A NEW BEGINNING
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
Monday, November 5, 2007
SV Meppen
Max has a new boss
The last time we spoke, I was looking forward to putting a few goals past the SV Lurup keeper. Unfortunately, the week didn't go as planned and I managed to only play about 10 minutes in our team's victory. The next week would be different. I had spoken to fellow YA Jeremiah White, about my situation and he gave me some good advice.

I went to training that week hoping to get a start or at least more time in the coming weekend's derby match against VfB Oldenburg. I worked hard all week in training, scoring many goals in the process and setting up just as many.

The weekend came and the derby buzz was all over the coach as we travelled to our rival's stadium. I still was unsure if I'd be starting as to add to my benefit, an attacking player had been out of training most of the week due to personal reasons and didn't want to even play. The starting team was given and I wasn't in it. We went on to loose 3-0 and I played 15 minutes or so.

The problem with coming on in the last minutes of a game in European football is that you come in to a battle, a fight rather than a game of football. For attacking players, you end up just chasing the other team's defenders and for defenders you end up being chased by attackers. Midfielders are fighting for balls in the air or 50/50 balls on the ground and there are a lot of fouls. Not many chances for me to come on a show what I am capable of in front of goal.

After the game I was disappointed and decided I would again work even harder, with more intensity and aggression in training. We all got to the stadium, into the changing rooms and many players had read in the papers that the head coach was getting replaced.

After an unimpressive start to the season where we'd lost games in which we were leading at some point on more than one occasion, as well as my own personal situation with not playing, I felt a change was in order also. The coach came in, said his part and left the club Monday.

The new coach was announced Tuesday, and to my surprise ,he said some very good things about me in the press, even stating about the situation with team selection, "Why is Max Cream not in the starting 11 for example...".

Immediately the new coach made an impact on us. He set about trying to teach us some closing down methods when we don't have the ball to put pressure on the defense of the other team. Although my German is still nothing impressive, I understood and learned something useful.

After an impressive first training for the new coach where I scored some good goals, the rest of my week wasn't as positive. I got both right and left feet stepped on in training and wasn't really all that effective in a training match against the second team in the middle of the week.

Our first match with the new coach was a home game against VfB Lubeck II and we were expecting a win for the new coach. I wasn't named to the starting team, though this week, for me, was much more about the team winning and getting something for the new coach. The starting team was changed around much different than the last coach had picked. We managed a win, 4-3 and I played the last 15, worked hard and had a few good attacks that the fans appreciated.

This week will definitely be a real push to get myself into the starting team. Maybe the coach will change the attack from one target man striker, to a two-striker attack so I run off flicks and passes from the target man which benefits me. Playing as a lone striker often leaves me checking in rather than using my pace to get behind defenses. Who knows? I will show my worth in training and take it from there.

Until next time,

Max
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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