London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2009-10--> All for 20090710
<-Page <-Team Fri 10 Jul 2009 FC St. Pauli von 1910 e. V. 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Barry Anderson auth-> Harm Osmers
[F Bruns pen 29] ;[M Lehmann 85]
2 of 003 -----F A

Goal threat would grant Hearts' wish

Published Date: 11 July 2009
By Barry Anderson in Germany with Hearts
HEARTS officials insist that, for the moment, nothing should be read into Avram Grant's attendance at last night's pre-season friendly against St Pauli.
The Israeli coach sat alongside Sergejus Fedotovas and Vladimir Romanov, his personal friend, watching the German 2.Bundesliga side secure a 2-0 triumph over their Scottish counterparts. Their appearance together naturally prompts a host of questions but none with any definitive conclusion.

Some assume Grant is being primed to take over from Anatoli Korobochka, Hearts' veteran sports director who has kept an extremely low profile on this summer tour. But the club have stressed that it is simply business as usual for now. Grant and Romanov share an affection for basketball as well as football, although it is doubtful whether the former Chelsea manager travelled all the way to northern Germany to watch a pre-season game just for the hell of it.

Were Romanov to consult him on any Hearts-related matter, it would surely be how to solve the team's lack of attacking threat. In the rain-soaked Millerntor Stadion, the visitors' tidy if unspectacular performance was aching for some forward-thinking.

Once their opponents took a 23rd-minute lead from the penalty spot it was difficult to see Hearts scoring. A second goal five minutes from time justified St Pauli's overall superiority.

It was clear watching the respective teams that the hosts' pre-season preparations were underway before Hearts'. They passed and moved with typical German efficiency using a 4-3-3 formation that was difficult to combat due to their impressive fitness levels. Their forwards were both mobile and clever, ably assisted by three inventive midfield players in Matthias Lehmann, Dennis Daube and Timo Schultz.

Csaba Laszlo's lone-striker policy was rather ineffective by comparison. Were any two of Gary Glen, Calum Elliot and Austrian trialist David Witteveen paired together in an orthodox two-man front line, their productivity would most likely increase. But St Pauli, with three forwards, had little trouble in pressing their visitors back and generally played like a team who has been working together for several weeks.

"You could tell that by their pattern of play. Everything was quick in their minds and their pace was higher than ours. That's how they outpassed us," explained David Obua, Hearts' Ugandan midfielder. "We have to accept that we've played a couple of games in a short period of time and maybe that's affecting us. I think we will gel as time goes by.

"We've come straight in and started playing games, we haven't had a week or two training together and gradually building towards the games. It's another kind of pre-season. Hopefully we can get there and gel together with the new players. I must say they looked ahead of us so we need some more time."

Obua opined that he and his colleagues must work on their togetherness as well as physical strength during the coming weeks. "It's not only fitness, the whole team has to come together. We are missing some important players, Andy Driver is not around but we're not going to blame it on one player. We are a team and we have to form a good side together over the next few weeks."

The outstanding positive for Laszlo to take away from this match in the St Pauli district of Hamburg was the performance of new signing Ismael Bouzid. The Algerian centre-back partnered his fellow recent arrival, Dawid Kucharski, in defence and was cautioned just six minutes into his debut for a crunching tackle on St Pauli's Jan-Philipp Kalla. Thereafter he looked confident, reliable and forceful. If nothing else, his uncompromising style is sure to endear him to supporters.

Bouzid could do little on 23 minutes, though, as the opening goal was scored. Just as Hearts appeared to be asserting themselves St Pauli broke upfield and won a penalty when Marian Kello impeded Max Kruse as he chased Florian Bruns' lofted through ball. The penalty was scored low to the goalkeeper's right by Bruns.

David Obua's drive sped across goal from an acute angle on 35 minutes following intelligent build-up play involving Witteveen and Lee Wallace, however, St Pauli would have been 2-0 ahead at the interval but for the magnificence of Kello. Schultz slipped a through pass to Rouwen Hennings and sprinted into the penalty area to await the return ball. Hennings' cross found the midfielder unmarked inside the six-yard area but his attempt at a straightforward finish was thwarted by Kello's miraculous one-handed save at point-blank range.

Hearts improved after half-time with Gary Glen having replaced Witteveen. Lithuanian trialist Vytautas Luksa came close when he connected with Arvydas Novikovas' left-sided cross but St Pauli's substitute goalkeeper, Benedikt Pliquett, clawed the ball to safety. Deniz Naki then rounded Jamie MacDonald, on for Kello, but crossed into an empty penalty box before St Pauli doubled their advantage. Davidson Dropo-Ampem angled a cross from the right into the Hearts penalty box and Lehmann was virtually unchallenged to glance the ball into the net.

Afterwards, Laszlo revealed his frustrations to his club's website. "We are very average and poor up front and we lost the ball a lot but I am not afraid," he said. "You saw David Witteveen who tried to play what we need – a strong striker. At the moment, the most important thing is to build a team then see what happens."

Hearts (4-4-1-1): Kello; Jonsson, Bouzid, Kucharski, Wallace; Suso, Stewart, Palazuelos, Obua; Elliot; Witteveen. Subs: McDonald 56 (for Kello), J Thomson, C Thomson 83 (for Jonsson), Goncalves 46 (for Wallace), Mrowiec 65 (for Stewart), Black 46 (for Palazuelos), Novikovas 65 (for Elliot), McGowan 69 (for Kucharski), Luksa 56 (for Suso), Cinikas, Glen 46 (for Witteveen).

St Pauli (4-3-3): Hain; Lechner, Morena, Eger, Kalla; Lehmann, Daube, Schultz; Bruns, Hennings, Kruse. Subs: Pliquett 46 (for Hain), Gunesch 46 (for Eger), Takyi 46 (for Daube), Thorandt 46 (for Lechner), Boll, Biermann 46 (for Kalla), Naki 46 (for Kruse), Pichinot, Dropo-Ampem (for Schultz).

Referee: Harm Osmers.

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Fri 10 Jul 2009 FC St. Pauli von 1910 e. V. 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |