TeBe Party Army

E- Block International - A Weblog for "Away Fans" of Tennis Borussia Berlin.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Germania Schoeneiche 0:1 TeBe

Jahnstadion, Saturday 18th November 2006

Team: Greil - Schalle, Thiam, Below - Duygun, Scholl, Thomson (Lemcke), Petrowsky (Schmidt), Weidner - Savran (Galic), Fuß.

Goal: Fuss (30)

Attendance: ?

TeBe came away with the three points but were a bit lucky to do so. Yet again, we dominated the first half, then either took our foot off the gas or were undone by a lack of fitness in the second. This could be this time partly due to the fact that the impressive and motvated captain Petrowsky had to come off midway throught the first half injured, and Ryan Thomson was substituted fairly early into the second half, puffed out due to lack of match fitness. The loss of these two combative tempo-dictating players was certainly felt.

It was a good day out. Doughnut Boy wasn't well, so no beer for him, but I was prepared with some tasty Czech beers (more Berliner Pilsner was acquired en route). We congregated at Ostkreuz at 11.30, two distinctive groups forming on the platform, the 'ultras' and the casuals (I was among the latter). People were a little edgy, as FC Union were due to play just after us, and our journey to Schoeneiche took us past the stop for Union. There's been a bit of previous between the teams and when you consider that they have an average attendance of 5000 and we have an average core travelling support of 40, the tension was understandable. Only 2 plain-clothed policemen were in attendance, and they advised us to not get off at the same station on the way back, as a huge group of Dynamo Berlin and Union were likely to be in attendance at the same time. We'd met early enough that there were only a few Union fans on our train out of Berlin, and there were no incidents.

We then had to change and wait for a tram to the ground. I thought this was one of those joke old-school trams that people pay lots of money to travel on to relive the good old days, but it was actually OUR tram :)

We had to wait for a while, in the middle of nowhere, then then party tram set off. Through a forest, I've never been in a tram that has travelled so far without stopping. The locals must have been bemused by a motley crew of football nuts, drinking away and singing stupid songs. On arrival in Schoeneiche, plenty of NPD stickers, plenty of police cars, barely a soul to be seen, a typical East German Saturday scene, very idyllic. This was another one of those games that had ridiculously been adjudged a 'security game', persumably because of Union' s proximity and the potential for trouble with them. The police were fairly stand-offish though, the only contact with them being a body check before entering the ground. We needed a couple of stewards for the match, and four reprobates volunteered, probably the best (and default) choices in Joerk, Benny, Endi and Doughnut Boy, default as they were probably the only four without alcohol in them! LWOB was the other candidate, but, with respect young man, not a serious one. Anyway, they ended up doing jack sh it anyway, just sat and watched the game and probably only did it to get in for free!

We were probably about 45 in the 'Away End'. This was one of the worse Oberliga grounds, pretty but with no terraces (grass banks) and one portaloo for all the away fans. No beer during the game for me, think it was 2EUR for a 0,4l, alright, and it was 3 EUR in (concessionary), good. Check out the, shall we say, 'primitive', stadium announcer's box, and the highly sophistiated audio equipment (which we couldn't hear on our side btw, quelle surprise :) )

Thanks to Endi for the photos.

Anyway, to the game. Like I said, TeBe battled hard during the first half, didn't really create a lot but the will, engagement and commitment were there. Players of the half, and indeed of the match for me were the two wingers/ wing-backs, Jonas Weidner and Erol Duygun, back in the side again after a while on the bench. Jonas was skilful and tricky, giving the full-back a headache, and Erol often bombed forward and linked up well with the midfield. In addition, Abdoul Thiam was immense again, an almost cert for player of the season already, and I'll be amazed if he's still playing in this league next season. Anyway, the goal came after 30 minutes, good interplay in the midfield sent Duygun away, he beat his man on the right flank with pace, and whipped in a great near-post cross which Fuss, on fire at the moment, headed in.

The second half was more edgy, as I said, we took the foot off the gas, intentionally or not, and almost paid the price. Keeper Manu Greil made a great save 5 minutes into the second at point-blank range from a header, and 2 minutes from the end, Schoeneiche's striker was through one-on-one with the keeper, but somehow managed to scuff his shot wide when trying to lob Manu, when it was easier to score.

The team did the usual 'La Ola' after the win, though seemed a bit reluctant to me:

The support was good, especially in the second half when the team needed us, "Auf geht's TeBe schiess ein Tor" [Come on TeBe, score a goal] seemingly the new fan favourite, much to the disdain of Doughnut Boy. Fotuna Adrian, from Cologne, Rheinland, was acting the giddy goat yet again, singing stupid songs against me because of my England jacket, so he got the appropriate response of "Auslaender rein, Rheinlaender raus!" ["Foreigners in, Rheinlanders out!] (again, the rhyme sounds better in German). We also had some new young support in the form of a 6 year-old girl who I think was a member of the Scholl clan. O.Luv made this cool video of a bit of the second half, I'm at the front in the navy coat, check out the "Only One Team In Berlin" song:

The trip back into Berlin was fun too. Party Tram with a few pissed TeBelers, then when our train arrived in Koepenick, hundreds of Unioner got on. Cue all our boys and girls moving down together into one half of a carriage, posturing and singing away provocatively. I didn't manage to get across in time, the carriage was heaving with Unioners, but I wanted to stay in among them anyway as an unidentifiable casual, and see what they said. It was quite funny, it could have kicked off in a big way but Denis and Doughnut Boy were the first line of defence, talked with the fans immediately in front of them, until Denis started the singing as well with "Lila Weiss ist schwul!" [purple-white is gay], some of the Unioners thought their boys started singing it and joined in! :) The reactions were funny. Some shouting 'purple-white shite!' some with hate-filled faces, and some not understanding why they hated each other so much when the real enemy should be Hertha BSE. At the other end of the carriage were 5 nasty-looking huge skinheaded Nazis, Thor Steinar clothes et al, but they didn't seem interested in us at all. Probably preparing themselves for Dynamo at Ostkreuz.

TeBe really are on a roll at the moment, that's 10 league games unbeaten (9 since the Kobold's been back) and no goals conceded in 2. However, it was again rendered academic as Babelsberg won ANOTHER game luckily 1-0. Their record is played 13 won 12, amazing stuff, and good luck to them. We're not going to catch them.

German match report hopefully soon from Eberswalder Tennisfan. Big thanks to Denis for the great photos. No match report from me next week as I'll be in Sweden. Doughnut Boy will be doubtless too lazy to do one. Lazy git.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lichterfelde FC 0:3 TeBe

Friday 10th November

Team: Greil - Schalle, Thiam, Below - Weidner - Scholl (Dada), Nwankwo (Perez), Petrowsky, Thomson (Lemcke) - Savran, Fuß

Goals: Thiam, Fuss, Savran

Attendance: 398

TeBe got back to winning ways with a convincing performance against a team that was flying and level on points going into the game. Lots of good efforts, but particular mention to the back three, Thomson and Nwankwo (unfortunate name for an English audience) and especially Micha Fuss up front, who was on fire yet again. Not much to report on the match front, TeBe controlled the game.

Off the pitch, it really was something of a spectacle. The Berlin police had declared the match a 'security game', meaning that they would be in force suspecting trouble between fans, somewhat bewildering as a) there has never been any previous between the clubs, and b) Lichterfelde hardly have any fans anyway... So some TeBe fans decided to protest against this in a light-hearted way by making the game a 'motto trip', the motto being: "TeBe is Loving" [lieb doesn't translate here so well]. Cue lots of fans bringing angels, wearing angel wings and halos, and peace t-shirts, not to mention some wearing full hippy regalia. In accordance, many of our songs were changed to more 'loving' versions, so

"Let's Go TeBe, Fight and Win!" became

"Let's Go TeBe, Cuddle and Love!" (it does translate better in the German, honest!)

The atmosphere was superb throughout, the dressed-up eejits being backed by the rest of the Party Army, Casuals and all, and the stand we were in, complete with roof, made us sound a lot louder than our numbers might have suggested. The LFC stadium announcer even thanked us for our great support.

LFC had top facilities too, 3 EUR in, 2 EUR for a big beer, a great clubhouse where I was to get VERY drunk later, and friendly staff. A great night.

German report on Ultras71.

Photos from Denis here. Doughnut Boy has stopped taking them cos he's too lazy.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Smelling The Coffee

A year ago everything looked bleak for TeBe. We had just lost 2-1 at home against Motor and there were tears in Block E as Gries said goodbye for the last time. After 11 matches, TeBe had only managed to get 9 points and were in the relegation zone in fourteenth place. The team had only managed to score 13 times and had let 20 in the other side and the behaviour of Mr Ermel the week before in Kreuzberg showed how the team just wasn’t working together properly, frustration had built up and nobody seemed to have a solution to the problems. Gries had to go, sad though it was, and the next match saw us travelling to a balls freezing Neuruppin to watch the team lose in a dismal performance, the first match with Dejan in charge. We were a party army without a party mood, a club with a huge tradition and history but lacking a plan for the present and perhaps even without a future.

The rest of the season last year was a strange one. The change in form and the good results saved us from relegation but ironically took any importance from the season. We weren’t going up and we weren’t going down and the best football that we have played for a while in the Oberliga was watched by fewer and fewer fans – why bother when there is next season without Union in the league? But although the support for the league matches sunk rapidly, the cup run gave us something to live for and retaining the cup was without a doubt the highlight of the season. Almost 1000 TeBe supporters popped out of the woodwork to watch us beat Hertha in Jan Sport Park on that glorious evening. But still, for league matches we were “lucky” if we got a queue for beer at Biber’s hut.

This season the team is full of good players for the Oberliga. Whether they are the “best in the league” or not, I really couldn’t judge. We have an unbeaten run of 8 matches, our defence is still weak on quick breaks but seems much more solid and the new addition of Thiam gives us height and pace, we are spoilt for choice up front and despite some injury problems the midfield isn’t as bad as the Berliner fan likes to complain it is. 5th in the league, 11 points off relegation, the minus seven goal difference of last year is now plus seven, the new players are fitting in well and the second team is looking good. Despite the cold temperatures last night, there was a very good and loud crowd and we were unlucky not to hold onto the three points against a team that would have massacred us 12 months ago. The football was exciting, the music great as always, the money from the beers and the food goes to the club and new ideas such as all you can eat breakfasts seem to be going down well. Yesterday was fun football but for some reason I feel disappointed today – what is it that I have forgotten?

Oh yes that was it: the dreaded “promotion” word hasn’t been mentioned yet. This season was to be ours, we were going to follow Union up into the Regional League and secure our place in the third division in a few seasons time. It doesn’t matter who mentioned it first, it doesn’t matter how realistic the dream was or whether it is still statistically possible or not. Fact is we wanted to go up this year, the bad start last season was said to be a two year plan, we were building a squad to go up, a squad with potential and however dramatic the changes have been since last year it isn’t enough to go up it seems. We are 11 points behind Babelsberg and despite being the only team to beat them so far it doesn’t look like we can catch them on this run they are on. Wins against some top teams and an unbeaten run don’t change the fact that some of the performances were bitterly disappointing: We didn’t make the most of our chances, we looked lost as if we had just run out of ideas and sloppy passing, silly mistakes and sometimes just bad luck with shots, decisions, injuries or form were a blow to us. Despite the euphoria at the start of the season and the stubbornness of the fans to give up hope, the fact is that it looks like it is all over. Perhaps we still might apply for the Regional League licence during the winter break but we now have to realistically say that we are in the Oberliga for at least another year.

So what to do? What can we as fans do to support the team and what should we be demanding from the club? If the training -staff says that we have the best team then surely they are admitting themselves that the problems lie with them? Have we just been unlucky or were there problems with tactics, were there problems created among the players, why do we still not seem to have a set squad? I really don’t know what I think. I don’t have the inside information on the squad or a picture of what goes on in training or behind the scenes. I cant pretend that I didn’t want to go up really – yes it is easy to travel about in this league and yes the idea of playing away in shit holes like Dynamo Dresden doesn’t always appeal to me – but I wanted to go up, I still want to go up. So do I want a change of trainer or do I want the training staff out? I don’t know this either as the turn around from 12 months ago has been amazing -and I don’t know what the available alternatives are or what I can expect from them either. Part of me wants someone to go in the hope of a positive change, part of me cant really blame the TeBe staff for the amazing season that Babelsberg are playing. But when I check the table from last year at the same time the points aren’t too different from 12 months ago, so the team must be under- performing from a management point of view too, a management that claims the team is great and surely must take the blame from their own logic.

In short I am confused. I have been happy about the changes in the team and the new faces at the matches. Despite a lot of poor performances we have a run, there have been some cracking matches and we are up at the top rather than down at the bottom in the relegation zone. But if the plan was promotion, if there was a two year plan, if we do have the best team then what we have seen so far hasn’t been enough, the season is pretty much over and I fear that I will be watching the rest of the season with even fewer fans than at the end of last season – we might not see more than 300 Tebe fans together again this season apart from the Babelsberg match. If the management really did believe its own tough talking up until a few weeks ago then there has to be a change so that we wont be writing off next season after just 11 matches at the same time next year. But perhaps I am wrong and perhaps stability is the best course for us now.

So what do the other TeBe fans think? Should we be staying with what we have and try to hold out for stability? Or does the team or training staff need changes if we are ever going to leave the Oberliga?

TeBe 1:1 BAK 07

Friday 3rd November 2006, Mommenstadion

Team: Greil - Schalle, Thiam, Perez - Weidner, Scholl (68. Lemcke), Thomson (58. Eckl), Nwankwo, Griesert - Savran (62. Kadow), Fuß.

Goalscorer: Fuss (39)

Attendance: 433

Another day, another draw, our 3rd in a row. That makes it 8 games unbeaten but when you've drawn 4 of those that you should have won, then you know something's not right. To be honest, as most people know, as a 'glass is half-empty' man, I'd written the season off already anyway, so went into the game very relaxed, but the increased crowd, and a big pleasing turnout of the old familiar faces suggested to me that many thought this the last throw of the dice. Not to be.

I thought we actually played pretty well, to be honest. It really was the proverbial game of two halves. We were good in the first half, poor in the second. A draw was a fair result, with a wee bit of luck we could have won, but Greil did made one or 2 great saves to rescue the point at the same time.

It was a ball-freezing night, so I had the long johns, 4 layers and everything on. Good crowd at the S-Bahn station for the drinking 'warm-up' and people were in good spirits. Big piece of team news was that Ryan Thomson was back in the starting eleven after a while out injured, I'd have brought my Canada flag if I'd have known! He went on to have an impressive game, full of energy and bustle, only being brought off early into the second half when he ran out of steam. Other plus point was the inclusion of Micha Fuss, who seemed to be back to something approaching his hungry skilful best: more supply this time meant more danger, and his goal was a belter, cutting inside and blasting it past the keeper after a super through-ball from Thomson(?). Nwankwo, in only his 2nd game back, impressed too.

But then TeBe metaphorically failed to reappear for the 2nd half. BAK applied all the pressure, we seemed to resort to long balls, to sit back and defend the lead, we continually neglected to cover ex-TeBeler Tuerkkan on the right touchline (despite exortion from the crowd, esp Alex!) and sure enough, given plenty of space in the right area, he supplied the perfect cross for Guenes to equalise from 6 yards out. And that was pretty much that, we attacked with a little more gusto in search of the winner, but with no real conviction.

So the two "gummi bear teams" (thus described by a local football paper because of their lofty ambitions and their failure to match these in reality) cancelled each other out and ended any hope of promotion. The fans were in fine voice last night despite the weather, and the Casino was packed afterwards with fans wanting to warm themselves up. Song of the night, which deserves to be sung repeatedly till the end of the season, was an altered version of another TeBe song:

"We believe in Santa Claus, we believe in the tooth fairy,
We believe that we will get promoted again one day"

Some believe that we should wait till the Winter break before taking stock and making changes. I don't know. It's too late for this season now, Babelsberg are 11 points clear and we won't catch them, simple as. But changes must be made. We shouted loud and proud that promotion was our aim at the start of the seasaon, and we're MILES off that. The role of the Maschke brothers continues to be a bone of contention for fans, and I'm afraid Dejan's performance has to looked upon critically, nice guy or not. The team has lacked passion, conviction, and should simply be doing better with the players we have at our disposal. Babelsberg are having an exceptinal season, they deserve to go up and I'd be happy with 2nd place in such a season; what has annoyed has been our abject performances aganst teams we should stuff easily. Schoenberg. Neustrelitz. Dynamo. We should have at least 6 points more, that is what I would consider a fair stab at promotion. We haven't done that, and it's up to those in charge of TeBe to decide whose fault that is.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The New Flag

Baffling East Germans all over the country, the TeBe Norn Iron Contingent is now visually represented!