St Pauli 3 v 1 Dynamo Dresden:
What a quiet matchday in comparison to last week. Anyone who went to Newcastle Town away in 2006 will know how it felt the following weekend whilst sitting in the Swan & Cemetery (yeah we still went there in those days on normal matchdays and not just at the end of the season). Sat there, pint resting on the table, there was a feeling of quietness and anticlimax. After all the excitement and trouble of the previous match, running battles with Stoke’s Naughty Forty around Newcastle Town’s Velodrome, a normal home game suddenly seemed eerily relaxed. The same feeling was experienced this weekend against Dynamo Dresden, particularly as there were no away fans.
After some trouble and a fair amount of pyrotechnics at the cup match against Borussia Dortmund, Dynamo had decided to ban its own fans from the fixture against St Pauli as a punishment. It can be assumed that the club also did this in order to try and avoid a heavy fine from the German FA, yet Dynamo still find themselves banned from next year’s cup. Meanwhile all fans find themselves held accountable for a minority and it still hasn’t curbed the pyrotechnics with equally dramatic usage of flares etc being witnessed this very weekend at Rostock v UNION, Dortmund v SCHALKE, Cologne v BMG and Hannover v HAMBURG SUBURBIA. Incidentally the display from Schalke prompted a wonderfully melodramatic reaction from the commentator on German TV. Very “will someone think of the children”. “What will happen when they grow up and there are no standing terraces because of these “so-called fans”…” a point carefully ignoring that television influence means they wouldn’t be able to attend the match in the first place as it could well be placed on a school night.
Anyway back to the match. The day’s beginning was as dramatic as it got, as I had to make a bit of a mad dash for the train, but before long I was sat in the bar of the Ohnsorg Theater with N. enjoying an espresso. How refined!
Today was also the day where we would be selling copies of our fanzine Zeckenbiss. Sales were going quite well, until we were treated to some good old “Hamburger Wetter” and everything started getting a bit soggy. Of course a steady, fine rain is usually a recipe for a good game of football and so my expectations were high. Even better was that there was also a very nice choreo in the Sudkurve. Green paper was distributed across the central section of the terrace to create a pitch, an open goal was erected at the top of the standing section and a cardboard St Pauli player was held up down towards the fences. The message (on a large section of wallpaper)? “Fussball ohne Gästefans, ist wie Elfmeter ohne Torwart”/”Football without away fans, is like a penalty without a goalkeeper”. Reviewing photos afterwards, it wasn’t perfectly executed but nevertheless provided a message in a very creative and colourful manner. Nice!
The match started and it soon became clear that a fast paced, dramatic game, as the weather promised, wasn’t going to happen. Yes there were players doing 3 meter long slide-tackles, yes there was the odd chance (most notably Dynamo hitting the bar), yes the referee had an excellent day and kept his cards in his pocket, but the football was terrible! Chaotic, unstructured and players falling over all over the place. Play broke down consistently in the final third of the field and even the atmosphere was worringly flat. The lad in front of me spent a significant amount of time playing with his Sat Nav! How desperate was he to get away?! Even ex-St Pauli player, and former personal favourite player of mine, Filip Trojan, now returning in Dynamo yellow, showed little of his attractive dribbling style. In fact I would say the only major point of excitement was that Tschauner turned up not wearing his traditional green, but our 3rd outfield strip. Maybe it was the marketing department trying to wring a little bit more value out of the shirt after its usual outing (the cup) was cut short as normal in Trier!
The second half started and we started to witness slightly better football. Dynamo sat back very deeply and we started to press with some nice overlaps on the wings. Nevertheless when Dynamo did attack they seemed to manage to get our defenders to turn and fall on their backsides, and I felt quite frustrated that we didn’t try the odd potshot from a distance. A nice spin on the wet grass and we might have fluked a breakthrough. Regardless, it looked like whoever got a goal, would take the 3 points and so it was a bitter moment as Dynamo broke away on a counter attack and dinked the ball over the keeper. At this point a few Dynamo fans sprang up and started celebrating. On this particular day, it was understandable. The fancard system in Italy has seen away fans avoiding the whole thing by going in the home end, so why not for banned Dresden fans too. Rather than just celebrating though they started gesturing to the terrace below them, safe as they were behind the stewards. It was uncalled for and classless. Fortunately a header from Boll, a goal for Naki once more and then an easy finish for Ebbers, finished the East German side off in the space of 15 minutes. From the equaliser onwards the atmosphere finally took off, bar 5 or 6 seats in the Sudkurve and a small group in the Northstand who all looked a bit sheepish. J The only other point of note, was Denis Naki destroying a large yellow cardboard banana. A shame it wasn’t an inflatable one!
I stopped briefly at the Fanladen, but with the miserable weather, I took advantage of the early train home. A veggieburger in my belly, a bottle of Astra, various fanzines and a member of the Ruhrpott Piraten to keep me company on the journey, I headed back down south.