Tiangong, Capricornus 8, 249
Entrenched in the roots of the Europa colony is tradition.
A tradition of integrating to achieve common goals…and putting goals into nets, as Football is one of many traditions ingrained in the essence of Europe.
Yet a losing tradition is what Europa United is trying to avoid in season one of MAFL play.
In Week 13, the lowly Tiangong Wuji beat United 2 to 1, to move out of the basement with a 5 and 8 record for the season.
For United, this was their 5th loss in a row as they continued their slide downwards to a 5 and 8 record for the season.
The reason for their downward trend - a tradition of putting goals into nets hasn’t materialized.
In 7 of the 13 games to date, United has been held scoreless.
They are at the bottom of team scoring for the league, and of the top scorers in the league, only two come from United (the lowest of any team).
Their top goal scorer….is their GoalKeeper, Yvonne Barnato with 2 goals!
“I know our forwards are working hard but it’s hard to win matches when you can’t put the ball in the net,” said United defender Garfield Dickson.
The bright spot for Europa, the team’s identity has a high currency in defense which has helped the team allow the fewest goals for the season.
Will the loss to Wuji serve as a wakeup call for Europa to unlock more value in their teams’ offensive depression?
United Defenders Dickson, Claudia Moruga and Carlinhos Varela have the pace and crossing ability to be a threat going forward.
Yet concerns over Coach Matthäus Reinmann’s ability to unleash his team’s offensive prowess, continue to escalate.
“I’m glad our defenders play an efficient style that’s created a solid protective culture,” said United Captain Lennard Fuchs, “However, we need to tweak this to enable a more open, creative culture which we lack at crucial times – the guile and cutting edge to generate offense”.
This lack of cultural cohesion among Europa was apparent during many times of the match.
When asked, Wuji Captain Stanislas Hachette added, “Their players seemed out of sync. Their passes were going nowhere. They don’t seem to be communicating with each other on the field, nor off the field as they have defenders and offence sitting away from each other.”
After Wuji’s Marysa Waaijer scored the 2nd goal of the match (which was the eventual winner), Fuchs appeared to be engaged in a long and spirited conversation with Coach Reinmann.
“It was simply a disagreement between us”, said Fuchs after the match. “I simply suggested we switch our formation to a more attacking style like a 4-2-4 or even a 3-5-2 but Reinmann did not agree. Oddly enough, the 3-5-2 is a style perfected by the Germans which Reinmann is, so I thought we would be in agreement on this.”
Coach Reinmann commented, “I would love to play a 3-5-2 style which is more offensive or even a 4-2-3-1 style which would help us maintain possession of the ball more. However, you need specific personnel for that, and I think our results to date confirm, that’s a challenge.”
After the match, Europa United Chairperson, Natasha Kennedy put in a vote of confidence for Reinmann.
“I think he’s done a good job with the talent he’s been given. However, we are always looking at ways to improve the club to give us the lift we need to end the season strongly and win a championship.”