Harding’s Hark - The Inside Story: 45 Minutes not Enough
An away defeat to second-bottom of the table was far from unpredictable. After all, this is German football. From Alexander Schmidt’s perspective, it was a case of what could have been had his side shown the same promise as they had in the first half.
Schmidt dropped Lauth for Wood, yet another suggestion that the club are keen on progressing as a collective rather than on the merits of said individual. Despite the defeat, it has been clear, and is becoming evermore so, that 1860 are growing free of their dependency on Lauth and his goals.
After his recent performances, it was hardly any surprise to see Marin Tomasov back in the starting eleven. Despite some nice exchanges with his supporting wing back Christopher Schindler though, he faded as the game went on.
Tomasov’s individual performance mirrored his team’s, as far too often 1860 were guilty of overplaying a situation when one touch would have sufficed. It may have been that the rigid feeling of Schmidt’s 4-4-2 restricted 1860.
Schmidt has been no stranger to tactical adaptation. We have already seen 4-1-3-2 and 4-2-2-2 this season, alongside the 4-4-2 and the favoured 4-2-3-1. As good as it is to see variation and a reaction from a side, it almost seemed to tie his team up in knots in the end. They were left too confused to even create after the hour mark.
All of Sechzig’s (1860) wins this season have come by a one-goal margin. It is further proof of their (and the league’s) unpredictability. This result aside, it is also interesting to see them win games that they might not have done last year (see Fortuna or FSV Frankfurt). Their defeat against Paderborn came by the same goal margin, but in truth it could have been more had Paderborn (Kachunga in particular) not been so wasteful in front of goal.
It appeared as though maybe Schmidt would have been better off without a half-time team talk. 1860 looked flat for the majority of the second half and as much as that was largely down to an energetic home team, this kind of prolonged absence is unacceptable.
What is proving more than acceptable are the performances of Daniel Adlung. The new signing is quickly becoming a key cog in the midfield. With Stahl and Bierofka out injured, there were fears that the midfield would be noticeably light. Adlung brings a lively, clever and athletic nature to the busiest part of the field though, and has impressed so far.
Paderborn created the goal well but Buelow will have been disappointed to have been so poorly positioned for the cross. That incident alone seemed to stem from a lethargic second half. Schmidt’s men let Paderborn control the game, benefit from the break and a loud home crowd. It was the kind of performance that will have left many 1860 fans worried that old habits are creeping back in.
As early as it is in the season, no points here means no taking advantage of slip-ups from fellow promotion hopefuls Kaiserslautern and Fuerth. Taking advantage of others mistakes is pivotal in the promotion race but fortunately, 1860 have time on their hands.