Club Criticism Archive

0

Anti-Climax

Over-confident new signing Sami Arsal was brought back down to Earth away from home against Jastrzab this Sunday morning, as Wodkas went down 3-1 to a much stronger Division 7 team. In all fairness though, it could have been a different story until the incident on 42 minutes which changed the face of the game.

“We were matching Jastrzab all over the park, with a much stronger midfield performance now that Sami, Fivos and Aybars were playing alongside each other. The reckless foul on Aybars was a disgrace though, and should have seen a different colour card, that’s for sure.” – Coach Mszyca.

It was on 42 minutes that Jastrzab’s left winger, Donald Chlanda, made an atrocious tackle from behind on the veteran Uysal. The former AS Uijeongbu 07 player crashed to the turf in agony and had to be stretchered off. This caused mayhem in the Wodkas plans, and coach Mszyca was forced to come on and play. It put the formation of Wodkas right out, and from then on they were fighting a losing battle against a more organised, and more fit opponent.

Wodkas never really looked like getting back into the game, even when Makagonov scored a first-half equaliser, and the home team ran away rampant 3-1 winners. It could have been even more.

One league game left, Wincalowicz suspended, Aybars injured. Wodkas maybe have spent too much and have too small of a squad. Then again, does the end of this campaign actually matter that much? The final game is a guaranteed three points for the Raszkowians, but the future looks less certain.

2

Financial Meltdown

At just after midnight GMT on Sunday morning, the club announced it had been given 2 weeks to avoid closure due to bankruptcy. 10 players have been immediately listed for sale, and four key staff have been fired and replaced. Today, after The Flaming Wodkas FC absolutely destroyed the stand-out team in their division, league leaders Barca & United, by seven goals to one, we look at the impact that this chase for cash will have on the club and fans as a whole.

THE IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Key players are up for sale. The Wodkas squad looks like it is unbeatable now in its division, but a poor start means it has no chance of catching the team that it today humiliated in front of The Noblemen. These players are being listed in a desperate attempt to generate revenue in order to prevent the closure of the club. In the short term, the forwards being trained as a future Wodkas strikeforce will remain, but the rest of the team will be made up of less-than-adequate youth-team promotees.

THE LONG TERM EFFECT

As mentioned, the forwards are still being focused on (should the team avoid closure) and should continue to become a lethal strikeforce. The downside is that the quality of the coaching has been reduced. Three 5-star coaches have been replaced by three 4-star coaches. This will have a long-term impact on training efficiency. Add to this the impact that a now guaranteed long run of defeats will have to team morale and confidence.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

The top players in the club will hopefully be sold and bring in the revenue to pay off the club’s debts. However, this means there will no longer be any top players in the club available should the debt situation return – aside from the trainees being coached in the art of goal-scoring. It is highly unlikely that the club would want to sell off their investment in the future Wodkas strikeforce, and so it is imperative that the finances of the club are steadied as quickly as possible. Other options include a further reduction in the quality of the coaching staff and a reduction in the number of youth scouts.

THE FANS

Without the fans, football is hollow. A famous statement by former Wodkas legend Can Le, however we would add that without fans football is penny-less. A spokesperson at the club is crucial should the fan-base continue to grow, thus filling the 50,000 seater arena and bringing in much needed revenue. Should results have an adverse effect on the fanbase, then we would begin to worry for the future of the club once more.

THE REPUTATION OF THE CLUB

This isn’t the first time that The Wodkas have put a mass group of players up for sale; some would say this situation has become the ‘norm’. On the other hand, this situation is unique because it has been ‘forced’ upon the club. Many insiders have revealed that there is a real sadness to these events because every single player that has now been transfer-listed had been earmarked for a long-term future at the club, and eventual retirement into the Hall of Fame. So is the reputation of the club damaged as it has been in the past?

Despite being perennial under-achievers, The Wodkas somehow maintain their iconic status as one of the key players of the HTUM Federation and its various tournaments. Sometimes getting smashed by the big boys, but always presenting an enticing tie in whatever event is taking place. Part of this are the personalities involved with the club, the cockiness of the ‘little club’ mentality, and some of it is the respect and historical significance that the club holds from its counterparts.

Nobody in the Federation wants to see The Flaming Wodkas fold as a club. It happened once, a situation forced on the management, but it surely won’t be allowed to happen again?

WHAT NEXT?

In less than three days we will know which players have managed to move on to new clubs and bring in much needed revenue. If none, then the club is in a dire situation indeed. We will be monitoring the whole situation as it unfolds, right here on a very subdued Wodka-fuelled blog. We welcome comments from visitors to our site. How do you feel about the threat being faced by FWFC? Let us know.

5

Season Stumbles at First Hurdle

“NOOOOOOOoooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooOOOOOOO!” was the expression on the face of every fan present at the 3-2 defeat of Flaming Wodkas in their opening league game against Zawisza Bydgoszcz this Sunday morning. Here are a few of the reactions from the football community so far:

“What a shambles!” – Alin Badiu, HUP

“The players have really let the fans down.” – Martin Bros Nielsen, Blog Editor

“Now they have to win the next 13 matches or this season is another joke.” – Sami Arsal

“Not the best start.” – Hojris, owner of MS Odense, Denmark

“…” – Chairman Lord Bebbington

The match went from bad to worse in the first half as Wodkas found themselves 3-0 down to a team they were expecting to walk all over, and to be honest the stats showed that this game should have been an almost guaranteed three points for the Raszkowians. Game Engine had another idea.

Even with a 76% chance of winning, 15% chance of possibly drawing, it ended being the 8% chance of losing that brought today’s headlines. Bydgoszcz were simply able to exploit Wodkas choice of starting with 2 at the back, but with strikers being trained Wodkas felt a five man midfield would have proven decisive even with the limited defence.

The injury to Alex ‘X’ Hornet just at the half-way mark has also proven  a massive dent in the start of season hopes for Noblemen, with the quick Romanian out injured for three weeks at least. This does at least give a chance to Richardt ‘Zombie’ Breitenlohner to get a chance at training up front which he is currently missing out on. Due to the purchases in midfield, Zombie has had to resign himself to a role on the bench of late which isn’t the best for his development. He may now get a chance to increase his skills at Hornet’s expense.

Attention now turns to the 2nd round of the cup in midweek, but positive thoughts are now clouded by doubt and results seem less certain than ever. It’s time to ‘believe’.

4

Fans Dismayed

Ten straight defeats. That is what the team led by Mieczyslaw Mszyca is facing up to tonight as they conceded their 53rd goal in 10 games and continued their ignominious losing streak. Lord Bebbington has called for a private meeting of the board, and fans have started to become vocally disgruntled at the continued lack of success in Raszków. We asked Blog Editor Martin Bros Nielsen, former Flaming Wodkas FC Captain, what he thought might be going on behind closed doors.

“Quite simply, Revival find themselves 5th in the bottom league in Poland after being active since the 13th of October, 2011. That’s a long time to remain unsuccessful. I think that the simple fact that the sister club is advancing so well is putting masses of pressure on Raszków. This was the team where Golden League began, and yet they seem further away from that dream tonight than ever.”

The historical stats are a little damming too:

S C Ser. P
43 1 - -
42 1 VII.908 8
41 1 VII.908 6
40 1 VIII.330 1
39 1 VIII.330 3
38 - VIII.330 5
37 - IX.172 3
36 - VIII.162 7
35 - IX.1710 2
34 - X.267 2

“Nine seasons as a club, and yet the squad TSI is less than 50,000. The entire squad!” added a beside himself Alin Badiu, former Wodka player and now HUP journalist.”

Although fans have yet to protest outside the stadium as they have done in the past, it is no secret in the village of Raszków and surrounding areas that if things do not change soon, they will become quite vocal. Lest it be forgot, the fans are the other major stakeholder in the club after Lord Bebbington.

“What I am not sure about,” added Nielsen, “is where the club go now, and by that I mean the board. They can’t sack Mszyca, he is their chosen manager that followed on from Temmink. I don’t think Navis can be blamed either. Navis has done a great job over the seasons overlooking the reserves and Golden League matches. I think the blame has to be pointed at the owner.”

Strong words. The fact they are being spoken however shows the passion and disappointment that fans and ex-players alike are feeling now, so much so that they are not afraid of telling the owner what they think.

“They have recently brought in a large batch of players and you can’t seriously see any of them being sold right now. It’s not the right time, it’s too early. They haven’t been given a chance to settle in, but they also aren’t strong enough to compete with the teams around them. It’s a bit of a lose-lose situation unless something can be put in place long-term. It doesn’t look easy.

I think the squad still needs to be refined. If Revival truly are serious about building, I think they need to strip it down even more at the end of the season. Give these new players the chance to show ‘something’ in the last few games, then sell and profit. If you’re going to lose anyway, why pay high wages and look for players you can’t afford anyway. I would train goalkeepers. Get a truly amazing goalkeeper in place at the back, then with the money gained from selling a similarly trained keeper start building the spine of the team.

I understand that there is a certain strategy about training many players right now, and it might work… I’m just stating my opinion. It’s the board and coaching staff who have to get the club out of this mess, and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon.”

Martin Bros Nielsen is an editor of this blog, and former FWFC legend.