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Jagd auf den Red Bull

Can one of Austria's biggest clubs take back the crown from Red Bull?
Started on 27 October 2018 by mgriffin2012 / First Post
Latest Reply on 25 April 2019 by chrisburnss / Last Post
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mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
5 monthsEdited


Grunwald: We’ve Proven How Strong This Squad Is


With the tipico Bundesliga now on its winter break once more, the 12 teams will be looking to the January transfer window to bolster their squad as they prepare for the second half of the campaign and the push for the title/Europe or to avoid relegation. At the Generali Arena, Austria Wien have enjoyed another very strong first half of the campaign, having won 13, drawn 4 and lost just one of their opening 18 games with club captain Alexander Grunwald helping to lead the way as Die Vielchen look to push for the Bundesliga title when the league returns in February. Grunwald has scored 7 goals in the Bundesliga as he enjoys another fine season under the stewardship of Christopher Steegmann and speaking to bundesliga.at, Grunwald spoke about his teams performances this season, his own form and Die Vielchen’s title prospects.


Alexander, thank you for joining us! You’re enjoying another very successful season, both personally and as a team, are you confident that this season you and this Die Vielchen side can go on to enjoy some sort of success?
Thanks for having me. Yeah absolutely, everything is going very well right now. When we lost to Salzburg people were criticising us and expecting us to fall away but I think we’ve regrouped and come back stronger and a lot better than we were before the Salzburg defeat and we are looking very strong as a team now which is brilliant. I’m definitely confident we can win some sort of silverware this season, I know we’re out of the OFB-Cup but we’re definitely still challenging for the Bundesliga crown and we’d like to go deep into the Europa League and really do feel that we are capable of doing that. On a personal level, I just want to keep playing well, scoring goals and helping the team win games of football. If I didn’t score another goal all season but we went on to win the Bundesliga then I’d be a very happy man.

You’ve scored seven goals in just 15 games for Austria Wien this season, having scored 9 in the Bundesliga all season last season so do you feel confident that you can go on to have what would probably be the best season you’ve ever had in your career?
I would really like to. I think if I did it would be testament to the hard work I feel like I’ve put in on the training ground and the amount of trust the manager and the coaching team have in me because we’ve worked really closely together to make sure I can contribute as effectively as I feel I have been doing. 7 goals in 15 is a good record for me, and I would love to go on to best my record season. Again though, if the team is performing well I would rather we picked up silverware and were successful as a team than achieve personal accolades.

It has been noticeable that when you have started alongside Lucas Venuto, Dominik Prokop and Bright Edomwonyi, Austria Wien have played some very attractive attacking football that causes opposition defences a lot of problems. What is it about that attacking quartet that makes you so lethal?
Yeah there is a real chemistry amongst me and the other three and I think we’ve all got a really good idea of how everyone in that unit plays and the moves they’ll make. It makes playing so much easier when you can say that about your team mates, and they are some very talented players that are brilliant going forward. We’ve got a really strong squad to be honest and anybody that the manager picks are a real pleasure to play with going forward and there is a real good understanding between every player at the club but the stats suggest we’re forming a potent quartet.

Christopher Steegmann has rotated the side a lot this year, because of the increase in fixtures you have had as a result of your participation in the Europa League. Do you feel that has hindered the team or have you coped well with the regular rotation?
We’ve rotated a lot but I really don’t think it’s hindered the team and really it’s not my place to comment because I’m not in charge of running the team. We may not have had a consistent starting XI because of the amount of games we’ve been playing but we’re still getting results and we’re still second in the Bundesliga. The results we’ve picked up this year, have proven how strong this squad is because we’re still grinding out results even when a heavily rotated side has been selected and as far as I’m concerned, Christopher has got everything right on the pitch with his team selections so things look really good for us moving forward.

There is a lot of talk of some big money moves in January for some of your key players with the likes of Southampton reportedly chasing Lucas Venuto, West Brom chasing Dominik Prokop and Patrick Pentz once again being heavily linked with clubs in Germany, England and Italy. Do you fear that this squad may be dismantled just as it’s really getting going?
I don’t think there’s any real fear amongst the squad. The fans might fear it but to any fans that are reading this, I can tell you, everyone seems very happy and content to be at this club right now and we’re a real team unit right now so I wouldn’t expect anyone to leave, certainly not in January anyway. Southampton, West Brom and any club may be interested but I don’t think anyone will want to leave here. We’re in with a real shot at silverware this season so I’m confident that this squad isn’t about to be dismantled.

You’ve made it through to the Round of 32 in the Europa League, how big of an achievement is that for this Austria Wien side given that it is only the second year of Steegmann’s project?
It is a huge achievement for us from my point of view. We were gutted to have missed out on a place in the Play Offs for the Champions League, especially having beaten Zenit in the first leg in Russia and we knew that the Europa League was going to be a very difficult campaign. Olympiakos and Basel are two established sides on the European circuit and play in the Champions League regularly so beating them to the qualification places in our group is a huge achievement and we’re thrilled that we’ve managed to get through. It shows how far this team has come under Christopher and hopefully we can continue to impress moving forward this season.

How far do you feel you can progress in the Europa League? You’ve got a tie against Zorya in the next round, one that you must feel is winnable?
It’s certainly winnable yes. However I think we could have been drawn against most of the teams left in the hat for the Round of 32 and we would have felt confident that we could go and give them a run for their money at the very least and push for a place in the Round of 16. Zorya though, like ourselves will be one of the least favoured teams in the draw right now and they’ll fancy their chances coming up against us so hopefully we can play two very good games of football and pick them off because we like playing teams that think they can beat us and hopefully we’ll be celebrating a place in the last 16 of the competition come the end of February.

What about in the Bundesliga? Obviously, you’re second in the league and doing very well, do you think it is possible to catch Salzburg this year or do you think another season of building and summer of recruitment is necessary to really make you title challengers?
I think it’s definitely within the realms of possibility. Salzburg have looked incredible this season and they are devastating going forward and almost impenetrable at the back, but impenetrable is the key word. They are capable of being caught. We’re playing some really good football this season and we’re going to run them close that is for sure, even if we narrowly miss out. We’ve closed the gap on them to just four points with 14 games to go so there will be a real opportunity to close the game and overtake them I am sure of it, especially if we carry on performing the way we have done and hit the ground running once the winter break is over.

It’s been noted how much time Steegmann has given to young players this season with the likes of Alexander Borkovic and Michael Blauensteiner particularly impressing, what are your thoughts as captain on the performances of the younger players at the club?
The younger players in this squad have been terrific this season, This is a young squad with a lot of talent and potential for the future. Alexander Borkovic, Michael Blauensteiner, Patrick Pentz, Dominik Fitz are all very gifted players that have big futures ahead of them and they’ve been doing really well this season. They’re helping fire this team towards success and they’re only going to get better the more they play so it really is an exciting time to be both a player at this club and a fan of this club because there is a very bright future ahead of us.

Well Alexander that concludes this interview, enjoy your mid-season break and good luck for the rest of the season!
Thank you very much, I will try my best, and thank you!

Comments

Justice: We can definitely beat Zorya and progress in the Europa League, whilst we’re breathing down the necks of Salzburg and I’m more than confident we can catch them!

Jack: Sturm Graz are a side we seem to struggle against and they seem to know how to get the better of us so we need to work that one out. It’s frustrating that we are as far behind as we are when we could have closed the gap by beating them though. We’ll go into the winter break though and hopefully come away on the other side with a solid run of form.

ScottT: There will be more chances to close the gap, believe!

Griffo: Thanks man, we’re gonna be breathing right down their necks, mark my words!

Last Update: #2.27 Month In Focus: December
Next Update: #2.29 Steegmann Declares Commitment To Austria Wien Despite Bundesliga Interest
He seems to be having an excellent season and epitomises the success of the team so far this season. Interest in players is natural considering how well you are playing, however it is important to keep them at the club if you want to improve. In the same breath, if there are any rumblings of discontent, in which there doesn't seem to be thus far, it's in the club's interests to get rid and recoup a good fee.
Rotation is a very important balancing act. Who do you play and when? With the results, particularly of late, showing the true ability of the squad, it seems as if it has come to fruition recently. Long may the success continue into the showcase part of the season!
I really do like these interview-style updates, when showing results you only get the face of the result but when you're getting interviews with integral members of the squad it really does personalise your success with your philosophy.
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
5 monthsEdited


Steegmann Declares Commitment To Austria Wien Amidst Bundesliga Interest


FK Austria Wien fans will today be breathing a sigh of relief as manager Christopher Steegmann declared his commitment to his ongoing job at the Generali Arena, amidst interest from a number of clubs in the German Bundesliga. Reports in Wien suggest that in the last few days both TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and VfL Wolfsburg have made approaches for the 37 year old who has impressed significantly since taking over at Die Vielchen in July 2018. With Die Vielchen sitting second in the Austria Bundesliga after 18 games, both Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg were keen to appoint the 37 year old to help save their ailing seasons.

Having taken over at Austria Wien in the summer of 2018, Steegmann steered his team to a second placed finish in the Bundesliga last season despite a mid-season drop off in form. As a result Austria Wien qualified for the preliminary rounds of the Champions League, beating Zenit 3-2 at the Krestovsky Stadium in the first leg before a 2-0 second leg defeat meant Die Vielchen were relegated to the Europa League Group Stages. Whilst guiding Austria Wien to second in the Bundesliga again this season with just four games of the regular season to go in the Bundesliga, Steegmann’s Austria Wien side have progressed to the Round of 32 in the Europa League, coming through a tricky group containing the likes of Olympiakos and FC Basel, both sides who are regulars in the Champions League. It is this performance in European competition despite only being in his second season of management that is believed to have led Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg to hedge their bets on the young manager.

With Hoffenheim sitting 18th in the Bundesliga table and Wolfsburg sitting in mid table, both sides were willing to take a gamble on a manager unproven in one of Europe’s biggest leagues in order to turn their seasons around, but Steegmann today issued a statement on the Austria Wien website saying. “For me, my sole focus right now is on Austria Wien and making sure we enjoy a successful season and lay the foundations for a very good next couple of seasons. This is a great club and I am loving my time here. I’ve got 18 months left on my contract and hopefully the board and the people responsible for running the club will be willing to extend my deal because I for one do not want to be going anywhere anytime soon!”


Comments

ScottT: He’s continuing to be an important part of this team despite his career reaching its end and hopefully it can stay that way for a little while longer. Keeping this squad together is going to be really important if we are going to go on and win silverware this year

Justice: The rotation is working really well and there isn’t a set line up for a set occasion, depending on the strength of the opponent coming up we’ll rotate because I am confident that no matter which starting XI I choose we have a very good shot at coming away with the right result

Jack: Haha thanks man, they’re a lot more fun to write this year than I ever remember them being before :D

Last Update: #2.28 Grunwald: We’ve Proven How Strong This Squad Is
Next Update: #2.30 Salzburg Seal Jubal Signing On Deadline Day
Offers from clubs like Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg reflect the hard work put in by Steegmann. It's great to see that his loyalties remain with Austria Wien though and his project at the club.
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
5 monthsEdited


Salzburg Seal Jubal Deadline Day Signing


Red Bull Salzburg have today upset the apple cart in the Bundesliga, particularly with title rivals Austria Wien by announcing the signing of Brazilian defender Jubal from Die Vielchen for a fee of £4.2 million. The 26 year old only arrived at the Generali Arena in July after his contract expired at Liga NOS side Arouca, but the league leaders Salzburg and their manager Marco Rose saw fit to activate the defenders £4.2 million release clause and confirm the signing of one of the league’s best defenders statistically. With just hours to go until the transfer window closes, Austria Wien now look short in defence as they aim to continue competing with Salzburg when the Bundesliga resumes in a few weeks time.

What’s more Die Vielchen are set to play Erste Liga side BW Linz this evening in their first mid-season friendly, with Christopher Steegmann’s plans now being upskittled by the signing of Jubal by Salzburg. The 26 year old now joins the likes of Andre Ramalho, Lukas Spendlhofer and Marin Pongracic in the heart of Salzburg’s defence with the current Champions of Austria looking extremely strong at the back and capable of continuing their strong defensive form heading into the second half and the business end of the Bundesliga campaign. Meanwhile Marco Rose will also be hoping that Die Vielchen fail to replace Jubal by the time the window closes, with a failure to make a move potentially leaving Die Vielchen dangerously short at the back with the added stresses of European football still to come post the mid-season break with Austria Wien set to play Zorya in a two legged Round of 32 clash in the Europa League in just a few weeks.

Meanwhile Die Vielchen have reportedly already looked to replace Jubal in the squad by recalling Tarkan Serbest from his loan spell at Spor Toto Super Lig side Besiktas JK, giving Austria Wien an extra option both in midfield and in the heart of their defence with Tarkan being versatile enough to fill both roles. With just hours of the window remaining though, especially once the meeting between Die Vielchen and BW Linz is finished, the chances of Austria Wien directly replacing Jubal remain short although rumours have spread of an interest in Lukas Guganning of Sturm Graz with last season’s OFB-Cup Winners continuing to struggle at the wrong end of the Bundesliga table.


Comments

ScottT: FAK all the way! There are trophies to be won here in Austria!

Last Update: #2.29 Steegmann Declares Commitment To Austria Wien Despite Bundesliga Interest
Next Update: #2.31 Prokop And Lucas Venuto Seal First Leg Victory
Always positive signs when you are in the title hunt and the club is willing to spend money to push a little bit harder. Hope this signing works out for you.
After such good news of the gaffer reaffirming his commitment to the club, to lose one of your top players with little time to replace him must be a nightmare. I'm confident you can find a way to replace him, even if somewhat temporarily, and winning against RBS will be so much sweeter!
First of all, love how Griffo has completely misunderstood this update hahaha.

That's a huge blow, not only are you losing one of your best players - but they are joining your main league rival. However, positively, the money gained from the fee isn't too small that it can't be reinvested into finding a suitable replacement. But with little time left, it could be too late to do so. Best of luck...
I suck..
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
5 monthsEdited


Prokop And Lucas Venuto Seal First Leg Victory

Zorya Luhansk: P Targonskyi, I Kazantsev, Y Shynkarenko, M Kornutyak (D Mikheev 57), D Pomazun, O Karavaev, Jozabed, Y Zenkov, V Nyzovets (D Grischenko 56), M Zhuk, K Ponomarenko (S Dmytryukov 51)

Austria Wien: P Pentz, F Klein, M Madl, A Borkovic (T Hubocan 82), T Salamon, J Jeggo, D Cancola (U Matic 69), L Venuto, A Grunwald (M Canadi 79), D Prokop, B Edomwonyi


Die Vielchen took a big step towards qualifying for the Round of 16 by securing a big 3-1 victory over Zorya at the Slavutych Arena in Zaporizhzhya. Christopher Steegmann and his side put in an impressive performance in their first competitive game of football in nearly 2 months, but Die Vielchen showed a maturity and a composure that made the long winter hiatus seem like a distant memory, as the players chosen by Steegmann looked match fit and sharp and hungry for the victory that could put them into the last 16 of the competition. It is a result that means Die Vielchen will return to the Generali Arena next week for the second leg boasting an impressive three away goals to their name and Steegmann and his team will be confident of seeing out the tie and moving through to the next round.

Neither side returns to domestic football action following on from this tie and will begin preparations for the second leg as soon as they hit the training pitch tomorrow or on Saturday as in Die Vielchen’s case. It was a confident and energetic performance from the front four that has caused problems for so many opposition defences this season as they fired Austria Wien to the victory, with an all Austrian backline holding firm as Christopher Steegmann was forced to select a team without Brazilian Jubal for the first time since the 26 year olds frustrating departure to title rivals Salzburg on deadline day.

It was the visitors who made the most positive start to the first leg with Steegmann sending his team out to attack from the start and search for that first away goal but the first goal didn’t come until the 38th minute. Austria Wien surged forward with the energy that has become synonymous with the club since Steegmann took over and causing chaos in the Zorya goal, a cross from Florian Klein found Lucas Venuto free at the back post with the Brazilian hooking the ball back towards Dominik Prokop, with the 22 year old Austrian slotting home giving Targonskyi no chance, with Prokop and his team mates running towards the 165 travelling fans to celebrate the lead.

The young winger, had his second goal of the game and his sixth goal of the season just three minutes after half time as he drifted into space in the Zorya penalty area before cutting the ball back on to his favoured right foot and fired a vicious effort past Targonskyi for 2-0 and to give Die Vielchen a glimpse of the final result and the victory. However just before the hour mark Olexandr Karavaev had halved the deficit with a free kick which was beautifully placed and gave Patrick Pentz little chance of saving it. Such was the quality of the free kick from the Ukrainian, that Steegmann could do little but accept it for what it was. Lucas Venuto though had soon restored Die Vielchen’s two goal lead with a comfortable placed shot from just inside the penalty area as he turned away and celebrated what was his ninth goal of the season and a big first leg victory for Austria Wien.

With the second leg coming around fast, Die Vielchen will have to get their heads straight back down and focused on the return leg at the Generali Arena. Steegmann though will be more than confident of picking up a positive result, given the two goal lead that Die Vielchen hold and the three away goals that his team managed to score in difficult conditions on the artificial pitch in the Ukraine.


Comments

Griffo: Haha easy mistake to make, he was a very good player that we are gutted to have lost!

Justice: We’ll find a way to replace him no doubt but it didn’t happen before the deadline so we’ll have to make a way around the problem with the players we currently have.

ScottT: There is money there to reinvest fortunately which lessens the blow…only a little though

Last Update: #2.30 Salzburg Seal Jubal Deadline Day Signing
Next Update: #2.32 Eleke Puts Die Vielchen Into Last 16
A superbly strong result to pick up in the first leg. Three away goals and a two-goal win, but you can surely expect a strong-willed Zorya in the second leg. Time to put the style and swagger away and play with the knife between the teeth! Griffo will probably read this as a loss.
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012
5 monthsEdited


Eleke Puts Die Vielchen Into Last 16

Austria Wien: P Pentz, M Blauensteiner, Tarkan Serbest, A Borkovic, C Cuevas (T Ebner 75), D Cancola, U Matic (J Jeggo 61), M Sax, M Canadi (A Grunwald 69), B Eleke, B Edomwonyi

Zorya Luhansk: P Targonskyi, I Kazantsev, D Mikheev, M Kornutyak, D Pomazun, Jozabed, Y Shynkarenko, D Grischenko (M Sytnik 50 (S Dymtryukov 60)), Y Zenkov, O Karavaev, M Zhuk


Two goals from Blessing Eleke were enough to secure a 2-0 victory for Die Vielchen in the second leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie with Ukrainian team Zorya and seal a 5-1 aggregate victory which earnt Austria Wien a place in the last 16 of the competition. Steegmann named a rotated side for the second leg, given that Die Vielchen face Wacker Innsbruck in the Bundesliga on Sunday, and the German will have been impressed with his team’s performance with the likes of Maximilian Sax, Marcel Canadi and the goalscorer Blessing Eleke impressing in support of Nigerian Bright Edomwonyi.

With Die Vielchen holding a comfortable lead after an impressive 3-1 victory in the first leg in Ukraine, the home fans knew that if they performed anywhere near at their best they would ease into the last 16. Even a 2-0 defeat would have been enough to send Die Vielchen through on the away goals rule, but by securing a comfortable victory at the Generali Arena, Christopher Steegmann not only secured their place in the last 16 of the competition, but will also have given their UEFA co-efficient for next season’s seedings a big boost as they secured another victory in this year’s Europa League.

However with the focus on tonights meeting between Die Vielchen and the Ukrainian side, it was Blessing Eleke who settled any pre-match nerves of the home side and their fans as the Nigerian slotted home a seventeenth minute penalty. It made the score 1-0 and gave Austria Wien an aggregate lead of 4 goals to 1, and surely put the game beyond reach of Zorya with the Ukrainians needing to score at least three goals. When the Nigerian then drifted in from the left wing to head home a beautifully flighted cross from Maximilian Sax in the 77th minute, it put the game beyond all doubt and ensured that Austria Wien would have another two legged tie to look forward to in a matter of weeks.

The final whistle was met with jubilation by the home fans and their players with Christopher Steegmann’s side exceeding all expectations during this Europa League campaign and many will look back on the doubt that surrounded Austria Wien’s European future after the 3-0 defeat to Standard Liege had left qualification looking unlikely. However, after two thumping wins over Olympiakos and FC Basel and now two professional wins over Zorya, Die Vielchen can look forward to an exciting tie against one of the remaining teams in Friday’s draw, with some of Europe’s giants being in the hat, including Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Internazionale.


Comments

Justice: It is a great result, but you’re right Griffo will have read this as a loss

Last Update: #2.31 Prokop And Lucas Venuto Seal First Leg Victory
Next Update: #2.33 Bundesliga Mid-Season Review: FK Austria Wien
I was tired haha leave me alone lol, excited for the last sixteen here, best of luck!

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