RB Leipzig 5 : 0 Blau Weiss Leipzig
For us the charming irony of the journey to RB Leipzig’s first competitive match was that we had to change train in Leipzig-Leutzsch. Much the same as Red Bull’s journey from Salzburg to Markranstädt, which involved an initial sojourn to FC Sachsen before switching onto another, in their case, Zugpferd.
As we sat in the neo-Gothic beauty of Leipzig-Leutzsch station patiently considering this turn of events and what Horace Walpole would have made of all the fuss, an ICE sped through. Shortly after came our RB to RB. As we left Leutzsch we couldn’t help reflecting if we were not in fact on Christian Anders’ zug nach nirgendwo…
Upon arriving in Markranstädt our first meeting was with a couple of the Leipzig SKBs; however, we were pleased to see that the village wasn’t as hermetically sealed off as we had imagined, although there were a lot more police out and about than would normally be the case on a Friday evening in Markranstädt.
But it also goes without saying that Markranstädt wasn’t overrun with axe wielding hooligans seeking to remove the wings of everything which had recently received them.
The match itself was not as bad as the 5:0 might suggest, but then the evening wasn’t, with the best of intentions, about football.
It was about RB Leipzigs first competitive match of the new season.
Except it quickly transpired that it wasn’t RB Leipzig’s first competitive match of the new season. It was SSV Markranstädt’s first competitive match of the season.
For save the Red Bull party wagon irritating all and sundry with what presumably counts as “party music” in Salzburgerland, and the somewhat unfortunately positioned Red Bull advertising tent, there was nothing to remind us that we were at the home of the furtive RB Leipzig and everything to remind us that we were at the home of SSV Markranstädt.
Even the women handing out the accreditations proudly wore their SSV Markranstädt T shirts. Should RB need one, we can recommend an excellent T shirt printing service in Leipzig.
The lack of any effort from Red Bull to make the place feel like “home” was really disappointing.
For although we all know that RB’s plan is to move to their new home in the Zentralstadion/Red Bull Arena, it would be nice to think that they would care enough to at least pretend that the Stadion am Bad is their home. Rather than just a temporary, forced irritation to comply with the statutes and rules of the German FA.
It is, after all, one of the very few stadiums in Europe with an outdoor swimming pool behind the main stand, but at the moment it just looks like a flat that’s been hired by some ne’er-do-wells who plan fleeing once they achieved their goal.
Equally disappointing was the fans. Or better put, the absence of.
The whole point of RB is that they should attract those fans who feel themselves alienated by the established clubs in Leipzig and surrounding area. Those fans that is who, according to popular myth, rather than violence , aggression and deep seated hatred want to enjoy football with face painting and plastic flags. Fans who want the Salzburger Party Truck because it reminds them of a village fair and too much scrumpy.
But those fans weren’t there. The old SSV fans were there, but not this new generation.
Who knows, maybe they’ll all be there for the away match at Jena II on Saturday.
But of course the opponents of Red Bull were there. We didn’t recognise that many faces amongst them, and although it was obviously an organised effort it wasn’t anything that RB need fear, and we had the sneaky feeling that most simply wanted to sing “Alle Bullen sind Schweine” without risking a fine for insulting a police officer. It’s going to be interesting to see how the better organised and more experienced fan groups react to matches against RB.
But as we say, we’ll all be a little wiser after next Saturday’s match in Jena.
It’s also important to note that those who were present in the guest block played a blinder with the monkey chants for Michael Lerchl, chants that the stadium announcer didn’t react to. Lets wait and see if the SFV take any action.
On account of a previous engagement we had to leave the match half way through the second half, and so not only missed the 5th goal, but also cannot say what happened after that point.
What we can say is that one point seems to have been forgotten in this whole Red Bull debate. Regardless what one thinks of Red Bull, of the method by which the club became integrated into the German footballing system or indeed the very sense in the project, how can a club call itself “Leipzig” when there is only one train per hour to Leipzig?