s up to the players.”
Now, after 1: 3 in Cologne, Bielefeld still has three games left to leave the penultimate place in the table. The groundbreaking match is probably the one against Hertha BSC Berlin next Saturday. “We must definitely win that,” demands striker Patrick Wimmer, who is leaving Bielefeld this summer and will play for VfL Wolfsburg next season. But Wimmer says something else about the Arminia misery: “It’s not up to the coach – it’s up to the players.”
If this thesis is correct, then it is not surprising that Bielefeld played as lively on Saturday as in previous weeks, but also seemed just as helpless to prevent goals and score goals. 2:20 is Arminia’s goal difference from the last eight matches. After the final whistle, Kostmann, who got an experienced assistant coach in Michael Henke, praised “the desire to play, the commitment, the determination and the conviction”, but at the moment it seems that Arminia is moving into the second division with such a self. -claims away.
Cologne’s pillow grows to an impressive 49 points
What a team that is probably doomed to relegation can achieve if they only get the right coach can be seen in an exemplary way at 1. FC Köln. There, newcomer Steffen Baumgart, who was installed a year ago, leads a team that only stayed in the Bundesliga last season after beating Holstein Kiel in the relegation game, and now maybe even in the Europa Cup. After the third victory in a row with three of their own goals, Cologne is currently in seventh place. This could be enough to attend the Conference League. If the Cologne team improves, it may even be enough for the Europa League. Only incorrigible dreamers see 1. FC possibly even move into the Champions League – pretty much all FC fans.
The 49 points that Cologne has already collected after 31 match days, this club has only achieved once since the introduction of the three-point system in the Bundesliga, five years ago under coach Peter Stöger. At the time, FC finished in fifth place with 49 points and later did not get past the group stage in the Europa League. With Baumgart, fans now dream not only of more points, but also of more international reputation.
While Cologne is looking forward to another season with Baumgart, there will be no coaching tenure in Bielefeld. “We’ll get a new coach next season,” said sporting director Arabi: “It doesn’t matter in which league.”