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Tag Archives: Championship

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

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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.

The Stuff dreams are made of?

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The Stuff dreams are made of?

Borussia Dortmund look like the certain winner of this seasons
Bundesliga title, but can the team stave off Bayern Munich and
Bayer Leverkusen’s attempts to catch them in the second half of
the season?

Many fans of Dortmund look fondly back on the glory days of the 90’s. Lars
Ricken’s goal that snatched the west-Germans first Champions League title,
the last minute win of the Bundesliga title in 1995 and the successful
campaign to defend the title a year later is the stuff dreams are made of.

The golden years: Borussia Dortmund won the league two times in a row, before taking home the Champions League trophy in '97.
Good old days: Andreas Möller lifts the Champions League trophy.

Matthias Sammer, Andreas Möller, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Jürgen Kohler were among the players
that made the Borussia side of the 90’s one of the most formidable Bundesliga teams to this day.

A return to glory?

While the golden age of the 90’s have seemed to be something of a distant
past in recent years, the fans of the West-German side that was named after a
local brewery had much to cheer for this season. Most goals scored and
fewest goals conceded show that the team certainly has made the most of the
autumn season. In addition to that is Borussia Dortmund the team that has
created the most chances in this years Bundesliga campaign.

Their offensive playing style was helped by the arrival of Shinji
Kagawa, who has probably been the best signing of this summer’s
transfer window. Furthermore have the young guns like Grosskreutz
and Sven Bender grown into their own. While last years Borussia side
reeked of talent, this year’s side is filled with players good enough to
play on the international level for their countries.

The defense around Subotic and Hummels hasn’t made any crucial mistakes
so far this season, and has kept Borussia keeper and vice-captain Roman
Weidenfeller out of trouble. It is noteworthy that Hummels is one of the
league’s few central defenders that hasn’t been shown a single yellow card for
the first half of the season, which makes Dortmund’s record for the fewest
goals conceded in the first 17 games of the season even more impressive.

Besides the two defeats(against Leverkusen in the first round and Eintracht
Frankfurt in the 17th round) has nothing gone wrong so far. Can this good
fortune last for the rest of the season?

Injuries
Besides the injuries of team captain Sebastian Kehl and Egyptian striker
Mohamed Zidan has Borussia Dortmund managed to get through the first half
of the season without any serious injuries. This is a big part of the explanation
for why they have been able to perform so well, week after week.
However, this will most certainly change in the second half of the season.

Having had a limited amount of money to spend after big spending
sportingdirector Micheal Meier almost led the club into bankruptcy, Borussia’s
squad has in recent years often lacked the depth that is necessary to win a Bundesliga title.
This is not so much the case today as it was a few seasons ago, but the team has to avoid to
get a number of key players injured for a longer periode of time.

Nuri Sahin has proven to be one of the key players for this season. In addition
to stabilizing the midfield defensively,the young turk has also proven to be a
valueble asset up front. Borrusia’s midfield will be servilely weakened if Sahin
is forced out of the side with a long term injury.

Subotic and Hummels have really impressed most experts with their
cool, calm and collected defensive efforts so far this season. The
problem for Borussia is that nobody is able to stand in for these guys.
The team has a lack of talented central defenders behind these two. Is
one of them (or both) injured, then the team will face a difficult
struggle in defense.
Defensive wall: Mats Hummels

Brickwall: Mats Hummels has had a tremendous season so far.

Shinji Kagawa has proven to be impossible to deal with for most of the
league’s defenders. Almost all defenders in the league fear the brilliant
Japanese. Dortmund hasn’t really got any player of his caliber sitting on the
bench. Mohamed Zidan might be able to fill the gap that would occur to a
certain extent. If Kagawa disappears, some of the magic up front will most
definitely disappear.

Before the season started most experts said that Borussia Dortmund would
have a hard time replacing an injured Lucas Barrios. Fortunately for the yellow
and black jersey’s has the purchase of Lukas Lewandowski made this less of a
problem.

Catch them, can you?
Borussia will undoubtedly face more injuries in the second half of the season.
This might result in a run of bad form. The other teams behind them might be
able to catch up. But will they be able to get past them?

The number one favorite to take home the salad bowl(Bundesliga
trophy) has in the past always been Bayern Munich. So far this season
have the Bavarians struggled with injuries, and bad form. Being 14
points behind they do not seem to be close enough to get into the fight
for top position. And as many players have put it: they do want to
concentrate on reaching the second place, to qualify directly for the
Champions League. It is noteworthy that the team didn’t win the title
after the two last World Cups(02/03 and 06/06).

The other team that might be able to force Dortmund off the top spot in the
league is Leverkusen. Never having won the Bundesliga, and with a bunch of
second places in the league the team seems to have the forces of God working
against them at critical junctures. If they win the first game after the winter
break(against Dortmund) they might be able to stir up the fight for the
championship. Having only taken 13 points from their home games so far this
season it is crucial that Leverkusen improves its home form. Otherwise the
title won’t be coming to the BayArena.

Mainz and Hannover have impressed so far this season. But both clubs haven’t
got the depth in their squad to present a serious challenge to Dortmund in the
second half of the season.

Prediction
One can never be certain about what will happen in football. Heck, this why so
many people around the world adore the sport so much. Having said that: it
will take a giant blow up from Dortmund’s side to screw this up.

And this is why I will go so far and predict that this season will be the stuff the
dreams of the past years have been made of for Dortmund fans. 

Will Dortmund take home the title?
(polls)