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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

The Happel curse

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Ever since Ernst Happel left the club, the Hamburger SV has struggled to live up to the fans expectations. Here is why.

It was easy to spot the relief on Armin Veh’s face after the HSV 1-0 victory over an injury-plagued Eintracht Frankfurt

Armin Veh has already won one Bundesliga championship with VfB Stuttgart. Will he be able to lead the HSV to glory?

side. Before the start of the spring season Veh was amongst the league’s  top contenders to loose his position as a coach. Veh has somewhat managed to pull his head out of the noose with two rather dodgey 1-0 victories. However, it is unclear if Veh is able to keep his job if his team doesn’t continue to win games. 
The revolving door policy

Standards in Hamburg are high. The press and the fans are expecting a top three finish every season, and glorious Champions League matches. Ever since Ernst Happel left the club the reality has been a different one. The club managed to win the league twice, the cup once and the European Cup once during the reign of the Austrian.(The European Cup turned later into the Champions League).

After Happel left the club a total of 17 coaches during 23 years have tried to lead the club to success. (Here is a list over all the coaches the HSV has had since the start of the Bundesliga in 1963). All of them failed. Giving coaches less then two seasons to establish themselves is generally believed to be a mistake. Thomas Schaaf needed a total of four seasons to win his first title with Werder Bremen(excluding the

Glory days: Lars Bastrup (r.) stops the BFC-player Hans Jürgen Riediger in an European Cup match in 1982.

DFB-Cup he won a couple of month after he had taken charge of Bremen). I do not believe that Hamburg ever will win another title if they give their coaches less then two seasons to establish themselves at the club. Coaches like Happel, who win the league in their first season, are rare. If Hamburg is trying to find another Ernst Happel, they will have to wait for the next title for a really long time.

Money fixes
Money will certainly buy you a couple of hours of “loving” on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, but the HSV has spent its money even more unwisely then those who frequent the Reeperbahn. The signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy seems to go into the history of the club as another signing that wasn’t worth the effort the club put into it. The Dutchman arrived with a history of injuries, but the HSV still chose to trust his abilities. Now that van Nistelrooy has stayed with the club for just one year he wants to move again. Roughly the same thing happened with Rafael van der Vaart, and a number of different players.

Furthermore, the club has made a number of really poor, costly signings. Cristian Raul Ledesma is one such example.

Costly and ineffective: Cristian Raul Ledesma played a total of 16 Bundesliga matches, not scoring a single goal. Here he is in the jersey of Olympiacos.

However, it has to be remarked that coaches who don’t get to stay for more then a year or a year and half have a hard time to form the team that they have in mind. A manager needs at least two transfer windows, sometimes even four or five transfer windows, to form a team that he is happy with.

If Veh isn’t given more than a season to prove himself at the club, he will most certainly fail like all the of the other 16 coaches that have tried their luck after Ernst Happel left. And like all of them, he really didn’t get the chance to prove himself either.

Update: the Bundesliga for newcomers segment will be finished this weekend, so stay tuned.
Should Armin Veh stay at Hamburg? 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.