Hamburg Equals Frowny FaceBy: ryan_s | March 23rd, 2012
What more can I say? My post from two weeks ago held up after last week’s demoralizing loss, and holds up to the 2-1 away loss to Wolfsburg too. The defense wasn’t as awful as it has been, but an Aogo dispossession led to one goal, and Drobny getting beaten on his near post off of Schaefer’s free kick was enough to see off a largely not inventive Hamburg.
Positives: Mancienne played well, after looking outclassed for most of his other appearances this season. Tackled well, distributed well, etc. Also, Marcus Berg had one of the nicest finishes of Hamburg’s awful season with his beautiful lob over the goalie. I liked what I saw from him generally, and think that he should get a few starts down the road to see if he can develop into a consistent striker. Ilicevic had a moment or two where he looked tricky, but was otherwise silent (22 touches of the ball = terrible).
Negatives: Firstly, the goals. HSV’s defense (despite sporting some pretty decent players in our back four) has been absolutely awful this year, and this was added onto today by Aogo being careless and therefore allowing Wolfsburg to take all day to set up a cross to the sneaky Mandzukic and one of only a few Drobny mistakes this season. Drobny in general wasn’t great today, and was a little slow to come off his line. Rene Adler is looking better after this game.
Petric was largely silent again today, and for a player of his skill needs to be more involved (though he had the most touches on the ball of any of our attacking players with 34, sadly). Jansen hasn’t been very good since his little peak in form during the middle of the season, and looks to have lost a couple steps of pace since a few years ago (7 for 14 in passing, oy). To me he plays kind of like a striker who happens to be a decent tracking back defender, therefore he plays in midfield. But otherwise he generally doesn’t get involved with quick decision making buildup play or beating a player one on one. He’s a good finisher, but in our two striker formation I feel it hurts to have three players who play like that.
One of the most annoying developments under Fink (which Mark has mentioned a few times) is players looking like they might take a risk when we are on a fast break, only to think twice about it and then just knock it back up safely to our defenders. We never get a decent shot on counters because of this. This happened quite noticeably with Ilicevic a couple of times.
Personally, I think a player with more pace is needed in our attack with the way Fink plays – Beister is quite quick, so it’s good that he’s coming. But I sure do wish we hadn’t sold Jonathon Pitroipa for 2M last year, even if he wasn’t the best shooter or passer.
Next weekend is a massive battle against bottom dwellers Kaiserslautern (who have a new coach). It’s an away match (which is good I guess) but is at a notoriously loud and raucous stadium (which is bad).