Look guys, there’s no point in beating round the bush. Bern didn’t have a start of the 2019-20 season as they’d hoped. The title holders are currently 10th placed with 25 points in 21 games. These, considering the team’s potential, are shocking numbers.
Numbers that can’t be “only” the consequence of Leonardo Genoni and Gaëtan Haas’ departure, even though those were difficult departures to digest.
Then, however, it’s always easy to judge. The truth is that when things go south, and when “Lady Luck” turns her back on you, you’re cruelly plunged into a whirlpool of negative emotions that prevents you from live up to your potential. This is even more valid when it comes to a team that, on paper, have all it takes to win the title.
At times, they say that a win is all you need to turn things around. Even better if it’s an emotional win.
And then, was the last 2-1 win earned against the ZSC Lions the turning point of the season?
Looking at how the team celebrated the win earned thanks to – finally – a solid defensive performance… there is hope that the Bears can finally kick-start their 2019-20 season for real now.
Mind you, it will not be easy. Because the pressure remains high. We have the impression in fact that, even though this team won 3 titles in the last 4 years, the fans turned away from the club. What’s the reason? Perhaps it’s all about the habit of winning. Or more likely, the fans want more emotions from September until April and not only in the final.
There is no denying, in fact, that even in times of top form, Bern’s style of play is not very entertaining for the average supporter. Mind you, when Kari Jalonen’s guys are at the top of their game they’re very difficult to face, they’re rock-solid and capable of making the difference at the key moments.
But… what about the show? Maybe the fans would like to attend more emotional games. Maybe they want to see a less “reasoned” but more spectacular game. How could we blame them? The Finnish style of play – so fashionable at the present time – is certainly solid, disciplined, effective and even a winning one. But way too often there is no room for pure show, and the fans who attend the games want to win but also have fun.
When all it’s fine, and the team wins, the groanings are limited. But when things go south, the fans start to express their disappointment out loud. And, most and above all, they start to desert the games… suffice it to see how the PostFinance Arena isn’t sold out way too often.
But let’s get back to the present and to the key question. Was the win against the ZSC Lions the turning point?
Perhaps yes, even though it must be said that Bern, already this season, won other games that could represent the turning point.
Let’s take the two narrow wins earned against Fribourg and Langnau in early October. The performances delivered weren’t perfect, but the wins seemed likely to help Bern turn things around. And yet, the breakthrough never came, as the Bears lost 3 of the following 4 games.
Then, on October 22nd, Kari Jalonen’s troops earned a 5-2 road win against Ambrì. Then they delivered a decent performance in Bienne (despite the defeat suffered) and finally the earned an emotional 5-4 overtime home win against Genève Servette.
In that case, however, there was no turning point either, as after that Kari Jalonen’s troops lost the next four following games.
Finally, it came this last 2-1 home win against the ZSC Lions, that has been the first “3 points” home win since late September, and the first game during which the Bears conceded less than 2 goals after one month and a half.
A win that was a godsend, it’s as simple as that! Because it came thanks to a solid defensive performance and, most and above all, because it was earned against the most in-form team of the league. As we’ve already mentioned, the celebrations of the fans and the players at the end of the game played against the Lions speak for themselves…
So, finally, was that the turning point? Probably yes, even though we need to wait for few more games in order to get the answers.
One thing is sure though. This first poor part of the season could turn out to be the main trump card for Bern. In fact, if the Bears can turn the frustration of this first two months of the regular season into determination for the continuation of the season… the fans will have fun. Because, in our opinion, whoever writes Bern off from the list of the title contenders, is making a huge mistake.
Good luck, Bears!