Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Rot Weiss Essen v Union Berlin

Essen Club Heaven

Rot Weiss Essen 0-1 Union Berlin
DFB Pokal First Round
Monday 20th August
Stadion Essen
Attendance: 12,500

Translations with Adventures in Tinpot.
German    English:

Rot           red {adj}
Weiss       white {adj}
Essen       to eat (v), food (n), a city in Germany with a tremendous football team.

Definitions with Adventures in Tinpot.
Sleeping Giant     Rot Weiss Essen 

A proud 105 year history involving a German league title and Cup in the trophy cabinet, numerous German internationals coupled with a season that has started with the opening of a new 20,000 (twenty thousand) stadium, two wins in the first two Regionalliga games and 7,000 (seven thousand) fans attending an away game mean that Rot Weiss Essen firmly adhere to the definition of a sleeping giant (German: schlafender Riese) in any language. 

Rot Weiss Essen's new kit initially met with some scepticism but the cut off jeans and baseball cap look soon won the fans over.

*swallows hard*
Thanks to RWE’s Fan Liaison Officer Roland Sauskat we are able to secure “Access All Areas” passes and have a shufty around the historic old ground, two sides of which still stand behind the new ground. Roland shows us round a treasure trove of bizarre delights. Go through the door with the picture of the Pope singing RWE songs, take the concrete staircase past the RWE lighthouse, walk into the office where the walls are made of football scarves, try on the RWE slippers, turn back out, go straight on at the huge RWE Lego badge, stop to get a photo of the world’s biggest pennant and finally reach your destination of a tiny smoky bar where a barman,whose appearance suggests he’s been to some ridiculously debauched house parties in his time, serves ridiculously cheap beers. Roland is my hero. 

Ultra Pope. 

A botched science experiment on a thunderous night means that this mans shoulders now carry this huge RWE sign while his face remains alive on the side of the old stadium.

Admit it, you thought I was joking about the lighthouse didn't you?

Bad news: Despite a campaign to leave one of the old terraces as a monument to the old ground it’s all gonna have to go to make room for car parking spaces. Boo. 

Spiffing good news: The magnificent news for fans of floodlights, the first in West Germany no less, is that one of these beauties will remain in order to light the aforementioned car park. Hurrah.


The first neighbours to stick their noses in to RWE’s new home and offer a cup of sugar were Rot Weiss Lintorf last week in the Niederrhein Pokal. They were quickly shown around, allowed to admire the new fixtures and fittings, given a 8-0 run-around of the place and then politely booted out the door before the star guest could arrive. 

The second guests over the threshold of the new Stadion Essen are everyone’s favourite DIY enthusiasts Union Berlin.

The Police deployed an interesting formation prior to their surprise kettling of a solitary corner flag.
Last year RWE welcomed Union into their crumbling Hafenstraase home before dumping them whimpering on the doorstep like Fred Flintstone after a 6-5 win on penalties in the first round of the DFB Pokal. As if by magic they’d only been drawn against each other again. 

 Eminem is an RWE fan. 

The new house is full by the time we arrive fashionably late to the party. Everyone’s drunk, the music is loud, everyone’s got their feet on the new furniture and are boisterously singing songs. Being cool kids we head straight to the kitchen pick up a box of Stauder beers, some sausages and to try and chat up girls. There are no girls. We decide to watch the football instead. 

“Ohh, who is going to clean up all this mess” is a thought that doesn’t go through my mind as the RWE fans  launch a blizzard of red and white paper into the air as the teams come out. It gets everywhere, slowly floating down to cover every party goer, all over the garden, all over the already beer soaked new seats. It’s gonna be a nightmare to shift but looks an amazing sight.

At this point in the night the RWE fans were already flagging a bit.

Throughout the match there is little between the two sides, Union are poor. RWE's Kerim Avci leads the charge forward as the defence rebuffs Union attacks. While the action on the pitch is entertaining off it it’s superb as the RWE fans create a raucous atmosphere at their first big house party. As with any good party a fat topless man with a megaphone shouts at you to chant. You oblige. You can’t help yourself. 

Will the owner of a blue Mazda with the registration plate D1882 GHJJ811 please move it as your number plate is blocking the emergency exit, thanks.

As the sun sets the tension grows and the noise gets louder still, most RWE fans are up on the seats singing “Forza Essen” over and over, singing “nur der RWE” (“only RWE”) over and over again as Union gradually take control. As the referee blows to signal extra time the party falls briefly silent, a stillness quickly broken by the stampede to test the new toilets, grab boxes of frosty Stauder beers and see if there are any girls in the kitchen. There are no girls. We decide to watch the extra time instead. 

Token match shot.  

The extra time is full of tension, concentration levels are high and the singing phenomenal. “nur der RWE” is sung like a drunken karaoke song on repeat for ten minutes, Union's Simon Terrode hits the post on 118 minutes but the singing is unrelenting. 

Ah yeah, Union had some fans there too. Well played chaps, good effort for a Monday night.

On 120 minutes the singing stops. The sound of Union Berlin fans celebrating fills the air. One moments hesitation from Maik Rodenberg leads to Terrode scoring Union’s winner, sending Union players and management sprinting towards their fans and RWE collapsing players to their knees. One moments hush and then the first shout of “nur der RWE” leads to a deflated but proud rendition of the song. 

Of course "Rude Fans".
The last minute winner is the definition of heartbreaking but it doesn't spoil the party. With the passion in the newly built stands pushing Rot Weiss Essen forward it hopefully won’t be long before this all translates into success on the pitch for RWE.

Huge thanks to Roland Sauskat for making this such a brilliant day. Forza RWE.

For some proper pictures of the game head over to Danny Last's Flickr page. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

DSC 99 Düsseldorfer v SP.-VG. Hilden 05/06

If it's raining, it's raining tears (of laughter) from my eyes.

DSC 99 Düsseldorfer 2-0 SP.-VG. Hilden 05/06
Sunday 26 August 2012
Bezirkssportanlage Düsseltal
Bezirksliga, Gruppe 1
Attendance: 50 (ish)

Düsseldorfer Sport-Club 1899 (DSC 99) were the 2011 German champions....at lacrosse. The football team? Ehhh....well, they’re not quite so good.

DSC’s ground, the Bezirkssportanlage Düsseltal, hosted the German Cup Final.....in 1921. As there probably wasn’t a lot else going on in Germany at that time** a crowd of 27,000 (twenty seven thousand) turned up for the match between 1 FC. Nürnberg and Vorwärts Berlin, with many of the crowd being French soldiers who ehhh...probably...umm...just happened to be passing through the Rhineland area at the time. **

Double AiT thumbs up to a thumbs up monster type thing. Not really sure what that's supposed to be actually.

Kick off was delayed for 30 (thirty) minutes as the linesman’s flags went missing (of course) before Nürnberg won 5-0, a score line which included a hat trick from Luitpold Popp (Popp, Popp, Popp), and they became the first side to successfully defend the championship. Right, that’s now emptied the contents of the AiT facts sack for this season normal service will commence.

Pretty impressive range of trophies that.

DSC 99 are one of the world’s most successful clubs, if the club house wall spanning trophy cabinet is to be believed. Closer inspection reveals I may have been viciously hoodwinked. Some of these don’t even seem to be trophies at all. There’s a plaque from the prestigious “Southend Borough Football Combination”, a statue of a bell “presented by Mayor Frank L. Rizzo - City of Philadelphia” and a footballers amputated lower leg. The glittering cabinet is marvellously highlighted by a number of dead plants and a teeny-tiny, dusty glitter ball.

 Pretty impressive range of trophies. Less impressive glitter ball and plants though, lets be honest.


The stadium now consists of two small banks of terraces, a large dusty track, 6 (six) flag poles, numerous dehydrated plants, four under performing tomato plants and a flimsy marquee.

Tinpot plant pot.

The standard of the officials at German non league tinpot offers two plus points when compared to England, namely the extensive deployment of a) referees with glasses and b) the half arsed, half way line clinging, club linesman. Both of which I’m delighted to inform you were here today.

If only all linesmen were like Hilden’s then football would be a better place. In my mind anyway. He is a tremendous man who rarely moves from the touchline, offers languid indications of the directions of throw ins whilst wearing a huge coat, baseball cap and providing a running commentary to his, increasingly sweary, wife on the touchline.






As the rain starts to lash down the lino fumbles for his hood, a raging battle ensues with his ears who finally relinquish their role as trusted gatekeepers to his head and allow the hood full access to his bedraggled mop of hair. Next, the tinpot gods spoil me as the lineman decides he can better not influence the game by holding an umbrella. An umbrella.




For two minutes he battles to get the umbrella up. He drops the flag, the hood flops back down, his wife swears at him, the pole on the umbrella refuses to budge, he clutches the flag between his legs, he tugs the umbrella furiously, I take my 87th picture of this sorry scene, he’s now drenched, I’m drenched, the umbrella get stuck halfway up, the direction of a throw in remains unindicated, the umbrella won’t unfold, then, finally glorious rain shielding success is achieved and the brolly triumphantly raised skywards.

It stopped raining shortly after. He put the umbrella away with minimal fuss.

This years football fan must have, the beret and leopard skin print umbrella.

DSC are kitted out like Arsenal. They don’t play like it, they score some goals. Hah. Jokes. Two, in one game, in one half even. The first is celebrated with the goal scorer skidding on his knees and shouting “yeeahh baby” in a terrifyingly disturbing German accent before disappearing at the bottom of a bundle. The second? Ahh, I forget. Linesman with an umbrella!!

In addition to that excitement the other lino gets a ticking off from the ref and the home physio treats a leg injury by popping a couple of ice cubes in the stricken players pants. German health system, best in the world. “Of course, the crippling arthritis in your hands is curable Fritz, just strap a Mr. Freeze to the inside of your boxers and be on your way home.”

Token match shot.

The second half starts with a mega storm. The linesman conquers his umbrella with minimal fuss, managers and subs sprint under the marquee, lone groundhoppers steadfastly refuse to move from the open terrace and continue to make notes in increasingly damp notebooks, huge puddles soon cover the ash track and a man in an electric disabled scooter is at significant risk of becoming a human fireball and/or getting marooned in the sodden ash track as the water pours into the marquee.

Token splash shot.

With the man on the scooter safely moved to higher ground the excitement really begins. Grown men jostle each other to joust the puddles formed on the marquee roof with their umbrellas and take great pride at being responsible for the subsequent cascade of water. Some kids get involved, they can’t reach, the suckers and have to be content with cycling full pelt through the puddles. As the fun just doesn’t stop off the pitch the longest, the most boring half of football ever is played out on it.

In conclusion, AiT says “vote yes to linesmen with umbrellas.”

**Adventures in Tinpot maintains a strict “don’t mention the war policy”. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

SSVg Velbert v SC Verl

Velbert The Great.   

Behind the scenes at AiT

SSVg Velbert 0-3 SC Verl
Friday 17th August 2012
Regionalliga West
Stadion Sonnenblume
Attendance: 440 (ish)

A lot of work goes into every Adventures in Tinpot blog post. I remember a post once that took almost 17 (seventeen) minutes to write.

It's not all searching Google to help crowbar in tenuous links to 90's pop music, or scouring the internet sites of the clubs involved to allow me to chuck in quotes from to American TV shows and I very, very rarely even look in the programme for players with mildly chucklesome names. Oh no.

Often at games people stop me and ask alliteratively asinine questions like “do you think Velbert manager Lars Leese was a fan of Let Loose” or “do you think the recent change in luck of SSVg Velbert's 21 year old midfielder means that everything is coming up Mühlhause” and, most inanely, was I aware that SC Verl have a player with a called Alaaddin? Such frivolous questions would have been most unwelcome today as I am here with the sole intention of writing a captivating piece of this mid table German 4th division regional match.

Many of you have been sending in letters, and while I do read every one it is not possible to reply to you all, asking if I could shed some light on to just how each blog nugget is crafted. In a special, one off never to be repeated (it might be repeated again) treat I am going to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of Adventures in Tinpot.

First it is important to take a lot of accurately spelt notes on every aspect, of every minute, of the game and don't let off the field incidents, such as music, noises in the crowd or animals sniffing each other distract you. My notes from this game show I am a master of following the above advice.

Gras bank
Linkon park
Epic music

It's also important that you take cleverly shot photos that capture the hectic pace of the game against the backdrop of the fervent crowd. Be sure to check your apertures and your depth of field so that you produce photos that are really going to appeal to your audience. I am delighted to show you, through the photos below, that I have successfully followed this advice and delivered another supreme blog.

It's also important not to drink lots of cheap German beer throughout the afternoon, on the way to the match and during the game if you want to write a comprehensive match report like mine.
 Here you can see the tension in the crowd pre match. 

 Here you can see a little bit less of the tension in the crowd pre match from a little bit further away.

This shot brilliantly captures a man running out of a bush, a classic warm up technique.

Never work with children or animals. If you must take pictures of children (leave it) always try and cut the tops of the kids heads off on the photos.

Never work with children or animals. Focus solely on the game. Even if one dog is checking out the arse of the other.

 A handy method to improve your photos is to smear two stripes of an almost empty Pritt Stick along the lens.

Close up action shots showing both the players and the managers are always likely to capture the readers attention.

Everyone loves a shot of a corner being taken, as you can tell by my fellow pros poised and ready. But did they get the shot before the player even started to run up to take the ball. Nope. 'Cos they were looking the wrong way that's why! Idiots. 

Try to make any interesting aspects of the ground look like they are set at a frankly unstable angle.

I really can't emphasis the importance of action match shots enough. This one is a perfect example.

Your readers will want to see pictures of how hard the managers are working to direct their team. If you can't get a shot like that get one with the referee's elbow just in it.

The action off the field can be as important as that on it, for example who doesn't like to see a picture of a sub warming up.

Never make cheap puns. Leave your owners with a picture that will make them as keen as mustard to return to your blog.

And that concludes the AiT blogging masterclass. If you follow this advice one day you too may also somehow get nominated for Best Blog at the NOPA awards. *blows own trumpet* Can I remind you again, and I can not stress this enough, don't drink copious amounts of alcohol if you want to write a thorough match report. Hmm...

For some decent pictures of this match head over to The Ball Is Round's Flickr page here.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Rot Weiss Oberhausen v Rot Weiss Essen

It's not Ober yet.

Rot Weiss Oberhausen 2-4 Rot Weiss Essen
Friday 3rd August 2012
Regionalliga West
Niederheinstadion, Oberhausen
Attendance: 13,145

The first day of the season, the smell of freshly cut grass, the scent of pre season infused optimism in the air and most of all, the horrific smell of freshly dumped horse shit around the ground. 

You always want your team to start the season by spanking some relegation fodder. You don't want a massive derby match against your hated rivals, where the whole town comes to watch, where the police turn out in force and feel the need to bring their previously severely constipated equine section who have suddenly got pre match nerves and have violently defecated in the middle of the main route to the ground. Rot Weiss Oberhausen got all three of these things.


 Tragic scenes at Oberhausen. Not a drop survived. Makes you think how lucky you are really...

Tremendous effort sir.

Kick off is delayed for 15 minutes and this time is used in a number of ways. A new CD of terrible German soft rock hits is placed on the stereo, more non alcoholic beers are reluctantly purchased and the Essen players whip their 6,000 (ish) fans into new levels of pre match frenzy. Meanwhile Oberhausen's Capo tries to get the fans going by shouting into a megaphone with the amplification quality of a banana peel filled with a slipper. He fails badly and then wobbles off the fence.

"When I say Rot Weiss you say Oberhausen, Rot Weiss......, is this thing on. 1,2, Rot Weiss.....tough crowd"

On the pitch one of the most tinpot things I have ever seen takes place. Small children, dressed as representatives from each of the 20 clubs in the new Regionalliga West, are introduced to the nonplussed crowd and made to run from the touchline to the centre circle all the while being vociferously harangued by 13,000 football fans. “Ladies and Gentlemen it’s FC Schalke 04 II”, “next little Fritz represents Fortuna Köln” “Booo, Booo!!!!”, “Rot Weiss Essen everybody”, “Scheiss RWE, Schiess RWE” etc. An experience I'm sure they will never look back on fondly and never tell the Grandkids in the future.

The teams are out and the Oberhausen Ultras, the hygienically named “Handtuch Mafia (Towel Mafia)  have prepared an impressive display of flag waving, Argentina 1978 style paper throwing and a tifo with the slogan “ My heart beats with an inferno when I think of RWO” Might want to see a cardiologist about that then chaps.



Essen fans clamber onto the roof of the bratwurst hut to find space and are singing “Scheiss RWO” and we're all ready to kick off the season. But no. First we need a speech from some droid from the Regionalliga about how he is convinced the new league structure is correct, how there will be some great games and how the focus should be on fairplay and good sportsmanship. When he finally, thankfully, pipes the chuff down we can all get back to chanting “Scheiss RWE/O” (delete as appropriate) and show we paid no attention to his plea for good sportsmanship.

Oberhausen are managed by ex Bayern Munich winger/nutjob Mario Basler. Basler is a fully paid up member of the “Good Player/Shit Manager” club (which recently awarded honorary lifetime memberships to Bryan Robson, John Barnes and Tony Adams) and currently looks like an anguished walnut. He's had four managerial jobs, been sacked from them all and got Oberhausen relegated last year. This summer he’s been a busy Basler signing 20 (twenty) new players as well as writing a blog for budget supermarket Netto.

Man with large flag stuck in hat seeks new vantage point. 

After 35 minutes Basler's boys are one down. The Oberhausen fans are hacked off, “Wir machen das Spiel, Sie machen die Tore. Wie immer.” (We make the play, they score the goals. Like always) The pre-season optimism has drifted away before the smell of horse shit.

The RW Essen fans however are having a great time. Each third of the terrace takes it in turn to shout part of the team name, which is quite impressive. What's not impressive is the deployment of a Mexican wave. Seriously. Stop that. The Oberhausen terraces fall silent. It starts to rain. A young girl quietly plays with a hoola hoop.

The Capo during more responsive times.

In the second half Oberhausen deservedly equalise through a tremendous volley from Schneider on 55 minutes and take the lead when Jörn Nowak nods in a goal on 66. There's some classic grown men jumping on fences celebrations going on, but before they’ve clambered down RWE have equalised. Being on a fence then just looks foolish. 

Token match shot. A blurry shot of Oberhausen's equaliser.

A blurry shot of the celebrations.

Oberhausen have two great chances to win the game, both falling to Karoj Sindi but he blows them both. With the Towel Mafia (Arf) busy unfurling a banner saying “What’s worse than the rats from RWE, only the hypocrites from DFB” RWE take the lead. The banner is soon in tatters. 

 Yeah, this banner will show them pesky Essen fans....what, 2-3 down.....bollocks.

Soon after the stadium fills with the sickening sound of away fans celebrating a goal that confirms a derby day defeat. Marvin Ellmann scores and Basler’s not happy. So he tries to start a fight the celebrating Ellmann and the entire RWE team in scenes that badly let himself down but are really, really, REALLY funny to watch. As you can see after 6 minutes 20 here. Hilariously he storms on to the pitch at the end for another pop at Ellmann. From one blogger to another thank you Mario, thank you for this anecdote.

Now, someone get me a bucket of cold water and a stiff broom. I’ll clean this shit up myself shall I?

Previously on Adventures in das Tinpot - Rot Weiss Oberhausen v Erzgebirge Aue