Lokomotiv Lipp-Zig 3: Aller Anfang ist schwer
Jena 2 – 1 Lokomotiv
Justin leaned in towards the grinning Lipp. They were on the Lokomotiv team bus, returning back to Leipzig. The engine noise of the creaky old 1970’s bus meant they were unlikely to be heard even if they were using megaphones but Justin didn’t want to risk being overheard by the lads.
“You look pretty happy for someone who just lost.”
Lipp guffawed. “We lost the battle Justin but we won in here…” He thumped a sweaty fist on his chest, sending the smell of stale brut everywhere. “We dominated them. Next time, Justin we will dominate them again and they won’t be able to escape.”
“Hope so. You don’t get any points for dominating.”
Lokomotiv 0 – 4 Wolfsburg II
The crowd had long gone. The stands were empty, and even the changing rooms were quiet. The match had long since finished but Lipp was sill just sat in the dugout looking out over the muddy pitch. Once the whistle had blown and it had become apparent that Lipp wasn’t moving anywhere Justin had followed the players into the changing room and given them a pep talk. Something about it being early days, and Wolfsburg having dropped some of their first-teamers into the second team.
It had all sounded a little hollow to Justin but it was all he could really muster. He wasn’t paid to do the big rousing speeches. Once the players had started to leave the Lokomotiv changing room in dribs and drabs he had said auf wiedersehen and gone looking for Lipp.
“Are you going to sit there all night?” Justin shuffled towards the dugout.
Justin stopped mid-shuffle, “What?”
“Duisburg Justin. The last time I was pounded that hard was in Duisburg.”
The assistant manager didn’t ask for any clarification over that. “It was never going to be a straight forward match.”
“No, nothing straight about it my Justin. My poor boys.”
Justin shrugged, “They’ll bounce back.”
Lipp gestured limply at the now barren pitch, “They sent their bigger boys.“
“I mean… we didn’t have to play four youth players Herr Lipp. We could use more of the senior players.”
“Not yet. These boys, they are flexible. We will shape them.” Lipp suddenly shot to his feet, “Come. Hard work to do.”
Osnabruk 3 – 1 Lokomotiv
“Sie denken, es ist alles vorbei. Ist das jetzt!” Lipp screamed in ectasty and waddled up the touch line with is arms in the air. “Look Justin! Look at what meine kinder as done!”
Lipp had peaked too soon. It didn’t take long after the wonder goal for the other shoe to drop. Rather than act as the catalyst for them to change their fortunes around it just spurred Onsbruk on to punish the Lokomotiv upstarts.
As the players filtered off the pitch at the end of the game Justin held out a hand, giving them a tired high fan as they made their way to the changing room. Lipp, in contrast, was giving them a firm slap on the behind as they passed him. Some of the players picked up the pace so as to dodge Lipp’s swats.
Justin called over to him, “Still think 3 up top is a good idea?”
“Keep the faith in the threesome Justin, mhm.”
Lokomotiv 2 -1 Grossaspach
“New suit?” Justin nodded at Lipp as they stood watching the players run on to the pitch.
“Nein, it is my lucky suit.” Lipp hooked his thumbs into his belt and swung his hips gently from side to side. The faded green suit looked more than a little moth bitten.
Justin raised an eyebrow as the whistle went for kick off. “You won your last match in that?”
“I guess so Justin. The dating app match I got was a real good treat. Mhmm. I hope to rub off on you all.”
Not for the first time, Justin avoided any follow-up question and turned his attention back to the match. Much like in the Jena match, and parts of the Onsbruk game Lokomotiv were passing it around well. Whilst the three upfront tactic meant the team was pretty much giving up on the possession game there were plenty of longball counter-attacks to get the fans on the edge of their seats. Even Torres and Robben on the bench seemed more into the match, though Torres had a habit of shouting shoot at the top of his lungs whether it was Lokomotiv or Grossaspach in possession.
“Just like in the training ground!” Roared Lipp. Justin was a little confused as Lipp was hardly ever at senior training, preferring to visit the youth team with Robben instead. Plus it wasn’t a set-piece. But ultimately it didn’t matter as the opening goal went to Lokomotiv.
“Get it to the big lad and he’ll bang them in all day, every day,” noted Justin. He wasn’t as massive a fan of three up front but he did like the targetman role.
Lipp nodded enthusiastically and came to sit back down at the dugout, “He is banging them.”
“Mhmm… Ja….mmhhmm….Oh…OH OHHH. He has banged them again Justin!” Lipp had gotten to his feet the moment the counter-attack had started his overly excited commentary of the attacking move.
Just was struck by the fact that had been a three on one situation initially from the tackle but kept quiet. He didn’t want to praise three upfront and give Lipp any more threesome ideas. “We still need to keep it tight at the back. Can’t let them get carried away if we want the points.”
“Of course my Justin, of course. Tell the lad to keep a tight behind. Mhm!“
Once the final whistle went Lipp turned and leant into Justin, rasping in his ear, “Tell the boys to take tomorrow off from training. We celebrate.”
<< Thanks for reading so far. I’m just playing around with update styles. Not all will be match by match like this, but as it’s early days I thought it best to cover the initial steps of Lipp in the League >>