Arndt’s Analysis - The Inside Story: 1860 Ready for Promotion?
Already last week we were discussing whether Sechzig have the ability to play successful football over a longer period. Will there be a real chance to gain promotion, or is it the same as the last two or three seasons with inconsistency preventing the long-awaited return to the top-flight?
After stealing the win in Duesseldorf, fans expected answers from the match against Ingolstadt. At the end there were another three points but whether this team really has enough quality is still unclear after another varied performance in the derby.
Lousy performance in the first half
In the first 15 minutes, Ingolstadt showed more courage and was the more active and dangerous team. Sechzig’s winger Tomasov and midfielder Stoppelkamp sat very deep. Sometimes they were almost doubling-up with their full backs. As a result, Ingolstadt had a lot of time and space to build up their play. Tamás Hajnal especially had lots of touches of the ball and often tried to involve his strikers with smart passes out wide. Yannick Stark and Daniel Adlung (1860) failed to organise the passing game for the home side and ultimately lacked creativity.
After a short drinks break, Alexander Schmidt appeared to change his initial plan (one that clearly wasn’t working). His team responded, pushing forward and applying pressure on the visitors. “Ingolstadt were on the ball at the start, but after fifteen or twenty minutes we got into the game better”, said Schmidt in the post-game press conference. And although they did get into the game, Sechzig didn’t create any notable chances in the whole of the first half. Looking at the first 45 minutes, 1860 were further away from promotion than ever before.
Friend turns things around
Fortunately, Schmidt used his substitutes very well. Rob Friend replaced the unfortunate Stephan Hain, who had a disappointing first half. Friend has the ability to control the ball in the opponent´s half and allow his teammates to move up and support because he often drags two defenders into play. Along with Friend’s substitution, the quick own goal after the restart came at a perfect time for the home side. This is a sign of a strong counter-attacking team. On the back of the lead, 1860 took complete control of the game. They showed some good passing combinations and had several chances to decide the game. Even though the result was only 1-0, the performance in the second half was a big improvement, leaving us wondering which team is the real 1860?
Improvement compared to last year
There is one thing that should raise the hope of all Sechzig fans. The morale and the will to win of their team is far greater this year. This team never gives up and constantly believes in their own strength. Last season, 1860 wouldn’t have won the last two games, but this year things are different. There is still a lot of work to do, especially up front, but the will is already there and that’s half the battle.