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Tag Archives: Bundesliga

The teams that never made it

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Eintracht Braunschweig, SV Waldhof Mannheim and SC Preußen Münster, three clubs struggling in the lower divisions of German football nowadays. Removed from glory, only a look in the history books will give you a reason for why one should take a closer look at these teams!

The three of them have in common that they all at one point played in Germany’s top flight. But, these days their goals have become different. Maybe a spot in the 3. Liga next season would be nice, or being an established team in the 2. Bundesliga in five years time? Hardly the stuff football fans dream about at night. Back in the day the fans of Waldhof, Eintracht and Preußen could dream about winning championship medals,so let’s explore the history of each of those clubs. Read the rest of this entry

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Cisse vs. Gekas

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The two of them were the leading goal scores of the autumn campaign, today their teams play each other.

The clash of the goal scoring titans is just hours away, and it looks like both strikers have overcome their injury problems and will start the match for their respective sides. So what kind of match can we expect when “The Breisgau Brazilians” take on “The Eagles”?

Freiburg have in the past weeks shown that they somewhat can replace Cisse, and have gathered 5 points from the first three games of their spring campaign. Frankfurt on the other hand have lost all three games, and haven’t scored a single goal. Adding into the equation that Freiburg are playing at home, the team from Baden Würtenberg emerge as the clear favorites for this game. Read the rest of this entry

Panic on the streets of Bremen

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The team lacks ideas, their performances have been lackluster so far this season. Werder has enormous problems defensively and the otherwise so productive attacking force of the team hasn’t worked either. What are Thomas Schaaf and Klaus Allofs going to do?

Klaus Allofs and Thomas Schaaf have formed one of the best coaching teams of the league for more then 11 years now. While Schaaf knew how to lead his players to victory, Allofs was legendary for finding the right signings. Johan Micoud, Diego, Naldo, Mesut Özil etc. The list of successful signings of Allofs is long.

Bremen in a coma

 

Mertesacker and Fritz doing what Werder defenders have done most of the time this season: Watching their opponent. (Source, 1. FC Köln Facebook page)

However, this year, it seems, Allofs has lost his magic touch. The Brazilian signing Wesley has been used all of the pitch, but hasn’t impressed on many occasions this season. Silvestre has made the left back position to his special disaster area, and Marko Arnautovic hasn’t scored since the second match of this Bundesliga season. Read the rest of this entry

Bundesliga wrap up for the 19th match day

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Did you miss any of this weekend’s Bundesliga action. Don’t despair, I will from now on give a quick summation of every match day on this blog. So, let’s dive right into it. Read the rest of this entry

Winter madness

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Cologne and Mönchengladbach are trying to get out of the ditch they are in by buying new players. Will the clubs shopping spree make a difference for the second half of this year’s Bundesliga?

This winter has seen few exciting signings so far. Bremen sold Hugo Almeide and replaced him with a young, Swedish striker nobody has heard of, while Bayern managed to snatch Luiz Gustavo from Hoffenheim.

The clubs that have been the most active so far are 1. Fc Cologne av Borussia Mönchengladbach. Both clubs are obviously trying to get out from the bottom of the table, but will their new signings be able to deliver the goods and bring relieve to the fans?

Will the madness ever stop?
As I mentioned before on this blog, the Fc is always creating controversies. It is almost a law of nature that one controversy happens in Cologne every few month. This time around the coach Frank Schaefer managed to piss of his captain Mohamed, by giving the captain’s armband to Lukas Podolski.

Furthermore Cologne decided to buy a total of four new players in this transfer window. It seems to be the action of a team in panic, trying to see what is working. Let’s take a look at the players the team from the Rhine-city of Cologne has decided to buy.

Michael Rensing has a point to proove.

Replacing Faryed Mondragon in the goal is former Bayern goalie Michael Rensing. (Mondragon managed to create a controversy of his own this season when he said he was as badly treated as Jesus.) Rensing is a solid buy. He is a capable shot saver, and has a decent area control. Having left Bayern has certainly left a bitter taste in Rensing’s mouth. Rensing is a keeper who wants to proove a point. If he prooves his point, he might turn out to be one of the best signings of this transfer window.

The next siging is a unknown man for most football fans in Europe: Tomoaki Makino. The Japanees defender is said to be a solid center back, and has impressed new sporting director Volker Finke. Finke knows Makino himself from his time in Japan.

Polish winger Sławomir Peszko is the Fc’s third signing. Having seen Peszko a few times playing for the national team, I must say that he certainly brings the speed and a goalscoring ability that Cologne has been lacking on the wings. However, one cannot be sure that Peszko will adjust to the Bundesliga imediatly.

Last, but not least, Christian Eichner: the defender from Hoffenheim is already a known quantity in the league, and has been a solid player for a number of years.

While Eichner is a solid signing, there is certain risk factor over the other three signings. I am afraid that restructuring the team in mid-season isn’t the best moves. Not selling some of the weaker players besides Mondragon will probably create some tension in the team. Cologne might have shot itself in the leg. As so many times before.

A defender, a kingdom for a defender
Gladbach have certainly had trouble of their own. Raúl Bobadilla seems to have fallen out of favor, and the strain of bad lack concerning injuries has followed the club throughout the season. However, the club is now trying to lift the club from the bottom and into mid-table.

Håvard Nordtveit makes a return to the Bundesliga.

Signing two defenders, while letting one go is a sound investment. Martin Stranzl was a good defender while he played for Stuttgart, I am sure that the Austrian international will make an imediate impact at Gladbach. Håvard Nordtveit has for a long time been regarded to be one of the most talented Norwegian defenders. Arsene Wenger remarked that he has never met a more mature 16 years old when he signed the west-Norwegian. Having had a loan spell at Nürnberg last season, Nordtveit is used to the Bundesliga.

However, the signing of Mike Hanke might not be a wise choice of the management. Hanke is known to be an unpleasent character when he is sitting on the bench. He is certainly talanted, but his form has varried through the years. It will be exciting to see if he makes an impact at Borussia.

However, I am still convinced that Borussia will be playing at the second highest level next season. Having had bad luck all season long. Furthermore, most people would agree, their underlying problem seems to be in midfield. Nothing has been done to strengthen the midfield, and the club’s unwillingness to part ways with Micheal Frontzeck has already caused a huge amount of damage.

Update on the Bundesliga for newcomers segment of this blog: I will not be able to finnish the segment before friday’s match due to me leaving Norway for a few days. However, I will return next week and I am optimistic that the segment will be finnished before the 19th round of Bundesliga action.

Do you think that these winter signings will make an impact? Leave a comment below.


2010 viewed from the perspective of a Bundesliga fan

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2010 is coming to an end, and fans of the Bundesliga have a lot to be thankful for: the cheapest tickets in Europe and the highest goal scoring average of any league in Europe are certainly among those things. But, besides the fact that we were entertained by what happened on the pitch, there were also a few exciting moments beside the pitch. Here are my highlights of 2010.

January
2010 began on a peaceful note. The Hamburger SV is certain that Bruno Labbadia is the man the club has been waiting for. That is probably why oldie Ruud van Nistelrooy decides to sign for the HSV.

Jens Lehmann tells befuddled journalists that he will guard the national side’s goal during the World Cup in South Africa. Leverkusen, Schalke and Bayern are in a three way race for the title.

Felix Magath is not able to make any mistakes according to Germany’s biggest tabloid paper, Bild. Most people expect therefor Schalke’s surprise winter buy, defender Tore Reginiussen, to be an instant hit.

February
DFB-president Theo Zwanziger finds out that he didn’t extend Joggi Löw’s contract. Team manager Bierhoff and Zwanziger are starting their media feud that would last for some time.

The Peruvian striker Paulo Guerrero manages finally to catch a plane from Peru. Guerrero is according to media reports afraid of air travel.

Hannover are still shocked by the sudden death of goalkeeper Robert Enke. The club hasn’t won a single game after Enke’s death in November 2009.

March
The VFL Bochum doesn’t manage to take home a single point in march. Jens Lehmann is still thinking that he should be the national side’s goalkeeper. Werder Bremen’s four goals at home against Valencia are not enough to take the northerners to the next round of the Euro-League. Bayer Leverkusen lose three of their league games, and are out of the title-race.

Kevin Kuranyi is in the meantime in the form of his life, and scores a boatload of goals for Schalke. That doesn’t impress Joachim Löw, who still won’t take the striker back in his team. Löw’s first choice strikers, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, haven’t impressed anyone in 2010.

April
Hannover 96 helps Bayern Munich by winning 4-2 against Schalke. The team from Lower-Saxony loses its next game 7-0 against, you guessed it, Bayern Munich.

Most German’s think that Kevin Kuranyi should be part of the country’s World Cup side. Bruno Labbadia is no longer the Messiahs the HSV has been waiting for, and has to leave the club.

But hell, nobody is talking about German football anyway, because of an Icelandic volcano that screwed up everyones plans for the holidays.

May
Micheal Ballack is attacked by Kevin Prince Boateng and can’t participate in the World Cup. After Ballack had to pass, so do Rolfes, Träsch, Westermann – and Rene Adler. But none of the 82 million Germans care, because Lena Meyer-Landrut wins the Grand-Prix.

Bayern win the league, and Louis van Gaal parties like an English girl on a holiday on Ibiza.

June
The World Cup starts.

Experts are grumpy, because Argentine and England probably will meet in the early knock-out stages. “The possibility of a dream final ruined”, they yell. Dieter Hoeneß agrees, the English way of playing football is superior to the German way, and decides to hire Steve McClaren, who most certainly will take Wolfsburg to the top of the league.

July
90% of European males are deaf, because of the sound of the Vuvuzelas coming from their television sets. Germany comes in third at the World Cup. Zwanziger and Bierhoff claim that they love each other as much as on the day they first met.

August
The league starts again. Micheal Ballack has returned to Leverkusen, but most of Germany is talking about Philipp Lahm’s demand to keep the captain’s armband in the future. Schalke starts poorly into the league, and Felix Magath is doing everything wrong according to Germany’s biggest tabloid, Bild.

September
The Bruchweg boys conquer the league. Mainz wins the first seven games in a row, and are the front runners of the league. Magath is still doing everything wrong. Bayern Munich are also off to a poor start. Dortmund is the only team that can keep up with Mainz.

Cottbus and Karlsruhe draw 5-5 in Germany’s second highest division.

October
Dortmund are pulling away at the top of the league. Faryed Mondragon loses his place in Cologne’s starting line-up, and feels as badly treated as Jesus.

November
The first half of the 10/11 season is coming to an end. Dortmund seem already like the winners of the championship, while Bremen and Bayern are struggling. Things turn around at Schalke. The reason for that turn of event is because Magath never makes any mistakes, according to Germany’s biggest tabloid, Bild.

Dortmund player Kuba manages to miss an empty goal and his miss goes viral on YouTube.

December
Dortmund are winter champions, and the World Cup in 2022 will be held in Qatar. The Hamburger SV is convinced that Armin Veh is the coach they have been waiting for since Ernst Happel. Stuttgart have sacked their second coach for the season, but is convinced that Bruno Labbadia will be able to turn things around.

Nobody in Germany remembers who Tore Reginiussen is.

2011
Nothing is for certain, but this will probably happen in 2011:
Magath continues to do well. The Bild Zeitung demands that pope Benedict steps aside, to leave all his duties to Felix Magath.

Jens Lehmann thinks about a comeback, and tells Schalke 04 that he is willing to replace Manuel Neuer. The 41 year old tells German journalists that he should play for Germany in the 2012 European Championship.

Thomas Schaaf makes a shock move to the HSV, and leaves his former partner Klaus Allofs behind. Allofs, shocked by the loss, tells the Bild Zeitung that he never will love again. HSV manager Bernd Hoffmann says that Schaaf is the coach the club has been waiting for.

Did I forget to include any highlights? Leave a comment.

Another detour through history

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As promised in my previous post, here are my favorite stories and anecdotes about the 1. Fc Cologne and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Cologne

1. Cologne coach Oswald Pfau did generously give his players two days off before the cup-final in 1960. World Cup hero Helmut Rahn took that as a license to go on a massive binge, and turned up drunk at the hotel just minutes before the game started. Cologne’s captain, president and coach couldn’t agree on what to do. So they called the coach of the national side, Sepp Herberger, who told them: So what, he might even score a couple of goals.

But Rahn didn’t. Cologne lost the final 2-3 against the HSV with a drunk Helmut Rahn on the pitch. And while the rest of the team headed to the traditional dinner with mayor of Cologne, Rahn decided to skip the rest of the days program all together. The enraged president Fritz Kremer gave Rahn the boot.

2. The team from west-German are often called the billy goats. Here is the story that goes with that name. After the carnival of 1950 a circus director decided to give the football team one of their billy goats as a gift. When the goat was handed over to the club it decided to empty its massive blather on the legendary FC coach Hennes Weisweiler’s arm.

The goat was therefor named after Weisweiler, and all the subsequent billy goats that have served as mascots have had the name Hennes.

 

Hennes the 7th is named after the legendary coach Hennes Weisweiler. Weisweiler was also successful at Gladbach.

3. The FC decided to buy a new goalkeeper from Brazil in 1965. The billy goats spent 100.000 Deutsche Mark in transfer fees for Miguel Ferreira. The polite young man is remembered for greeting the ladies that worked at the offices of the 1. FC Cologne with hand kisses, and for not playing a single minute of football for the club. He was gifted away to the SC Bonn in the end.

4. Recognizing the difference between twins is often difficult. In 1965 saw the talented footballer Zvezdan Cebinac on a trial at Cologne. The club liked what they saw and decided to offer the player a contract. After the contract was signed Zvezdan stopped showing up for practice, and his untalented brother Srdjan took over for him.

5. Then Cologne coach Uwe Rapolder was annoyed by Youssef Mokhtari’s selfish behavior on the pitch. His solution: make Mokhtari write an essay about altruism.

 

Rapolder didn't manage to win any title with Cologne, but he taught at least one of the team's striker what selflessness is.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

1. The teams nickname the Foals was formed in the 70’s. At the time Gladbach ruled the league with quick and passionate offensive football. The team was mainly put together with young plays, and therefor the name the Foals emerged.

2. This anecdote appeared in the newly published biography about Robert Enke. Enke and the rest of the team were in the dressing room and then-manager Rolf Rüssmann stormed into the room: Has anybody got some moisturizer, I have dry skin, Rüssmann told the players. Stephan Paßlack quickly handed Rüssmann a tube. The manager smeared some of the tube’s content in his face. His face didn’t move for a long time after he was done smearing, Paßlack had in fact handed Rüssmann a tube of hair gel.

3. The following story happened during the cup-final in 1973. Günther Netzer had been placed on the bench by coach Hennes Weisweiler, and when the game didn’t seem to go Gladbach’s way Netzer took matters into his own hands. “I am playing now”, Netzer remarked dryly to his coach. After he had substituted himself on the pitch in the 91 minute Netzer actually scored the winning goal in overtime.


Goal of the century?: Netzer’s goal is shown on this YouTube clip after 2 minutes.

4. Young and promising Wolfram Wuttke came to the club in 1981. The attacker quickly managed to secure himself a place in Jupp Heynckes starting eleven. While everything seemed fine on the outside, the collaboration between Heynckes and Wuttke was difficult at times.

After Heynckes went on a rampage, Wuttke pointed out the fact that his face turned quickly red when Heynckes was angry. The attacker decided to add insult to injury and gave Heynckes the nickname Osram(after a German light bulb producer). Wuttke got away with a fine, but to this day Heynckes is still called Osram.

5. This story involves both clubs. Gladbach and Cologne were equal on points before the last match of the season in 78, but Cologne looked like the sure winners of the league because of their goal difference. Gladbach had to catch up ten goals.

The team managed to go 6-0 up against to Borussia Dortmund before the half time break. The news of Gladbach’s surge reached the fans that had gathered to see St. Pauli playing against Cologne. Gladbach continued their rampage of Dortmund after the break, and went on to win 12-0. Cologne on its side was cheered on by St. Pauli’s supporters and managed to win 5-0. If Cologne hadn’t scored three goals after the break, the championship title of 78 would have ended up in the hands of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Any anecdotes missing? Any other anecdotes from the world of football you would like share? Don’t hesitate, leave a comment below.