Written by Ralf Vester
FCK. On Saturday, January 28, it starts at 1 FC Kaiserslautern the second half of the 2022/2023 season in the second Bundesliga. After a long ten-week break, caused by the highly questionable World Cup in the desert state of Qatar, Red Devils fans are finally being treated to honest football again without the hassles and negative political signals.
In the beginning, the top game awaits FCK at the fifth place Hannover 96. The top game in the second division – who would have believed that before the season? As a team promoted from the third division, Palatinate naturally started the season with the usual goal of staying in the league for the visitors. At least nothing has changed in these tests. The fact that after the first round three quarters of the 40 points normally required for this have already been collected exceeds wild expectations.
A flawless initial round ensures a good starting position
With a flawless preliminary round, 1. FC Kaiserslautern secured fourth place in the table. Given this formidable starting position, it’s obvious that some fans are already dreaming of a move up to the Bundesliga. After all, who, if not FCK, can do real miracles? Dreaming is allowed after years of misery, Red Devils supporters are thankfully soaking up their club’s top performances like a sponge.
Lautrer has made a spectacular return to the professional soccer map. Betze is booming – also in the media. It is not for nothing that the match played by coach Dirk Schuster’s team is the first match on Saturday evening once again. The spectacle put on by the team on the pitch and up to 10,000 away fans in the stands ensures high standards.
Set hoarding points to prevent negative runs
Respect for FCK is back again. In the second half of the season, no opponent will underestimate the returning kings from Betzenberg. That is why the promoted team is good first to make a slogan to collect the eleven points not yet awarded for relegation as soon as possible. Because once the cycle of games goes up, a bad run at the start of the second half of the season could mean things can get tough again. There are many warning examples of unexpected accidents.
In the last few weeks, the Red Devils have done their best to avoid the slump and continue to ride the wave of success. The foundation for this was laid in an intensive training camp in Belek, Turkey, and in sweaty weeks of training at home. Dirk Schuster’s teams should not be defeated because of their physical fitness. There were no serious injuries, all men are on board.
Strong signing and significant expansion of contracts
The chief sporting director, Thomas Hengen, continues to do a good job without much fanfare and always drives the squad to form. With defender Nicolai Rapp, on loan from Werder Bremen, a remarkable reinforcement was made. And for top performers Boris Tomiak, Marlon Ritter and Kenny Prince Redondo, significant contract extensions were set.
As players come in, some must leave if you don’t want to increase the squad unnecessarily. Hengen also handles these uncomfortable steps from time to time. Hikmet Ciftci was loaned to Göztepe in Turkey and Anas Bakhat’s contract was terminated. René Klingenburg, Max Hippe and Muhammed Kiprit also undoubtedly suggested changes to FCK.
Who comes, who goes?
The departure of Mike Wunderlich, who is very popular with the fans, is more painful in terms of ideas, but ultimately it is understandable that the young man from Cologne was sent back to his old country due to the lack of eleven views. Until the end of the winter season on January 31, something can still happen in terms of departures and arrivals. At least a big addition or backup to center forward Terrence Boyd would still be good for the Palatinate.
Up to 8,000 FCK fans expected in Hanover
Saturday evening now faces the top team from Hannover 96. The success story for the Red Devils in the second division so far began on July 15 with a 2-1 home win against the mighty players from Lower Saxony. With one or three points in fifth place, FCK, which is still undefeated away from home, wants to lay the foundation for an indifferent second half of the season. Around 8,000 fans abroad will once again give their team a ferocious support. And then let’s see how far 1. FC Kaiserslautern’s legs can carry them until the end of the season. Rev