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Sports

Cologne

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The battle isn't over -- will Cologne go straight back down?

Cologne have been up and down so many times in recent years that fans probably feel as though the club has been using their hearts as a yo-yo. This season, Cologne's bosses promise things will be different. Coach Christoph Daum has even gone so far as to say, "We're aiming for a mid-table finish as a way of sending a signal."

The club spent much of the off-season daydreaming about re-signing their former striker Lukas Podolski -- until Bayern closed the door on such pipedreams. Still they did lure Brazilian defender Pedro Geromel away from the Portuguese first division, and they also picked up striker Manasseh Ishiaku, who looked very good for Duisburg last year.

Will that be enough for Daum, unquestionably a talented to coach, to achieve his aims? Very doubtful. Will it be enough to allow Cologne to avoid a rapid return to division two? Quite possibly. But lofty aims notwithstanding, Cologne looks the weakest of three newly promoted clubs.

Major arrivals: Pedro Geromel, Manasseh Ishiaku, Pierre Wome, Wilfried Sanou, Miso Brecko, Sergiu Radu

Major departures: Patrick Helmes, Alpay