Weekly review 6/7/24

Last updated : 09 July 2024 By Paul Evans

C:WindowsTempphp6C39.tmpA few things to report this week. For example, those of us who won’t be celebrating our sixtieth birthday again will have noted that the club’s pre season fixture list was completed with a significant game that will have sent us veterans back fifty six years to 1968 as we recall a Semi Final in the European Cup Winners Cup.

Almost certainly unfairly, I have had whatever the opposite of a soft spot is for HSV Hamburg ever since they beat us in the last minute of said Semi Final thanks to a goalkeeping blunder. It’s amazing to think that it all occurred more than half a century ago and I really should be more mature than to let the defeat fester for all of this time, but I’m not and I have to admit that it’s been a source of amusement to me that Hamburg have struggled so long and so unsuccessfully to get out of Bundesliga 2 since they were relegated in 2018 – especially as their City rivals St Pauli were promoted in 23/24.

Historically, Hamburg are one of Germany’s biggest clubs and it really does show that the Championship has a serious rival for the title of Europe’s top second tier in Bundesliga 2 – certainly, in terms of some of the stadiums you’ll find in the respective leagues it does.

There is another link between the teams in that they have both had Robert Glatzel leading their attack in the last five years. – if you looked solely at his record of eleven goals in fifty eight appearances at City compared with his sixty nine in one hundred and nine for Hamburg, you’d conclude that standards are lower at Hamburg.

However, that is to ignore a couple of things, Glatzel is back on native soil with Hamburg and, although I don’t remember anything to suggest he found it a problem to settle at Cardiff, you have to remember that we are a team that, Kieffer Moore apart, strikers tend to struggle to make an impact. Certainly in terms of goals scored ,- I would argue that this is down to the fundamentally defensive outlook that City have had since the time Glatzel played for us, but I say that while admitting that I have become somewhat obsessed lately with what I see as our boring style of play, so maybe I’m overstating things there – what I will say mind about our style and Robert Glatzel during his time with us is that it was not designed to play to his strengths.

All in all, Hamburg should be favourites when we meet them during our Austrian training camp on Sunday 21 July as their usual position near to the top of their strong league is higher than ours has been in our tough division for the last three seasons, but, perhaps, this will be nullified by the fact that it will be our fourth pre season game, we’ll be three weeks off our first league game, whereas it will be five or six weeks for Hamburg.

At under 21 level, things are taking shape with the announcement that twelve Academy youngsters have signed professional deals with the club – this is a few more than you’d expect normally and it tends to back up my view that the club have a very good crop of players around the age of seventeen/eighteen coming through currently, as is evidenced by the fact that two of them have already played for the first team.

The under 21s have already been boosted by the signing of four new players – Griffiths is a former Swansea goalkeeper, Ghabehan was at Port Vale for a portion of last season, Reindorf was, seemingly, very highly rated during his time at Norwich and Pearce had loan spells with Torquay, Weston Super Mare and Dover last season (intriguingly, Soccerbase says he also scored six times while playing twice for Eastbourne on loan, but i suspect that’s a mistake!).

New signings below first level then, but the summer continues to be a non event in terms of signings for the first team with the club denying any interest in either of two Icelandic international full backs who were linked with us last week. That’s it really, apart from some online hints that at least one potential signing is still involved in the Euros, so there won’t be any concrete news on that one until the country (almost certainly Turkey I’d guess if there is something to this rumour) concerned has been eliminated.

It’s also being said by some online that it’s doubtful whether we’ll hear anything positive on new signings before the week in Austria. if true, this is far from ideal because we’ll have played half of our pre season games by then and the time available for integrating them into the squad for the start of the league campaign will be limited.