When it comes to Langnau, you must always start by saying that it comes to a club that doesn’t have the financial means of the “biggest” club of the league. It comes to a team that, at least on paper, depends very much on the performances of import players. Because it’s difficult for the Emmental’s based club to compete with other teams when it comes to signing the best Swiss players around.
There is nothing wrong with all this. The truth is that every team must fight hard in order to succeed, but the truth is also that Langnau must fight harder than others.
In our opinion, this club is working very well considering the means at its disposal. The Tigers have significantly improved since their come back to the NLA in 2015 and last season made the playoffs for the first time after 2011.
From the outside, the impression is that each situation – good or negative one – is handled with extreme calm. And this, perhaps, is the secret of the success of this club that is the pride of the whole Emmental region.
Then again, there is no point in beating about the bush: the results count. Way too often, however, we have the impression that the judgements toward Langnau are very ungenerous.
You hear many times people saying “Langnau is a small club”, “Langnau lost 5 of their last 6 games and are not in form”, “Langnau will make the playout”. And they say these things without analysing their performances. Performances that, in our opinion, are good most of the times.
The Tigers in fact, are basically always a tough nut to crack also when they’re going through rough patches. Let’s take the following graph for instance.
Game won and game lost – Margin goals
As you can see, Langnau never suffer heavy defeats.
Also, in times of poor form – just like earlier this season when they suffered 10 defeats in 14 games – Heinz Ehlers’ troops lost only one time by a 3-goals margin. If we take, moreover, the results of the whole season, Langnau lost only three times by a 3-goals margin.
These are important data that prove how the Tigers are always close to their opponents.
There are then other factors that stats show only partially. We’re talking about performances. Way too often, wrongly so in our opinion, they say that Langnau are extremely defensive minded. Wrong.
It’s clear that, even if only because they have less talent on paper compared to other teams, you can’t think that Heinz Ehlers’ guys can outplay their opponents all the times. The truth is, however, that the Danish coach is not purely defensive minded as he is way too often described. In fact, he’s one of the smartest and most underrated coaches around.
To start, Langnau’s Corsi Index is 51.01%. Only Lugano, ZSC Lions and Zug have a higher Corsi Index in the league. This means that the Tigers are more dominant compared to 8 other teams of the National League.
The Corsi Index then, just like each other stats, must be interpreted.
But in this case, it well reflects the impression that we have when we watch their games. That is: Langnau are basically almost always able to stand up to their opponents. That because, when it comes to commitment, Heinz Ehlers’ troops are second to no one.
Moreover, the team is built very well considering the means at its disposal. The imports, DiDomenico and Pesonen in particular, make the difference and turn the whole team’s hard work into goals. Let us not forget then that the Tigers are very well organized, and that when they counterattack, they’re very fast and lethal. Finally, the team has some real character that allows never to panic even when it’s under pressure… actually, it’s right when the Tigers are under pressure and look up against the wall – the players keep their cool.
We mean, when you judge Langnau you should never just look at the results and the number of defeats.
Then of course, there is room for improvement especially when it comes to consistency. But we think that way too many people underrate Langnau. Because not all the victories show up on the scoreboard. We think in fact that, in relation to the potential on paper, the Tigers are among the best teams of the league!
Will this be enough to make the playoffs for the second consecutive time, for the first time in history? Maybe yes, maybe not. But it’s certainly enough to fight until the end to make it. And considering the means of this club, this is already a great success. At least for now.