Harding’s Hark – The Inside Story: Not so Fortuna
So have 1860 cured their inconsistency bug? That will certainly be the first question by most who take a glance at tonight’s scoreline. And, ultimately, three points are not to be sniffed at, but on the basis of this performance Alexander Schmidt’s side cannot expect to come away with the same result every week.
Facing a former Bundesliga side, Schmidt looked as though he had opted to absorb expected pressure and play on the break. When Lauth scored it looked like the perfect game plan, but as the match went on, that game plan looked riskier and riskier. Fortuna dominated possession and their equaliser, when it came, was deserved and unsurprising. The foul from Stark that gave away the penalty almost personified 1860’s game in one moment. An anxious tug became a panicked clearance that ended in disaster.
The basis of this tactical approach is a strong defensive unit. Last year, Sechzig conceded only 31 goals – the second best in the league – but on tonight’s evidence, they can expect more this season. Vallori and Wojtkowiak replaced Volz and Hertner in the back line but the new pair constantly committed needless fouls in dangerous positions. Just as was the case with Stark, a lack of calmness in difficult situations caused a knee-jerk reactions. On this occasion, Schmidt’s men were fortunate not to be punished.
So one opportunistic and one clinical finish combined with stubborn and fortuitous defending proved enough on the night. And there is certainly an argument for the importance of winning ugly but not all of the aforementioned variables will come together every week. This time they did but if 1860 are serious about promotion, their performance will have to improve.
Sechzig are the ultimate contradiction in a team. They possess the ability to not only win one week and lose the next, but also regularly balance that inconsistency inside 90 minutes. Football is a momentum sport with side’s enjoying spells of dominance, but 1860 continue to take that to the extreme.