Tag Archives: SC Freiburg

Advent Calendar Days 20 & 21

It’s not quite the case that Christmas is cancelled because Freiburg got knocked out of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday, but it’s certainly not the way you want the first half of the season to end. Then again it’s not the fact they got knocked out, more by whom and how. Losing to Bremen was bad enough but doing so because of a goal which wasn’t a legal goal, well that’s going to hurt for quite some time. It’s funny, ever since the season started I’ve been bemoaning the existence and use of VAR and on Wednesday night I was angry because it wasn’t in use. Had it been in use it might have affected the outcome of Gladbach’s game against Leverkusen too, and the player who elbowed Matze in the head would have been sent off like he should have been. Though I’m not sure the VAR would have helped in the peculiar situation of the diving coach. That was truly bizarre, Leverkusen’s coach seemingly taking a dive after a Gladbach player almost clattered into him but just avoided him the end. Definitely the funniest moment from this week’s games.

But there’s point obsessing over it, they’re out and that’s that. I guess I should see the good point of the situation, it’s one less distraction from the all important task of staying in the league. First up after the winter break is Eintracht Frankfurt, a fixture that holds some very good memories indeed. Back in 2015 that was Nils Petersen’s first game as a Freiburg player, first game, first hat-trick. He didn’t take the penalty though, Vladimir Darida did that.

As much as I’m looking forward to that game I don’t really want to be thinking about January right now. Thinking so far ahead counts as thinking big and that’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t want to think big or make plans, all I want is for just a few months to have a nice quiet, peaceful existence, nothing more. I’m not making any new year’s resolutions and it’s not only because I see no point in doing so, more that for a while I don’t want anything to happen. Last year I got sucked into thinking everything was fine in December and then everything fell apart in January. So I don’t want the same thing to happen again, I don’t want to make any assumptions.

On the subject of things happening I made a decision earlier this week which surprised myself, not only me but the other relevant parties as well. I don’t know if it came out of nowhere or I’d already subconsciously decided this but either way I made the decision for the next appointment to be the last. It’s not entirely for the reasons I stated on Wednesday though. It’s not because I think I don’t need to talk anymore right now. Actually it’s the opposite, I’m tired of talking. I’m tired of having to go there knowing I won’t really tell the whole truth anyway. And I know that’s partly my fault, it’s just not easy to be honest and trust someone when for years you’ve gotten used to the fact that’s not an option. To borrow a quote from one of my favourite shows The Bridge, “my plan is not to have a plan.”I just want to read books and sleep. Mostly I just want to be left alone. I don’t know if it’s people I’m tired of or rather the pretense I feel like I need to put on in order to be around them. Either way I really wish I didn’t have somewhere to go tomorrow. I wish I’d been brave enough to say no when I was invited. I should be grateful I have friends yet right now I just want everyone to go away.

I want nothing more than to stay inside and lose myself in books, to just escape from reality completely. That’s one of things I talked about on Wednesday, how books are a better distraction for me than anything else. Playing Playstation is a good way to pass time but not to occupy my mind in quite the same way. No, playing games is more like anesthetizing yourself in a way but books are something else. At least that’s one good thing about the past few months, I set myself the target of reading 75 books this year and I’m one off reaching that goal. I just finished reading Going Underground, a book which features an autistic detective. I know, I shouldn’t even be reading books with autistic characters in them when they’re written by NTs because I invariably end up ranting about them. And this one did frustrate me a little, though not as much as Rubbernecker did. I suppose the fact the author actually has an autistic son has something to do with that. One good thing about the book is the writer takes the time to make it clear that Jonathan is an investigator, not a policeman. That’s important because the idea of someone like Jonathan being a policeman is absurd.

I am though unhappy with certain aspects of his character, like the fact he doesn’t seem to understand humour at all and that he’s completely oblivious to popular cultural references. I know some people with autism either don’t get or just don’t do humour. But I hate it when an autistic character is portrayed that way because it’s so stereotypical and it reinforces the view the general public holds that autistic people don’t get jokes. And even more importantly sometimes you come across parents who actually believe their child can’t be autistic because “my son is nice, friendly, intelligent and has a fantastic sense of humour.” Yeah, none of that precludes a person being autistic. I find that so offensive, the implication that we’re all unfriendly, stupid, unfeeling people who have no sense of humour whatsoever. Similarly I find it equally offensive that somehow autistic has become shorthand for “socially awkward/pedantic/weird/obsessive/mean/critical. Basically some NTs are using autistic as a synonym for any trait they don’t like or consider to be a negative trait. And that’s the other trait I wish writers would use less of when writing autistic characters, emotional detachment. Lots of autistic people have the opposite problem, feeling too much. They might not be able to actually express that however.

At least I knew the other book I was reading wouldn’t let me down, Bernie Gunther never has, well not so far anyway. I just finished book seven, Field Grey. From what I read of the reviews it seems to be a book which divides opinions. I have to admit it is the most challenging of them so far but it was interesting, I didn’t find the couple hundred pages of interrogations boring. I liked seeing the puzzle being pieced together and learning what happened to him after the war ended. Though it got a little confusing in the end with all the double crossing, I will admit that. It hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm any, I can’t wait to start reading the next one. I can take some comfort from that, the fact I’m looking forward to something.

Advent Calendar Day 16: Frohe Weihnachten aus Matze Ginter/Ein typisches Söyüncü Nachmittag

The second part of the title is a phrase the commentator used today when talking about Freiburg’s Çağlar Söyüncü. And he wasn’t wrong, it was a typical Söyüncü afternoon and indeed that later turned out to apply to the whole game. As he usually does he had a pretty good game, winning most of his challenges and battles until that is he made a mistake and gave away a penalty. Which wasn’t actually given because of an earlier handball. That’s right a VAR decision actually went in Freiburg’s favour. With that I was thinking just maybe things were going their way. But of course it wasn’t to be and Alfred Finnbogason had other ideas. Last weekend Freiburg came from 3-0 down to beat Köln so there was no reason why they couldn’t do that in Augsburg, unfortunately things happened a little differently today. Before the game started there was a little bit of snow in the air and I foolishly hoped it maybe provide some good luck. Snow didn’t stick and unfortunately neither did Freiburg’s luck.

Had they won it would have been three victories in a row. But even without having won it’s still five games without defeat, that’s not the worst way to end the year. And of course they’re not in the relegation zone, finishing the first half of the season in 13th place. So today isn’t without it’s good points, though the fact they yet again conceded three goals makes it a little hard to enjoy the silver lining of the situation.There is however something about today I had no trouble enjoying and that is the delightful little Christmas greetings video from the highlights show. That was most definitely a nice little early Christmas gift to get. I’m not the only who got a gift early today either, Köln also got one, finally winning a game. Seventeenth time’s a charm I guess, they beat Wolfsburg 1-0.

Advent Calendar Day 12: The Day of Petersen

I wish I could come with a better title, Nils certainly deserves one. Also because the title makes it sound like I got Nils’ card in the DFB calendar, something which of course is never going to happen. Maybe Christian Günter will be in there one day but not Nils. That doesn’t matter tonight anyway, they didn’t win a trophy or promotion but you wouldn’t know it from the players and Christian Streich’s reaction. It was a big game, three points would see them out of the relegation zone. For some reason at home they don’t lose against Gladbach and tonight was no exception. It may not have been a performance as terrific as the one which saw them beat Gladbach 3-1 last season but it was good in it’s own way. They only scored the one goal and that was a penalty but it so easily could have been more. I’m kind of glad it wasn’t though, it would have made a dent in the goal difference which obviously is important but I would have felt bad for Matze. Gladbach aren’t having a very good week, last weekend they got a penalty wrongfully taken away and scored an own goal. And this week Jannik Vestergaard isn’t any happier, the penalty was debatable to say the least. And once again it showcases how annoying and intrusive VAR can be. It took them close to a minute to stop the play and tell the referee. If they are going to keep VAR they need to make it more responsive and communication needs to be better. In the end  don’t think it would have mattered, the way the second half went I think Freiburg would have won anyway. That won’t make Vestergaard feel any better of course.

I could rage against everything that went wrong today and all the things I screwed up, not least about the fact I need to take better care of my stuff. This time it’s my tablet and the USB port needs replacing. Being without it makes me feel like I’m missing a part of me, I’m so used to it being at hand it actually feels like an extension of me. Having a laptop in front of you is just not the same at all. But it’s my own fault and now I have to pay the price, not just the cost of the repairs but the waiting. I keep going to get it thinking it’s there. It’s only been 24 hours and it’s like I’m going through a withdrawal of some kind. One thing is for certain I’ll be careful not to mention this to any so called “professional.” Lest they give  me yet another lecture about being “overdependent on technology.” You know because normal people aren’t over reliant on technology at all. I’m not going to rant about that or anything else. Freiburg won, Nils scored a goal and just as importantly I got the Jogi video I was expecting to get today.

Nils scored the only goal of the night but he was far from the most important man on the pitch tonight, in fact everyone but Alex was. He for once didn’t have a lot to do, which makes a pleasant change for him I suppose. Of great importance tonight was Çağlar Söyüncü. This was a game made for him, several times he got partake in the monster tackles and interventions he thrives on, earning himself a much deserved equally monster hug from Christian Streich after the game. Apparently some Premier League clubs are interested in Söyüncü, I hate to say it but I can see why, he would be great in the English league. But he’s not going anywhere, not yet.

Nils Petersen goal – SC Freiburg v Gladbach 2017/18

SC Freiburg v Gladbach 2017/18 – last ten seconds and celebrations

Sometimes I think maybe things are predestined, today of all days I get the sticker of Jonas Hector and the card of Marco Reus. The connection of course being Peter Stöger who up until last weekend was Hector’s coach at Köln and is now Reus’ coach at Dortmund. There’s another interesting connection in the sense that tonight was his first game in charge of Dortmund against Mainz, the team of former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel. As well of course as being the former team of current Dortmund player Andre Schürrle. Well Dortmund won their first game with the new Peter in charge. As for Köln tomorrow night will be their second league game without him and there is no way in hell they are going to win it or even draw with Bayern. Last season they got a very respectable point at the Alllianz arena, a feat which is the very definition of impossible now.

Advent Calendar Day 10: Snow Day in Köln

Of all the things I expected to happen today that wasn’t one of them. I know it doesn’t sound good when you go into a game like this unsure if your team can win or not, but I didn’t want to curse anything by thinking about winning at all. I honestly thought they would draw and well they almost did. Were it not for Nils Petersen’s last minute penalty it would have been a 3-3 draw, and quite a spectacular one too. Freiburg came back to win 4-3 and that’s great, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be relegated. Those three goals they conceded are exactly why relegation is still a very real threat. That was their way of playing in the 2.Bundesliga in 2015/16, don’t worry if you concede two, we’ll just go and score three more. They’ve always been partial to a very open style of play, which isn’t to say they can’t be disciplined defensively. Their 0-0 draw against Dortmund earlier in the season proves that, a result all the more impressive for the fact they played the majority of the game with ten men. That open kind of play worked when they had players like Maximilian Philipp and Vincenzo Grifo around. But they left in the summer for Dortmund and Gladbach, taking some of the magic. their goals and more importantly their assists with them.

I don’t even know what today’s game was, it was crazy that’s for sure. And it’s proof that whatever they do Köln are doomed, they threw away a three goal lead, you can’t draw any other conclusion. Then again this game didn’t doom them, that was already done several match-days ago. There remains only one question, can they really go a whole Bundesliga season without winning a single game? Today’s game brought back a lot of memories, like the equally crazy (but much better to watch) snow game against Leipzig in the 2015/16 season. And of course their first game of that season against 1.FC Nürnberg. which was Nil’s first league game as a proper Freiburg player. A game in which he scored a hat-trick and just like today two of them were penalties. In fact Nils scored a hat-trick in his first ever game for Freiburg as well, against Eintracht Frankfurt.

1.FC Köln v SC Freiburg 2017/18 Highlights

Speaking of memories there was a very familiar face at today’s game, though not a very happy one obviously:

Lukas Podolski at 1.FC Köln v SC Freiburg 2017/18

As happy as I am they won I don’t feel like I can celebrate, not only  because they’re still in danger of relegation but the game seems to be reflective of how their season is going and life in general. They can’t go on conceding goals at the rate they have, not even if they start scoring some themselves. On the subject of unexpected events the confirmation of the sacking of Peter Bosz wasn’t one of them. The announcement of his replacement the very same day however was, not just the fact they did so quickly but who it was. They’ve switched one Peter for another, Dortmund’s temporary coach until the end of the season being none other than former Köln coach Peter Stöger. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

I still can’t find a word other than crazy to describe today’s game but I know one thing, I really needed today. It was exciting, infuriating and intense. But most of all it was fun and for those two hours the game was on things felt like they used to do, like when I first started watching them. They were struggling then and they’re struggling now, so it’s not that they’ve changed, it’s me. But I don’t want to reflect on that now or anything else serious or real life related, today was fun and that’s enough. For once I just want something to be simple. Today’s game was anything but simple but the joy I derived from it was exactly that. No obsessing over what I’m doing and why, no wondering if maybe I’m not too obsessed and shouldn’t I be spending time with other people instead of stuck in my room alone. Today none of that mattered. Today there was the game and nothing else.

 

DFB Pokal Achtelfinale Auslosung 2017/18

With Jogi being in Stuttgart for Freiburg’s game and the DFB Pokal draw today things started out good, and then that ended about ten minutes into the game. All of a sudden the draw didn’t matter so much then. When the English league cup was drawn not long ago lots of people online said it was fixed, now I’m not saying the same thing about the Pokal draw but it’s interesting that’s for sure. Same as it’s funny that Stuttgart are the second team out, being drawn not long after their game kicked off. Bayern being drawn with Dortmund is obviously the one of most interest, it meaning that there won’t be the usual big two final this year, so that should in theory make things a little more interesting. A few weeks ago I would have thought Dortmund would be the favorites to win such a clash, but now with the Heynckes effect in full swing I’m not so sure.

Freiburg being drawn with Bremen is something I have mixed feelings about, it’s not the worst draw they could have gotten and they have a good record against Bremen in their own stadium. There’s two bigger questions than who’s going to win that game, one being where are they going to be in the league when that game happens, will Bremen have moved up from 17th place. And the second and even bigger question is will Alexander Nouri still be Bremen’s coach come the 19/20th December. Personally I wouldn’t place any money on that being the case. I wonder how many times have gone without a win in ten games and avoided relegation come the summer. The other interesting game is Gladbach v Leverkusen, in the league two weeks ago it ended 5-1 in Leverkusen’s favour. Here’s hoping for Matze’s sake that it goes a lot better this time.

But if it came down to it Freiburg getting through to the next round is all I really want. Not least because the Pokal is one of the few things that has gone right so far this season. With one win in ten games they are dangerously close to the perilous situation Cologne and Bremen are currently in. And today just compounded the misery. Having to play 80 minutes with ten minutes against Stuttgart was never going to be easy, but it being Caglar Söyüncü just made it so much worse. And the circumstances of his dismissal made it even worse. It’s not the fact he got sent off that is so infuriating, it’s the fact it took several minutes between the offence taking place and action being taken. What’s the point in video review analysis when it interrupts the game that way? How can that even be fair? And what the hell were the review team doing in that time? They have no excuse for not seeing it, what’s the point in having a video review system if they can’t act swiftly? Being punished so late after the offence has occurred, it’s almost like retroactive punishment. From the start I had mixed feelings about the video review system. Now I’m firmly against it and not only because it seems to have gone against Freiburg an awful lot since the start of this season. An English commentator sums it up from me, during a match a while ago one of them said more or less “football is a game played by humans, watched by humans and refereed by humans.” You can’t put it much simple than that, goal line technology is one thing and that’s great. But video review is obtrusive and unnecessary. You still have the same failings as before, it’s still dependant on humans being observant and paying proper attention. And it doesn’t remove arguments from the game, whether that be players and coaches or spectators, actually it just creates more arguments. Some people say give it time, that it’ll take time before the system works perfectly. Yeah and in the meantime your team could get relegated because of a decision made by a guy in a box hundreds of miles away.

Joachim Löw at VfB Stuttgart v SC Freiburg 2017/18

Joachim Löw at VfB Stuttgart v SC Freiburg 2017/18

Loyal

It’s been too long since I’ve written anything on here, I’ve posted but not actually written anything – Jogi and Hansi pictures don’t count. To be precise it’s been 151 days since I last wrote something, over five months ago. But that’s not the whole story, I stopped posting regularly long before then, at the start of the year. In all those months I didn’t even consider posting or look at the daily prompt which used to be part of my daily routine. Like so many other things it slipped away, and now it’s one of the things I’m trying to get back. The past few weeks I’ve started looking at the prompts again, trying to sum up the courage and enthusiasm to write something. And this one is so well timed I had to make myself try to write a little something.

Ordinarily the topic of being loyal would give me the opportunity to write about something Jogi related or at the very least Freiburg. I am going to mention the former but in a constructive way, not in “an excuse to go on about my obsession” way. I’ve done something which I have never done before, I finally have the opportunity to do something real related to an obsession of mine. Last week I took the impulsively insane decision to buy a ticket for the England-Germany game next month. It’s strange that’s for sure, a few months ago I was obsessively plotting my own death and now instead I’m making travel plans for a football match. I’m excited about going but also terrified, I think I may have over extended myself. I’m supposed to be increasing my independence but not necessarily by talking a drastic step like this. All this work I’m putting in and I won’t even get to see Manuel Neuer, with the recurrence of his foot injury he won’t be in squad until next March, if then. I’m making up for that in the best way I can, if the real Neuer won’t be there then I’ll take my own. I plan on taking my own soft toy version of Neuer with me and snapping a few pictures of him in London. It’ll be like Manuel’s travel journal.

Given that I’m focusing on something positive and doing all of this by myself you would think the psych would have no objection to this, but they do. In line with everything else they’ve told me they’re worried about me “feeding my obsession even more.” That I’m getting more obsessed when I should be stepping away from it. Because to them I’m not just loyal to Jogi and all of my other favorite Germans, they think I have an unhealthy attachment to them to the detriment of everything else. Which is kind of funny really, I mean have they not read the diagnostic criteria for autism? But then as they’ve reminded me several times they aren’t an expert in autism. They didn’t need to remind me of that, I can’t forget it, not when they do things like pick me up on my use of the words “NT people” and “autistic people.” Apparently it’s not good to talk about the two like they’re different which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. If they aren’t different the diagnosis of autism wouldn’t even exist now, would it?

I don’t think a lot of their advice, according to them the solution to my problems is for my special interests to be less consuming, and to spend more time with other people. That’ll solve my anxiety, intrusive thoughts and depression apparently. Of course that completely overlooks the fact that if being around other people were easier for me a and a less anxiety provoking experience I wouldn’t retreat into my special interests quite so much. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know I’m not going to walk away from one of the few things that makes me happy just because some so called professional (who in their own words knows very little about autism) thinks it’s a good idea. Maybe I have crossed a line and maybe my latest special interest is a little all too encompassing. But it’s all I have right now and it makes sense, which is more than I can say for anything else.

Other people don’t make any sense at all, at least the NT ones I know don’t, not at the moment. I don’t understand how someone can disappear for four months and reappear without any explanation, and still claim to be your friend. There’s a line between loyalty and blind stupidity, and I think I’m a little closer to the latter. I don’t stand up for myself, I let people walk all over me in this regard. And some people use autism as a justification of sorts, they say that I’m worrying over nothing, that I’m just being over obsessive and it’s autism’s fault. When in reality it’s them, they are being a bad friend. Because a real friend wouldn’t invite you somewhere and then leave you hanging as to the details. For a long time I’ve worried about this kind of thing, about other people seeing me as a pushover. I’ve wondered if they think I’m so pathetic and socially lacking in regards to social opportunities that they’ll just assume I’ll put up with it because I have no other options.

On the surface of it you would think being described as loyal is a good thing, but maybe it’s not. And I’m not the only person to wonder about such things. Perhaps it’s not a good thing for other people to think of you as being “loyal” but when it comes to football I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I don’t think being a fan of a team like Freiburg makes me a loser or anything like that. It doesn’t matter that I had to wait until MD7 for them to win their first game when last season the first win came on MD2. They might have made us wait but when they finally delivered it was all so worth it, beating Hoffenheim 3-2 and Çağlar  Söyüncū getting his first ever goal in a Freiburg shirt. No matter when his first goal happened I would remember it but with scoring in a goal in a game like that he’s guaranteed he’ll be remembered forever now, regardless of where he ends up in the future. Maybe other people do think being such an ardent fan of a team like Freiburg makes me an idiot, if so, that’s ok. If there’s one thing I know it’s not to take seriously what other people think. If only I could remember that when it really mattered.