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FC Energie Cottbus

Bundesliga Winter Break Review: Energie Cottbus

Energie Cottbus LogoEnergie Cottbus
Rank: 16th
Preseason Prediction: 18th
What was I thinking? Have you ever had a gut feeling that something was absolutely going to happen? In this case for me it was Cottbus being relegated. It’s no certainty, but that was my feeling before the season started and it remains unchanged. As you may know, I’m also a sucker for historical precedent and that doesn’t bode well for Cottbus. Every three years, without fail, for the past two decades they’ve switched leagues. That even includes their time in the GDR. It’s a macro-trend I can’t explain and unfortunately for Cottbus, there’s only one way to go and they’re halfway there.

Season High
: 1-0 victory at home to Karlsruhe on September 15th. Yes, Cottbus did beat Hertha (and Gladbach, but that’s no accomplishment this season), admittedly a better team than Karlsruhe. Yet in tight situations (like facing relegation) these matches effectively become six-pointers.

Season Low
: Well, I’ll go a little unorthodox here and say, “Every time Cottbus plays at home.” I’m referring to Cottbus’ attendance numbers, which you can see after the jump, that aren’t too pretty. For a league that prides itself on spectators, Cottbus sticks out like a sore thumb. Their average home game is filled to only 67.6% capacity which comes out to just over 15,000 people. That doesn’t even exclude away contingents who make the journey out East.

Why Cottbus Might Not Be Relegated
: Away from the not-so-friendly confines of the Stadion der Freundschaft Cottbus actually looks (and performs) respectable. They’re solid mid-table quality away from home, earning a respectable point per game, which would suffice for 9th in the table. As mentioned, they’ve performed very well so far against their bottom-dwelling neighbors on the table. In fact, against the two teams currently above and below them (Bielefeld, Karlsruhe, Bochum, Gladbach) they earned 8 out of a possible 12 points. Very respectable.

Why Cottbus Will Be Relegated: Somehow just having an old (non-Berlin) East German team in the topflight doesn’t feel right. That might have something to do with there being only 7 (including Berlin) East German clubs in the three professional leagues. That’s as many as North Rhein-Westphalia has in topflight alone. And there’s Cottbus’ problem, much like the GDR’s, of collapsing in the end. More than 2/3rds (21 of 29) of the goals Cottbus conceded this season came in final 45 minutes. Taking things a bit further Cottbus have scored 7 of their 12 goals in the first half hour while only conceding 3. While admittedly the squad is not as talented as others, this speaks to me of coaching and/or conditioning issues. The 2-3 defeat to Frankfurt epitomized this. After going up 2-0 in the first quarter of an hour, complacency kicked in as Frankfurt scored 3 unanswered goals in a game that looked all but in the books for Cottbus early on.

After the jump, stats and more stats.

Attendance – 121,917
Goals – 12
Shots – 175
Shots on Goal – 52
Fouls – 359
Corners – 55
Offsides – 45
Yellows – 33

Attendance – 15,240
Goals – .71
Shots – 10.29
Shots on Goal – 3.06
Fouls – 21.12
Corners – 3.23
Offsides – 2.65
Yellows – 1.94

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  1. Mark

    January 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    My statement about East German teams in the topflight is probably some of that subdued bitterness I have from seeing Nuremberg relegated last season bubbling to the surface. I think it just came out because FCN ended last season at 16th, and that's where Cottbus happen to find themselves at the moment.

    Am I willing to accept that der Club is 80 years past its prime? Not yet.

  2. diana

    January 11, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I got mixed up over there. Sorry!

  3. Jogi

    January 11, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Correct me if I´m wrong but doesn´t the 3year cycle mentioned above indicate that Cottbus is already positively past the second season syndrome??

    “Somehow just having an old (non-Berlin) East German team in the topflight doesn’t feel right.”

    Why would that be?

  4. diana

    January 8, 2009 at 7:25 am

    At first I thought the laptop I am using has a mark on the screen when I was looking at Cottbus's average number of goals per game. I then realised it is not. If there is just a ranking for the number of goals scored so far for this season in the Bundesliga, then Cottbus will be ranked last and Hoffenheim will still be in the top spot (just like they are now at the half-way mark in the league standings).

    There is the so-called 'second season syndrome' in football. Cottbus being promoted in the previous season and survived. But now, I have a very bad feeling they might go down in this season. Unless they do something about it.

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