1. FC Heidenheim won a high tempo match against SV Darmstadt 98 1-0 despite going down to ten men late. Manager Frank Schmidt ran a 4-2-3-1 and made the title race interesting by beating first place Darmstadt and holding strong in third, only three points behind and two points behind Tim Walter’s Hamburger SV. The lone goal of the match was scored late by summer signing Jan-Niklas Beste.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: American, German
- Age: 23
- Date of birth: 08/10/1999
- Club: 1. FC Heidenheim
- Career: Köpenicker SC (Y), Blau-Weiss Mahlsdorf (Y), Union Berlin, Chemnitzer FC (Loan), Borussia Dortmund II
- Position: Defensive Midfielder
- Other Position: Center Back
- Preferred foot: Right
Maloney played out of position in this match as he normally starts at center back. Despite this, he played well in the double pivot as a 6 and could play there in a pinch in the future. At 187 cm tall with a mature, filled in frame and high work rate, Maloney is perfectly built as a center back or anchor man. Additionally, he offers decent recovery speed and above average athleticism to go along with being a frequent communicator with leadership qualities.
In his defensive role, Maloney swept through midfield making many defensive actions and protecting the back line from the ball during the buildup. He played a physical brand of defense that caused some fouls but brought dominant wins in duels with strong tackles to switch possession. He positioned himself well when attacking his marker on defense and played within himself as to not over pursue despite his aggression. Maloney played with lots of hustle, which led to quick close outs and getting under loose balls frequently. He also played with anticipation and picked up some interceptions in midfield. Aerially, he won duels dominantly with great jumping while utilizing his frame. Maloney displayed great accuracy and confidence when heading the ball. His overall defensive technique combined with physicality made him a force to be reckoned with.
When attacking, the former Borussia Dortmund defender was not too involved, but offered support for back passes in the final third. He did well to distribute short even when facing pressure. His passing range should improve if he plays defensive midfield more often. His output is fine for a more defense-minded center back.
Rating – A2
Maloney is one of the top pure defenders in 2. Bundesliga. His distribution may need work but there’s hardly a defender in Germany more deserving of a chance in the Bundesliga. Maloney still has room to grow, but not much time left. If Heidenheim do not manage promotion, expect him to be starting at a bottom half first tier club in 2023-24.
- Nationality: German
- Age: 24
- Date of birth: 04/01/1999
- Club: 1. FC Heidenheim
- Career: VfL Mark 1928 (Y), Hammer SpVg (Y), Borussia Dortmund (Y), Werder Bremen, FC Emmen (Loan), Jahn Regensburg (Loan)
- Position: Left Winger
- Other Positions: Right Winger, Left Back
- Preferred foot: Left
Beste scored the winner in this match and played left winger for Heidenheim. He was subbed off shortly after his goal as he got a cramp while celebrating. Beste stands at only 174 cm tall with a thin frame and is not too physical. Despite that, he displayed great pace down the left flank, occasionally through the middle, and when pressing.
On the attack, Beste was not the most spectacular, but he got the job done. His pace to make runs down the left flank in support were timely and he used this pace once again after getting under through balls. Beste outpaced his defenders on the dribble wide and into central areas, although his touch was heavy at times leading to him losing control. By using his pace on the dribble, he created space to put in plenty of crosses with his left. His crosses were not much accurate, though, and his best work was done using his pace to advance his squad into the final third. On corners, his deliveries were generally poor, too. It is possible this was just an off day in his distribution, though even his shorter passes were not very accurate. As a finisher, he had two big opportunities to score. He received over the top on a run into the box, controlled with his left and that shot with power over the crossbar. On the second opportunity, he cashed in and scored the winner on a run through the middle where he broke out immediately on turn of possession and received with his left to shoot and score in the box.
When pressing, The German winger pressed high and often, utilizing his pace and mobility well to frustrate opponents in the buildup. His high work rate gave Heidenheim an influx of energy on the wing defensively. Beste tracked back all the way to the box to cover in defense as an extra body, too.
Rating – B1
Beste has a specific skillset on the wing, and it seems he has found his level. This is the second time I have watched him in depth and the 2. Bundesliga is where he should stay for now. He should stick with Heidenheim as his development begins to stagnate as he fits well at this club.
- Nationality: German
- Age: 22
- Date of birth: 09/03/2000
- Club: 1. FC Heidenheim (Loan)
- Career: 1. FC Magdeburg (Y), VfL Wolfsburg
- Position: Left Center Back
- Other Positions: Left Back, Defensive Midfielder
- Preferred foot: Left
Tim Siersleben is a 187 cm tall center back with an average frame that stood out as a left-footed center back with some upside in this match. He is on loan from VfL Wolfsburg and will have impressed his parent club with this performance. Siersleben is an average athlete based of this performance, but it did not hold back his level of play.
On defense, the former Germany U20 national player played conservatively and within himself, minimizing mistakes. More aggression will be needed as he matures as a defender. His positioning was good as he flipped his hips well, especially in transition. Heidenheim’s tactics protected him from 1v1 situations, too, leaving him to cover for his teammates where he was at his best cleaning up. Overall, Siersleben is more of a technical defender than a physical one. He did not go in for challenges often, but on one he fouled at the top of the box on a late challenge when engaging in a duel. On aerial duels, he performed average and could do better especially at his height.
In the buildup, Siersleben distributed well with his dominant left foot with nice range. He had consistent accuracy when passing out from the back, even when facing pressure. The left-sided center back even patrolled toward the final third to offer an extra body in attack at times. On a set piece, Siersleben ran back post to try for a header but missed before it petered out of play.
Rating – B2
Siersleben must improve at this level based on this performance, and in his second season on loan with Heidenheim and only second senior season total, there is optimism in his potential growth. As a left-footed center back he will be sought after by teams looking to improve their buildup and possession-based clubs. Some more time developing in the 2. Bundesliga will solidify him as a talent in Germany and possibly create an opportunity for him in the first tier.