The mood at the regional soccer team Kickers Offenbach has changed after four games without a win in a row. The fans criticize the team and they show understanding. In this situation, the low expectations before the game at FC Astoria Walldorf could be an opportunity
Offenbach – A few games were enough to let the mood plummet at Offenbacher Kickers. During the winter break, there was still euphoria around the regional football league team – despite the 0-1 defeat in the last game last year at co-favorite SSV Ulm 1846. After all, coach Sreto Ristic’s team had won eleven of the twelve competitive games before and in TSV Steinbach Haiger (4:0), FC Homburg (1:0) and SV Elversberg (3:1) a trio from the top third of the table were clearly put in their place. Performance and tendency were right, everything was still possible for the OFC in the fight for promotion to the 3rd league. With a game and two points behind, the Kickers had it in their own hands in third place.
Since the start of the rest of the season on February 11, however, the situation has gradually changed. The OFC team had heard encouraging words from the hard core of the fans after the 0:1 (0:0) at home against Rot-Weiss Koblenz, but even then there was some criticism in the stadium. The premature extension of the contracts of the coaching team and the managing director was questioned, as was the composition of the squad (“Bring an ex-Chemnitzer!”). Some of the chaotic people vented their frustration in a cowardly and brutal attack on the guests’ team bus.
The game at TSG Hoffenheim II was a real emotional roller coaster ride: twice goal celebrations, twice disappointment after the equaliser. The supporters who had traveled with them reacted moderately after the final whistle, perhaps also because another important pillar in Rafael Garcia was seriously injured. With some distance, however, the traces left by the renewed setback became visible. The fact that three competitors had blundered before the last Kickers game and that the OFC had the great opportunity to report back in the title race did not cause euphoria, but brought out the typical Offenbach pessimism: It will – as so often – screw up , could be heard and read in many places. That’s how it happened – and of all things in the Hessian north-south duel with Kassel. The 0:1 in the home stadium resulted in a lecture from the supporters. The serious injury sustained by goalkeeper and captain Stephan Flauder in injury time did not cushion that. The fans made it clear to the team standing in front of the Waldemar Klein grandstand that they had completely gambled away their good starting position. “I can understand the fans,” said defender Jayson Breitenbach, who used to be in the fan block himself.
There is currently no sign of the former OFC motto “Get together”. Not even from the “You on the pitch, we in the ranks” propagated by the fans.” A supporter said only briefly: “No performance, no support.” Against Kassel, however, the support from the ranks was also limited , when the OFC had their best phase in the first 20 minutes of the game.
It’s a destructive mix at the moment – with players who seem tense and not able to fulfill their potential on the one hand and on the other hand disappointed fans who gave up their team early on. Both have to be accused of not showing what they can do at the moment.
In view of this constellation, it may be a good thing that the next OFC game will take place away from home and in front of a small crowd. At FC Astoria Walldorf, the Kickers can actually play freely on Sunday (2 p.m.). Nobody talks about promotion anymore, neither in the club nor in the environment. The expectations of the team are low in view of the recent appearances and the major personnel concerns. Perhaps therein lies the great opportunity to knock over the goat, as Ristic put it. It would be good for players and fans and might release energy.
By Christian Düncher